The Prize-Winning Question
I’m semi-new to Bingo and have a question I’m a
little too embarrassed to ask anyone about in the
My question is this: How do they decide what the
prizes will be at Bingo? Sometimes you go and it’s
all cash prizes and the amounts are kind of small.
Other places you go to they have much bigger cash
prizes and sometimes challenges where you
choose from different prizes that are not always
money. I was at one Bingo where someone won a
cruise trip. And I’m told that there are other
giveaways of all kinds of different things and
sometimes drawings for prizes that may happen
during Bingo but are not part of the Bingo.
Who decides these prizes and how do you find out
what/when these prizes will be the ones that you
want? It is exciting to have all these choices, but
confusing to just walk into Bingo and find out on the
spot that it’s for cash but also a trip or a big
bonanza or something.
Wes J., Louisiana, via email
For a start, you should never be embarrassed
about asking a question at Bingo. As a general rule,
your fellow Bingo players should be happy to share
their knowledge and experience with a less
experienced player. The trick is to know when to
Never strike up a conversation with a player when a
game is being called: He or she is focused on the
task at hand and will be annoyed if you distract
them with questions; far better to engage with your
fellow Bingo players before the start of the games
or possibly during intermission. (Trying to chat with
people at the end of the games may also be a bad
idea. That’s when folks are grumpy from not
winning and anxious to clear out of the hall and exit
the parking lot before there’s a traffic jam.)
You certainly should not worry about talking with
the Bingo workers, either. They are there to help.
But, as noted earlier, there are also busy times for
the workers, so choose your time carefully to talk
In answer to the core part of your question—about
Bingo prizes—this is primarily determined by state
laws and gaming regulations. You don’t say what
types of Bingo halls you have attended, but it
sounds to me like a mix of smaller charity Bingos
and larger casino games.
The small Bingos are for charitable, not-for-profit
purposes and are regulated very closely by the
states in which they are located. Most charity
games have caps on prize amounts, numbers of
games, numbers of sessions, and so on. Charity
Bingo provides players with fun, affordable and
challenging Bingo and pull-tabs in a quiet,
Large-scale casino Bingos are for-profit and, while
also regulated, have broader guidelines that permit
them to offer bigger jackpots and the opportunity to
win other prizes besides. This is where you can
experience the glitz of big time Bingo play with a lot
more noise, energy and activity.
It’s easy to find out what the prizes will be at the
better Bingo games simply by flipping through the
pages of the Bingo Bugle newspaper, which
contain informative ads as well as a directory with
contact information for the best Bingo in town. Best
of luck to you in your new Bingo-playing adventure.
Hey guys! (And gals!) Write to: Guy’s Turn c/o
The Bingo Bugle, P.O. Box 527, Vashon, WA
98070, or email Guy directly at Tonder22@aol.
com. Be sure to include your name and
address (you may request that your name not
be published), as typically Guy will not include
anonymous letters in his columns.