College students prove Bingo is a game for young adults too

Students at Waynesburg University play Bingo at a special Halloween-themed Bingo Night event last year in the Stover Campus Center. (Photo courtesy of Nicolas Burgess)

Although bingo is generally seen as a fun way for older adults to pass the time, Waynesburg University students prove that young adults can have just as much fun with a game that has been around since as early as the 16th century.

Waynesburg University has hosted a number of different activities and events for its students over its 170-year history, but intriguingly enough, very few have become as popular as Bingo Night. Usually held once a month, Bingo Night has been a staple for at least 15 years.

Annalise Cardish, a senior nursing student and president of the Student Activities Board at Waynesburg University, said the bingo games have been a success even in recent years.

“Since I was a freshman, [bingo] has definitely grown,” Cardish said. “Some months, we do get a bit less of a turnout, but overall it has been a positive event on campus, and that is why we keep bringing it back on a monthly basis.”

Bingo has been experiencing something of a resurgence lately, both in the U.S. and in the U.K. According to Business Matters Magazine, there are now 3.5 million bingo players in the U.K., although there has not been much research done on the amount of Bingo players in the U.S. Remarkably, over 20% of these players are between the ages of 18 and 24. Bingo has greatly benefited from the advent of the internet, and many new players have been attracted to online games.

One of the most prevalent reasons bingo is so enjoyable among students is that it gives them a chance to win different items. The prizes have varied over the years, said Michelle Keith, graduate assistant at Waynesburg University and coordinator for Bingo Night.

“A couple of years ago, hammocks were really big, so we did hammocks as big prizes,” she said. “Then we started doing tech stuff, so chargers, mouses, flashes, thumb-drives, tech baskets, and that’s been more popular.”

According to Keith, the prizes are selected with the students’ needs in mind. They try to choose items that are practical and valued.

The chance to engage with friends and de-stress and are other reasons students like to participate in bingo. Keith said this is by design.

“I like hanging out with my friends,” said Lauren Taylor, freshman human services major. “I’m also very competitive, and they have cool prizes.”

Despite bingo’s popularity, the event at Waynesburg University has seen a slight decline in attendance so far this year.

“Bingo used to be packed, there were no seats available and all the cards ran out,” Keith said. “Although we still have a really good turnout, it’s a little bit less than the past years.”

The next Bingo Night for students will be held March 17.

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