The days of playing bingo merely for the chance of winning the price of a good meal now seem firmly in the past.
As technology has marched on in our ever changing world, so have the stakes that we play for. Bingo was initially a game which presented the opportunity to win a few pounds while enjoying a night in the local bingo hall or social club. It was a great way for people to get together and to socialise, but perhaps not a way to make their fortunes!
Moving forwardImprovements in telecommunications and technology eventually enabled bingo halls to link up with each other. Players across several locations could participate in the same game. Bingo halls were then able to offer bigger prizes for certain games. The potential winnings became significant and the addition of windfall bonuses inflated them still further. This is where a bonus is paid for calling house on a specified number or after a certain number of calls. Electronic bingo was the next innovation. Electronic terminals enabled enthusiasts to play many more cards than they could possibly cope with when playing manually. The bingo halls were able to sell more cards with the result that even bigger prizes became available. Bingo fans were able to experience the genuine thrill of playing for high stakes. It was possible to win several thousand pounds on any night of the week.
However, it was the arrival of the internet which really took bingo prizes to another level. Fun loving people were soon attracted to the online games in droves. The popularity of bingo grew exponentially and so did the prizes! In 2008 Soraya Lowell, a 38 year old from Scotland, netted a massive £1.2 million bingo king jackpot. This was then superseded by a €6.3 million win by a Greek businessman in 2009. Even that impressive record was smashed in 2012 when civil servant John Orchard bagged £5.9 million playing bingo online. His win was the world's largest ever bingo prize and all for a stake of just 30p! In just a few decades bingo prizes have escalated from being pleasing but unspectacular to genuinely life changing windfalls.
No wonder so many people love playing this simple yet fabulously entertaining game.