Bingo Olympics



Bingo has been played for a really long time in a lot of different forms. Every week you can find hundreds of thousands of players in bingo halls hunched over their cards and hunting for called numbers before someone else steals their bingo. It’s a lot of fun to play bingo, and while we do prefer the online form, obviously, there is an appeal to playing it in person.

Bingo Olympics

But one bingo hall wants to take the popularity of playing bingo to a whole new level. Call it a marketing stunt if you want, but Mecca Bingo, a big hall in the UK, has launched a campaign to make bingo an Olympic sport. Yes, you read that right.

And if you don’t believe us, believe the video!

 

Lesly Clifford at Mecca Bingo said: “Successful bingo playing requires a steady hand, intense concentration and mental agility; three attributes that most athletes are keen to possess and that our members have by the bucketload.”

“All of the factors which make for a great game of bingo are evident within the criteria set by the committee and we are proud to launch this campaign today.”

They hope to get bingo declared an Olympic sport for the 2020 Summer Games.

We don’t know if they have a shot, but just in case, may we recommend getting your training started at BingoMania? Our halls have different levels of difficulty. Many players play bingo for the social aspects so they let our software handle finding the numbers and calling Bingo. But those features can be easily turned off to build up your number finding skills.

When your skills get better, print off some random bingo cards off the net and turn the autoplay back on, then try finding the numbers with a dauber. Go for time and find the best routes to move the pen across the cards so you can beat your opponents. If the IOC announces official card taping rules to keep them from sliding, you’ll want to start doing that as well.

As your speed gets better, you may need to start playing speed bingo. We think this is the best game for an Olympic-level event. The numbers are called pretty rapidly, requiring players to think fast on their feet and move the pen efficiently. If you can start consistently hitting the numbers in a good speed bingo game, you just might be ready to try out for the national team!

If the IOC accepts the bid, of course.

Your turn, do you think Bingo Should be an Olympic Sport?$10 Free Cash

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America’s Obsession with Game of Thrones



It might not be bingo, but Game of Thrones is swiftly becoming one of the favorite guilty pleasures of the people of North America and is one of the hottest water cooler topics at the Bingo Mania office.

So, why exactly has this fantasy-themed TV show got us (and much of the rest of the world) in such a fluster? Well, imagine the anticipation of playing for the biggest Full House prize you can think of, only to fall at the final hurdle with 1TG, but then winning another amazing prize unexpectedly, just an hour later… This comparison goes some way towards describing the highs and lows of the emotions that this smash hit show causes among its fan base each week.

Game of Throne

If you’ve been missing out on watching the series unfold due to lack of time, or just because you think fantasy-based dramas such as Lord of the Rings are the most boring things you can imagine, we urge you to think again. We know plenty of people who never expected to like the show end up raving about how great it is, and it’s currently ranked as the second-most popular TV broadcast in North America, which has to say something about how addictive it is…

 

So, without giving away too many spoilers, here’s some interesting background information, along with some fascinating facts and figures about one of the most popular TV shows of all time.

Where did the show come from?

Game of Thrones came about as a direct result of a series of fantasy novels written by American novelist and short story writer, George R. R. Martin. The debut book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series is called Game of Thrones, which is where the TV show took its name from, and it was first published back in 1996. George has written seven books in the series so far (Book 2: A Clash of Kings; Book 3: A Storm of Swords 1 – Steel and Snow; Book 4: A Storm of Swords 2 – Blood and Gold; Book 5: A Feast for Crows; Book 6: A Dance with Dragons – Dreams and Dust; and Book 7: A Dance with Dragons – After the Feast), and it’s said that he plans to write eight novels in total.

D. B. Weiss and David Benioff came up with the idea of adapting the fantasy series in 2006 after reading the first book, and managed to quickly convince both HBO and George R. R. Martin to help them make their dream a reality. Development began in early 2007 once HBO had acquired the TV rights to the books, upon which D. B. Weiss and David Benioff were commissioned to write and executive produce the series.

Cinematography

One of the most talked about things of this hit TV series is the amazing cinematography. While some of the locations featured are created using CGI (Computer Generated Imagery), others are very much real-life locations. For example, the wedding scene for the Dothraki wedding, where Daenerys Targaryen weds Khal Drogo, was shot at the Azure Window in Malta. Many locations in North Ireland have also been used throughout the series, with Castle Ward and Doune Castle being used for some of the Winterfell scenes, Magheramorne Quarry standing in for Castle Black, and Sandy Brae being used for Vaes Dothrak. Later on, the cast got to travel to more exotic locations such as Morocco and Croatia, where some of the scenes requiring sunny climates were filmed.

Money

With such a huge cast and crew, plus significant travel costs to shoot all over the world, it’s fair to say that Game of Thrones is possibly the most expensive television series ever commissioned. Many sources say that each episode costs an average of $5,000,000 to make, which comes to an eye-watering total of $50 to $60m for a whole series.

Characters

The show is said to employ the largest cast on TV, with no less than 257 actors’ names (not including extras) being recorded by the time the third series was broadcast. Understandably, therefore, it can sometimes be a little hard to keep up with who’s who. The main families in the show are The Starks (Ned, Catelyn, Sansa, Arya, Robb, Bran, Rickon), The Lannisters (Cersei, Jaime, Tyrion, Tywin, and Joffrey), the Greyjoys (Theon, Balon, and Asha), and the Targaryens (Daenerys and Viserys).

Nationalities of the Cast

One of the wonderful things about actors and actresses is their ability to put on convincing accents, and this is proven brilliantly in Game of Thrones. Some of the characters who speak with English-sounding actors are, in fact, American, such as Peter Dinklage (who plays “The Imp”, Tyrion Lannister), while Aidan Gillen (who plays Lord Baelish), Jack Gleeson (who plays Joffrey), and Michelle Fairley (who plays Caitlyn Stark) are all Irish. Mellisandre (played by Carice Van Houten) is Dutch, and Tyrion’s secret lover, Shae, is played by German actress Sibel Kekilli.

5 fun facts about the show

  1. Alfie Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy, is UK singer, Lily Allen’s brother. She even sang a song about him in 2006, which included the lyrics, “My little brother’s in his bedroom smoking weed”.
  2. Flame-haired Sansa Stark is really a blonde; well, the actress who plays her is at least.
  3. Jack Gleeson, who plays the tyrannical Joffrey, starred in the hit movie Batman Begins.
  4. Michelle Fairley, who plays Catelyn Stark, appeared in the Harry Potter movies as Hermione’s mom.
  5. Natalia Tena, whose character is the wildling called Osha, is the lead singer of a band called Molotov Jukebox. She also plays the accordion!

Summary

The last episode of Season 4 of Game of Thrones aired on HBO East at 9pm (ET) on Sunday 15th June 2014, but all’s not lost, as you can catch up with many of the previous series via HBO’s On Demand service or buy purchasing the DVDs. Just imagine if you’d never tried a game of bingo, you’d be kicking yourself; so, give Game of Thrones a try and see why millions of Americans think it’s one of the best TV shows ever!

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The Highs and Lows of Dancing with the Stars 2014



If there’s one thing reality U.S. TV fans can thank their neighbors on the other side of the pond for it’s Dancing with the Stars. This hugely-popular American TV series came to life following the success of the equally well-loved UK TV series, Strictly Come Dancing. Both versions feature some of our favorite sports, television, and supermodel celebrities learning (or sometimes just improving) their skills on the dance-floor. Here in America, we’re so gripped by the weekly airings of Dancing with the Stars, that those of us who suffer from two left feet in reality at least now know the difference between a bolero and ballroom dancing, and a salsa and a shimmy.

Dancing with the stars

To keep us going until the Fall series begins in September 2014, we’ve been treated to the Spring series, which is the eighteenth season to run since the show began back in the summer of 2005.

 

Everyone, including Skippy at the BingoMania HQ is hooked on this show along with the TV drama series Game of Thrones.

Since the latest season started, we’ve seen two sports stars try their hardest to impress but get sent home with their tails between their legs in the first round of elimination. Long-distance swimmer, Diana Nyad, partnered up with Henry Byalikov, and successfully survived the show’s first airing, in which none of the contestants were eliminated. Nyad told the media that she’d wanted to perform on the show for nine years, and thinks “it’s spectacular”, comparing dancing to “freedom”. Her only regret on going home so soon is that she wished her and her partner, Henry, “could have had a few more weeks” to wow the judges. Diana wasn’t the only celebrity to be eliminated in Week 2; joining her was Sean Avery, the former NHL player, who the viewers and judges voted bottom of the pack after his performance with professional partner, Karina Smirnoff.

In Week 4 saw James in a one-off partnership with Cheryl Burke as part of “switch up” night. 23-year-old James (who’s a member of the boy band, Big Time Rush) was subjected to a serious grilling by Dancing with the Stars’ new co-host, Erin Andrews, who was determined to find out if rumors that James is dating his dancing partner, Peta are true or false. The couple squirmed as Erin called them “adorable”, and said she wanted a DWTS baby. All Peta could respond with was, “Oh my God”, while Maslow told Peta, “You can’t have a baby while you’re dancing, alright?” Luckily, the duo soon managed to move the spotlight onto their dancing skills in Week 5, where they scored the first perfect score of the 18th season – 30 out of 30. Their impressive routine was performed to the popular song, “Let it Go” from the hit movie Frozen.

Elsewhere, there have been awkward moments of a less romantic nature, with Julianne Hough accusing professional dancer, Maksim Chmerkovskiy of being lazy and “phoning in” his performance in Week 4. While Maksim managed to maintain his composure on the live show, he swiftly spoke to the media to call judge Julianne’s comments “absurd”. Fans of the renowned, hot-headed dancer have sprung to his defence on social media, and have hinted that Julianne’s comments may be biased as her brother, Derek Hough, is directly competing with Maksim in the dance competition.

As for the most tear-jerking performance of the season, in our mind, that award has to go to Paralympic snowboarder and actress, Amy Purdy, who dances with Derek Hough. Episode 3 saw the celebrities tasked with dedicating their performances to the most memorable year of their lives so far, and Amy, who lost both of her legs to meningitis in 1999, chose to tell her story through dance on the big night. Previously, Amy has kept her legs firmly covered during live performances, but Week 3 saw her proudly unveil her prosthetic legs for all to see. The pair performed their dance to “Only Human” by Christina Perri, causing tears to spring to many of the audience’s and judges’ eyes. Judge, Bruno Tolioni called the performance “borderline miraculous”, and the pair received a glowing score of 36 out of 40.

One shock announcement that came after the show on 31st March 2014 was the sudden departure of 77-year-old movie actor, Billy Dee Williams, who cited back problems as his reason for bowing out of the competition early. As the oldest contestant to appear on Season 18, Billy managed to make it through the first round of eliminations on 24th March, but to most TV viewers, audience members, and judges, he was visibly struggling with both his rehearsals and live performances. In Week 1, he told viewers that he’s had two hip replacements in the past and suffers from a “chronic back problem”. Despite his dancing partner, Emma Slater, praising his resilience, “commitment and determination”, the pair only scored 15 out of 30 for their cha cha cha.

One of the most entertaining episodes of Season 18 came courtesy of Week 5, where the theme was Disney Night. The evening saw game show host and comedian, Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke score 28 for their quickstep, which was performed to “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin; ice dancer, Charlie White and Sharna Burgess scored 37 with a jazz version of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins; and Full House actress, Candace Cameron Bure and her partner Mark Ballas score 35 with their samba, which was performed to “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid. Despite not scoring the lowest score of the night, pop star, Cody Simpson and Witney Carson’s samba to The Lion King’s “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” resulted in elimination.

Who will stay and who will go from the line-up of remaining contestants is a mystery every season which is one of the reasons we are all so glued to this show. However, provided America keeps tuning in to watch and vote each week, we’re sure next seasons will have more twists and turns as seasons past.

With 15.44 million television viewers watching the premiere on 17th March 2014, and a steady figure of around 14m tuning in for every subsequent episode, Dancing with the Stars seems to be one US TV show that’s going to be around for some years to come!

Can’t wait for the next season to kick off.

What’s been your favorite couple from this past seasons of Dancing with the Star? Share your thoughts for a chance to win 1 of ten (10) lucky $7 freebies.

Leave your comment and alias along with your favorite couple in the comment box below. Winner’s will be randomly selected and credited over the next 48hrs. Good luck!

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