The Surprising Way I Had a Fun Night Out — And Won $50

by Travis Pizel · 7 comments

I’d always thought of bingo as a game that only elderly people played. But I’m always up for a new adventure, so I agreed when our neighbors asked us to join them at a new bingo hall. Walking in, I was surprised to see people of all ages — including a group of high school girls celebrating an 18th birthday.

Inquiring at the service counter, we discovered how it worked:

  • The early bird session was about to start, for which we could buy a pack of bingo sheets for $5 a piece.
  • In 30 minutes, the regular session would start, for which we could buy a large pack of bingo sheets (with 12 bingo boards for each game) for $10 a piece.
  • Seven special games would be offered throughout the evening for $1 a piece.

My wife and I each purchased the early bird and regular session pack for a total of $30. We planned to decide about the special games as the night went on. We sat down just as things were getting rolling, expecting a slow-paced game of bingo.

We were wrong. So wrong.

Our Bingo Experience

What we got was a fast-paced, almost cardio-like workout scanning through all our bingo boards as the letter and number combinations were announced at a dizzying pace. Each game boasted prize money of either $50, $75, or $100, with a short break between game. Whenever someone yelled “Bingo!” you could hear groans from the crowd, which would be repeated after the card was verified and the announcer stated, “That’s a good bingo.”

I was happy to give my wrist a break when the special games were inserted in between the regular sessions. The new location didn’t yet offer any food or beverages, but drinks could be ordered from the bar next door.

Was It Worth It?

Lady luck smiled on us that night: my neighbor won two games for a total of $125, and I scored one jackpot worth $50. Here’s the breakdown of our expenses:

  • Two early bird bingo sheets: $10
  • Two regular session sheets: $20
  • Two drinks: $10

Total: $40

With my winnings factored in, we actually made $10 during the evening. But even if we hadn’t won a cent, we all had three hours of fun. I have to admit, yelling “BINGO!” in a fully-packed hall was quite a thrill. Check out your local bingo hall — you might be surprised by how much fun you’ll have.

Have you ever thought about playing bingo for a night of entertainment?

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  • Ryan says:

    The local bar has bingo 2 nights a week with a blackout jackpot well over 4 grand. Winning it in under 63 moves is rare though. The jackpot always attracts a large crowd.

    • Travis @Debtchronicles says:

      I would bet that it would attract quite a crowd, Ryan, with that kind of jackpot! the biggest Jackpot at the Bingo hall I was at was $100 if I remember right.

  • David @ says:

    We had a ton of fun that one time we went more than a decade ago. I totally forgot about Bingo being a possible fun outing though. I’ll see if Emma wants to go and we’ll try to go one day.

    Thanks for the reminder Travis!

    • Travis @Debtchronicles says:

      You should give it a try again….I’m not much for the bar scene…it’s just too loud. Bingo is a great way to have fun and still interact with the group of people you’re with. Plus, if you happen to win, BONUS!

  • Alexis says:

    I played bingo once and was sweating from all of the excitement. It really is an intense, fast-paced game. I never won but my friend won twice in one game.

    • David @ says:

      Fast paced is right Alexis. I went with a few college buddies when we were still in school and it’s hard to keep up.

      I remember thinking at the time that I probably won but I must have missed a few numbers!

    • Travis @Debtchronicles says:

      One of our friends all but gave up at one point trying to check all her bingo boards….I think I strained my wrist with all that dabber action!

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