Dear Aunt Bingo:
As a Bingo Bugle reader, Bingo worker and Bingo player, I continue to
be amazed by people who think that wives, husbands, and other relatives
of hall workers, and workers who also play Bingo in their free time,
somehow have some kind of “in” and win more than anyone else.
What is this magical power they think we have? Bingo paper is printed
and distributed by independent vendors. The numbers on the Bingo paper
are random. So are the numbers that the caller calls. The caller is
sitting on a stage where everyone in the room can see him or her. The
balls are tumbled in a sealed glass chamber that everyone can see into.
There are monitors connected to cameras that show each ball as it comes
The whole Bingo gaming process is quite fair, random, and easy for
everyone in the room to “supervise.” Why, then, do I see letters in
yours and other writers’ columns from readers who think there is
cheating going on, particularly with family members and Bingo workers
who sometimes play? And it’s not just letters: I have experienced
firsthand accusations of somehow cheating when I win, and so have other
Bingo workers I have heard stories from and people we are related to.
Just this week I was playing Bingo at a hall where I am not a worker.
There were many players there who I recognized from the hall where I do
work, and they recognized me.
I had a lucky night and managed to Bingo on one of the games. When I
did, a woman sitting at the table across from me gives me a dirty look
and says, “Figures.” A woman sitting with her gives me a dirty look as
well and says, “Yeah, right?”
Obviously this bothered me (and not for the first time), and I decided
to say something. “Excuse me?” I said. “Do you have a problem with me
Without hesitation, the first woman said: “It’s really interesting how often I see Bingo workers win. It happens all the time.”
“It’s fishy,” her companion added.
“You have got to be kidding,” I said, and proceeded to rattle off the
list of facts I mentioned earlier in this letter about the randomness
of Bingo, and that I didn’t appreciate their attempts to spoil my
enjoyment of winning or insinuating that I had somehow magically
cheated my way to a split $150 jackpot.
My accusers just sat there silently, with no apology or even an
acknowledgment of what I’d said. Fortunately, I did get quite a few
smiles and nods from other players who heard me, plus a nice pat on the
shoulder from the Bingo worker who brought me my winnings.
Aunt Bingo, please ask your readers to be a little more thoughtful
about accusing innocent players of cheating, just because they have
some kind of “inside connection” to the game. Yes, I am a worker who
also likes to play and yes, my sister and mom like Bingo and happen to
be related to me. But no, we have absolutely no inside track to
cheating other players out of “their” prize money.
Fed Up in Nevada
Dear Fed Up:
Wow, I wish I’d been in that Bingo
hall when you made your speech. I’m sure it will be a long time before
those players accuse anyone else of cheating!
I hope you know that when we publish letters from readers who make
claims of cheating or fixed games, it is not because we necessarily
agree with them. We believe that if someone is willing to take the time
to send in a letter or email to us on a Bingo-related topic, then it is
obvious that they feel strongly about that subject and are looking for
a forum to express their opinion and get some type of feedback.
Let’s see what kind of feedback your letter receives. —Aunt Bingo
your views! Write to Aunt Bingo c/o the Bingo Bugle, P.O. Box 527,
Vashon, Washington 98070, or email her at STENGL456@aol.com. Be sure to
include your name and address (you can request that your name not be
published), as typically she will not include anonymous letters in her