There’s no doubt that there’s an amazing array of potential bingo prizes to be won both online and at your local bingo hall. Some of those prizes are pretty cool, while others may have players scratching their heads wondering how someone ever came up with the idea. Here are a few of the cool and strange kinds of prizes that have appeared in bingo halls from around the world.
A Milk Cow
In New York, one of the prizes offered at a charity bingo event was a beautiful dairy cow. There were plenty of players for this game and in the end, the winner ended up being a smartly dressed woman who came to collect her prize in a fit of giggles. There aren’t too many apartments in New York City that allow pets of this size, so it’s not certain where she or the cow eventually ended up.
What Will the Neighbors Say?
In a small town in Iowa, a local church bingo game offered a floating bingo prize that was a concrete lawn sculpture. The sculpture, in the form of a Billy goat, was painted hot pink. Whoever won the prize that week got to put the lawn ornament on their lawn for that week. They also got to have all of the bragging rights that went with it. The mysterious goat prize made the rounds for years it was ultimately washed away in the floods of 2008.
A Home of One’s Own
In today’s pared-down economy and sustainable living culture, tiny houses are all the rage. The Hard Rock Casino in Sioux City, South Dakota caught on to this trend and recently offered a two-story tiny home as the ultimate prize this past fall. One lucky winner got to have their very own house to put down roots anywhere they chose!
The Danish Society of California and Nevada has held its annual Turkey Bingo giveaway for the Thanksgiving holidays since 1914 when the tradition began. In the early days of this event, live turkeys, ducks and geese were tied up in burlap sacks. The tradition continues and last year over 60 turkeys and other grocery prizes such as entire carts of groceries as well as gift certificates to the El Ranch Marketplace were given out as prizes in celebration of the holiday season.
Beauty Shop Bingo
Cosmetologists, nail technicians and aestheticians often attend conventions to find out the latest trends in hairstyles and beauty trends. One way creative vendors were encouraging participation and an introduction to their products was to offer a kind of convention bingo. Those attendees that went to various booths and were able to block out those venues on their bingo cards were eligible for prizes that ranged from free tools, accessories and products to full product line displays for their salon.
White Elephant Prizes
Many companies, charity organizations and big families also hold their own bingo games with some rather incredible prizes offered – the only limit being their imaginations and the good humor of everyone playing. Some of these include tubes of bacon-flavored toothpaste, boxes of air guitar strings, sheets of bubble wrap labeled as a “stress reliever”, and boxes of mismatched hubcaps.
The most important part of bingo, no matter what’s offered as a prize, is to have fun. What kind of unusual or incredible prizes are being offered for bingo have you seen? Let us know in the comments.
Bingo for charity has been around for decades. Churches and charities set up a temporary bingo hall in a large space and raise funds by selling cards for play. Prizes are also funded out of the money raised by the players in the hall or by previous donations. But they’re also on the decline. Why are bingo charities so popular, and what’s causing them problems now?
First, they’re fun! Most people know the rules of bingo and it’s an easy game to play. The equipment isn’t that expensive and ongoing costs for new cards is low. Bingo for charity is also a much more relaxed environment than traditional bingo halls. It’s as much of a social get-together for a good cause as it is a fun game.
The second reason is that it’s legal. Bingo for charity is one of the few forms of gambling that slipped its way past anti-gambling advocates in the early 20th century. Bingo is a game of complete luck and it’s difficult to cheat when everyone can see the bingo cage moving and there are multiple people watching the balls after they’re pulled. It’s a game of perfect information. Bingo equipment doesn’t have the gambling stigma that cards and dice have. It’s also played for low stakes or for non-cash prizes.
Since it was one of the few gambling games that came through, it had a wide-open market among groups that traditionally eschew gambling like churches and charities. It was a way to play a gambling game without the sin of gambling attached. And if someone were to spend a little extra at the bingo hall for more cards, the money would be going to a good cause.
Charity bingo is also a big business, and much of the money that goes into the pot at the hall may not go to the charity. Whether this happens or not depends on the state gaming rules. Most state lotteries raise money for education. The money that goes to education is taken off the top before any money for prizes or for running the operation is taken. In bingo halls across the country, it’s the other way around. Charities get what’s left over after prizes and paying for the hall.
This can lead to a vicious cycle. In order to raise more money, the halls need to make the prizes more attractive for people to come play. But that means more money is coming out of the entire pot, which still leaves only a tiny amount for charity. It’s not so much the fault of the game itself, but rather the nature of on-going operations for charity.
A single fundraiser game held by a church or an American Legion building doesn’t cost much at all. The people running are usually volunteers, and once the equipment is bought there’s little capital investment. Charity fundraisers done this way have a chance to raise some money, but that’s not a sustainable way to run a traditional bingo hall.
There is a chance, though, that online bingo gaming could raise money for charities in the future. What’s to stop a bingo gaming site from offering a cut of their proceeds to a charity? They could just take a cut off the top like a lottery and then focus on prizes and profit. With so many people now playing online bingo, the potential player base is large enough that charities could benefit, prizes could be plentiful, and the business would be worth enough to run.
Despite the numerous problems, charity bingo is around to stay. People love to play bingo (if our numbers are any indication!) and it’s a simple game for small groups to set up for small fundraisers. The big bingo halls might be sweating though. Perhaps it’s time for them to take up app programming
If you have already found out how much fun you can have playing online bingo here at Bingomania, maybe you’d like to get involved in one of our many tournaments. Tournament play is a great way to turn up the level of excitement to online gaming. It doesn’t matter if you prefer to play bingo, slots or any of the other popular casino games we offer on Bingo Mania we offer tournaments every night of the week.
Playing in a tournament can also increase your chance of winning cash prizes. That can certainly add to the fun you have playing bingo online whatever night of the week you prefer to play.
Slots & Casino Game Tourneys
As of January 1, 2017, Bingomania began offering tournaments for slots and video poker on the weekends for our members. Players were awarded over $5,000 in cash prizes in January! Simply play your favorite casino games (excluding ‘new’ slots) and win a share of the $1,400 weekly cash prizes. We’re always trying to offer new tournament games for our casino games. Be sure to check the website often to see what tournaments are coming soon.
Saturday $6,000 Pyramid Bingo
This bingo tournament is currently held in the Money Pot Room, formerly known as the High Roller Room. As the name suggests, this means non-stop 3-part gameplay every Saturday from 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. EST. Players are able to pre-buy into this game so they are sure not to miss out. The prizes for our 3-part games start at $120 at the start of the evening’s event and keep building up all the way to $300 as the night goes on. Deal yourself into the action and join us for Pyramid Bingo on Saturday!
Pack and Line Bingo
One of our tournaments offers Progressive & 12 Card Max in our Pack and Line Room. These games are offered from Wednesdays to Saturdays all through the month of May from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. EST. You can pre-buy for this event. Pots will begin at $35 + Wagers +PJP which starts at $125. This tournament also offers two special hourly Fair and Square Games.
Since this particular tournament sets the max number of cards lower, it offers better odds of winning with quick patterns such as any line, 4-pack, 6-pack, or 9-pack.
Online Chat During Our Tournaments
Just like other parts of our site, we offer our online chat feature for Bingomania tournaments as well. You not only get the fun and excitement of tourney play, you can still chat with friends at the same time. Beware! Having this much fun can be contagious and you are going to want to share it with your friends! Why not invite your friends to come join in on the fun with you? You get the fun of playing and the social aspect of being able to carry on casual conversation – just as if you were at the local bingo hall, but you’ll have all the comfort and convenience of home.
Our chat function isn’t just for socializing. It’s also a great way to ask questions if you’re fairly new to playing bingo online or to bingo tournaments. You can rest assured that there are sure to be plenty of players who will be more than happy to answer any questions and to offer helpful tips and tricks that they’ve learned along the way.
All you need to get involved in playing in our bingo tournaments is to sign up here at Bingomania. We’ll give you $100 free just for joining now