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B-I-N-G-O
October 28, 2011 7:15 AM   Subscribe

Asked for a friend: if you inherited a vintage, "institutional bingo set," what would you do?

Help someone out--who's never even gone to a bingo hall to see how this works, and thinks the game sounds, well, boring--what some fun things to do might be.
posted by availablelight to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total)
 
Donate it to a nursing home.
posted by griphus at 7:21 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dude, there's only one thing to do: BINGO NIGHT!
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:29 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Strip Bingo. Duh.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:32 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had a similar set and ran a bingo game between sets for themed music matinees at a bar. mrgood and I produced a series of "Country Sundays", featuring, as themes, various artists (especially if they'd just died), prison songs, train songs, cheatin' songs, drinkin' songs etc. The prizes were based on the events - I searched thrift stores and joke shops and found tchotchkes and old paperback biographies or souvenirs and offered those as the prizes.

If you were looking for a way to play it at home (or a small bar might host it), there could be a movie night and people could come in costume; the game played during intermissions' and the prizes could be based on the movie.

When calling the numbers, there are various nicknames for them to spice it up, the favourite usually being "O-69, Dinner for Two!"
posted by peagood at 7:35 AM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


If I had one of these, I'd consider renting it for extra cash. A security deposit, a cheap rental fee, a couple of emails and fliers to local community centers, senior centers, halls, and I'd have a couple bucks in my pocket every month.
posted by juniperesque at 7:39 AM on October 28, 2011


If you were looking for a way to play it at home (or a small bar might host it), there could be a movie night and people could come in costume; the game played during intermissions' and the prizes could be based on the movie.

Awesome. But break down the mechanics of this and walk me through it step by step like I'm an alien from Mars (who has never attended a bingo game): do you charge for entrance, cards? Etc.
posted by availablelight at 9:13 AM on October 28, 2011


If the closed-down bingo parlor near my old apartment was any indication, you charged for entrance and then per-card.
posted by griphus at 9:21 AM on October 28, 2011


But break down the mechanics of this and walk me through it step by step like I'm an alien from Mars (who has never attended a bingo game): do you charge for entrance, cards? Etc.

The bingo halls/games I've been to only charged per card; there was no entrance fee. However, if you're going to charge money for anything Bingo-related, please check your state regulations first. Any time money is involved in Bingo you usually have to purchase some type of license.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:10 AM on October 28, 2011


Or, better yet--do like griphus said, donate it to a nursing home (or school, etc.), and THEN have some fun, too, by volunteering to do a theme night for the residents! Believe me, if you were 90 years old, wouldn't you rather do movie or music bingo with some cool young person?
posted by skbw at 10:27 AM on October 28, 2011


Our games were included cover for the events, and were run informally as entertainment during the breaks. We didn't charge for the cards, and the prizes were paid for as part of the event's production costs or by the beer sponsors we were able to line up. It was pretty light-hearted. I'd suggest starting it as a movie night with friends at someone's home first, and seeing if they enjoy the theme or idea, and growing it from there. To be a good caller is something else too - my dad was a bingo caller at the YMCA when I was growing up, and I learned a lot from watching him, and watching the players. Maybe go to a game or two to see if y'all even enjoy it?

Come back and ask more when you're ready to take it public, if you decide to. A money-making venture from campy bingo games would be something else entirely. Producing an event is a full= or at least part-time job, and requires more detail than I can type out here.
posted by peagood at 7:15 AM on October 29, 2011


Perhaps you could take some inspiration from this.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:02 PM on October 29, 2011


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