History of Bingo: One aspect of the game that has been forgotten

Whilst most of us are playing the outrageously fun game of bingo it is very easy to forget its humble origins, and of course, it’s very real world applications that go far from simply gambling at Barbados Bingo. In fact, bingo as a game can often be criminally misunderstood – either it is avid casino gamblers calling it a game for care homes, or people lamenting how it is just another gambling game. 

With bingo the truth is that it is genuinely a bit of both. It has become a staple in care homes across the world, however it is also one of the 21st century’s leading gambling industries too. People often tend to forget the incredibly interesting mathematical underpinnings to bingo, one aspect of the game that has been forgotten. Let’s take a look at this side of things, shall we?

The wonders of mathematics and bingo 

All gambling games owe a hell of a lot to the world of mathematics, as gambling is pretty much a lesson in the world of probability and chance, however bingo owes it a lot more than most. You see, the thing about bingo is that, because of the scorecards, everything has to be mathematically succinct from the offset; otherwise you will get the scenario where nobody ever wins. 

The scorecards might look random, and they are to some degree, however they have also been precisely mathematically engineered to actually make the game possible. Nowadays we can use powerful computers to do this for us, but back in the day it completely rested on the shoulders of some incredibly intelligent mathematicians.  

19th century Germany 

People have always known about bingo’s close relationship with mathematics, in fact the Germans used the game quite extensively throughout the 19th century in order to teach school children about simple mathematic principles. This has continued into the modern day too, with schools all over the world employing bingo to help teach their pupils about mathematics. 

You’re not going to learn anything like complex trigonometry whilst playing bingo, however it can be instrumental in getting kids used to working with numbers, and for that we owe it massively.

Edwin S. Lowe’s mathematical feat of engineering 

If you don’t know already, Edwin S. Lowe was the man who succeeded in creating a commercial juggernaut out of bingo, however in order to do so he also had to employ the help of at least one mathematician to help him create the scorecards that were needed. 

This is a task that sounds a lot easier than it is, because the two men had to create as many scorecards as possible to feed the growing demand, but they also had to make sure they worked. 

Maths and bingo in the present day 

In the 21st century bingo is still used a lot in schools to teach about maths, and university students also use the game to help them pose new mathematical questions for use in PHD thesis’. 

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