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Bingo History

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It was a priest from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and his financially ailing church that fused the game with churches across the country.

A parishioner had come up with the idea of using Bingo as a way to raise money for the church. But with only 24 unique cards to play with, the priest was finding that there were half a dozen winners for every game.

The priest contacted Lowe about producing a large number of unique number combinations for the cards.

Lowe recognized the fund-raising potential of the game and enlisted the help of a professor of mathematics at Columbia University named Carl Leffler.

Leffler was charged with the task of producing 6,000 new bingo cards. He requested that he be paid on a per card basis.

The more cards he created, the more difficult it was to come up with unique combinations.

Toward the end he was being paid $100 per card. When the task was finally complete, it is said that the professor went insane!

But the increased number of bingo cards was exactly what was needed to make the game a staple at churches across the country and a sound source of fund-raising.

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