Bingo – A Game of Chance

Happy woman who won a great chance at bingo

We’ve all heard stories, or we know at least one guy that always likes to play the same numbers or the same combination of numbers all over again, in order to eventually win something.

This is the story of the 48 year old Donna Marshal, from Plymouth. Donna used to be a kindergarten teacher with a mortgage weighing heavily on her mind, as well as a five-year-old boy to raise. Back in the summer of 1999 Donna, recently divorced, was on her daily routine to her job, a kindergarten situated two miles away from her home, when suddenly she found a stack of bills on the road.

“I remember that the money were held by a rubber band in the middle of the side walk, so I’ve picked it up looked at it, trying to find the person who lost it by looking around with the money in my hand”.

Donna’s first reaction was to give back the lost item, but there was nobody around, so she took the money and headed to work, where she counted £120. It was later that day when she decided to make an investment on her own. “It wasn’t much, but it was exactly the price of the washing machine I needed. However, I just couldn’t stand the thought that I had someone else’s money. Money that I hadn’t earned or worked for”.

The decision she made was a hard one, but one that changed her and her son’s life forever. After work, she left the kindergarten and she has put the £100 bill in St Paul’s charity box, then she decided to play some of the money at a local bingo room.

“It was the first time I had entered a bingo room, as well as the last time. I’ve bought a few cards with random numbers printed on them, and I don’t remember how many I eventually got, but in the end the whole deal costed me about £20. Maybe I was just feeling lucky!”

That summer evening was the luckiest day of Donna’s life. After a short session, she had won £15 000 on a single bingo ticket!

“I literally don’t know how, I didn’t even know the rules of the game very well, but I guess my numbers were those shouted by the caller so I yelled ‘BINGO’ and no! I don’t even remember the numbers.”

Sixteen years later, Donna is her own boss at a firm that deals with wedding arrangements.

“I don’t believe it was luck, I am a spiritual person, and I like to think that it was a gift from God to pay my mortgage and offer my son a better life… So yes! Bingo was my ticket to get out of poverty.”

The New Face of Bingo



If your idea of bingo is a bunch of old people gathering around a large hall being all eyes and ears to the numbers on their card and hoping to win, your mind is definitely not in 2015!

Nowadays, televisions are broadcasting a large variety of shows based on the idea of bingo all around Europe and the United Kingdom, with names such as “Bingo Night Live” or “Kiwanis Bingo”. The strategy is simple: you take an old idea, add a twist and sell it in a new form. All a bingo enthusiast has to do is buy tickets from a street vendor and wait for the Sunday evening show, hoping that he will be lucky enough to see his numbers on the screen. The best way to do that is to find inspiration by thinking about where you’re going to spend your next vacation with the money you will win.

A recent study shows that three out of five pensioners from the United Kingdom regularly buy tickets on a weekly basis for bingo based TV shows. More than that, two out of five pensioners watch at least one bingo TV show per week, while there is only one person out of ten that still goes to traditional bingo rooms.

The televised bingo contest is usually presented by two or three actors and comedians helped by attractive young female assistants that reveal the numbers and the prizes, while also improving the TV show’s ratings. However, the rules of the game might be a little different with the introduction of the card series and colorful carrying forward ticket to make room for more chances of winning.

Also, the prizes are not represented just by money anymore. There are brand new cars waiting to be won, and in some countries even block apartments are being offered! So the stakes are high and everybody has something to win. Players have a good chance to change their lives, while the TV channels win from the high weekend ratings. For those who just watch the show, a good time is guaranteed as well! There are also additional prizes such as memorable holidays in beautiful places all around the world in countries like the United States, Dubai or Saudi Arabia.

Bingo never died and never will. There is at least one bingo room in most cities, and they still have their traditional audience.  Bingo however has been changing. It has been adapting and transitioning into the modern world. As our societies and technology evolve, past habits and traditions find a way into the new world, albeit often under different forms. Fortunately, bingo is adapting rather than disappearing, which is testament to the fundamental brilliancy of the game’s concept: a fun, social game, where there is always a winner.