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Game of chance played with cards having a grid of numbered squares corresponding to numbered balls drawn at random. When a number on the card is drawn, the players cover that number (should they have it); the game is won by covering a certain number of squares in a row (vertically, horizontally, or diagonally). Cards are purchased and proceeds are placed into a common pot; winning cards are awarded a portion of the pot. Wildly popular in the mid 20th century, bingo has in recent decades suffered a decline in America but has increased in popularity in other parts of the world. The earliest name for bingolottowas recorded in Britain in 1776; the game is sometimes called keno in the U.S.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on bingo, visit Britannica.com.