To begin playing this simple game, every player first purchases a blank Bingo card (or multiple cards if one desires). The game is played similar to a lottery. An employee usually referred to as the caller, chooses random numbers from a pool of 75-90 consecutive numbers. If the number called appears on your card it is marked off for the remainder of the game. When a player is the first one to mark off all the numbers on their card or has achieved a specific pattern (commonly, 5 numbers in a row, vertically, horizontally, or diagonally), depending on the rules for the particular game, that player will shout “Bingo” and wins the prize money for that round.
The most popular variation of Bingo is played with a game card consisting of 24 numbered squares and one “free” square, situated in the middle of the card. Each card has 5 rows and 5 columns. The columns are labeled from left to right with the letters
B – I – N – G – O. Each space in the ‘B’ column contains 5 different numbers ranging from 1-15. The column labeled ‘I’ contains 5 numbers from 16-30. The ‘N’, ‘G’, and ‘O’ columns contain 5 numbers ranging from 31-45, 46-60, and 61-75, respectively.
Since Bingo is such a popular game all over the globe, prizes have been known to range from children’s toys, to cars, to thousands of dollars in cash. Bingo is pretty much legal to play worldwide, however, in some regions, the game’s profits must be donated to charity in order for it to be considered a legal activity.