How Bingo Lifted Our Spirits Throughout 2020

By Ben Hamill - December 21 2020
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How Bingo Lifted Our Spirits Throughout 2020

When more than 400 people made their way to a single public parking lot in Windsor, Ont. earlier this year, the message was clear: something big and newsworthy was in the air. And exactly so it turned out to be too, because all 400+ of those in attendance were gathered together around a single activity. Worry, depression, joblessness and pretty much a non-event year in general aside, Parking Lot Bingo had just become the hottest new thing in town.

Explained Community Gaming & Entertainment Group President Tony Rosa at the time, Parking Lot Bingo at Walker Road and Ottawa Street was to many the antidote to an otherwise precariously difficult point in time. Not only did the outside parking lot provide guests with a healthy dose of happiness-boosting fresh air, but they could also for the first time in many months connect socially with others without constantly worrying about the possibility of the danger of infection lurking around every next corner.  

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Bingo The Real Royal Star

But Parking Lot Bingo wouldn’t be Bingo’s one and only act of heroism and lifting of the spirits for the year.

Who can forget seeing footage of Prince William and wife Kate surprising the residents of Cardiff’s Shire Hall Care Home with their virtual hosting of a game of Bingo in May this year? Great had been the surprise of the residents of the care home when instead of the usual caller, up on their television screen popped none other than the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Even more unforgettable was Prince William wanting to know from local care home resident Joan Drew-Smith whether the royal couple had at least faired “okay” at calling the numbers – to which the 87-year-old Bingo afficionado replied sagely that perhaps the couple’s performance wasn’t quite as good as what it could have been.

What Bingo Taught Us This Year

Bingo inspired, lifted the spirits, helped us connect with one another, and generally helped fill a void created by uncertainty as we trudged our way through a difficult and, for some, disastrous year.

Bingo helped those stuck in isolation keep fit and healthy by participating in physically distanced hallway Bingo, and it also helped those about to graduate from high school do so in splendid fashion even in the face of not being able to physically get together and celebrate. Bingo was many things to many people in 2020. But perhaps most important of all, Bingo taught us that what we craved and needed most of all in order to be happy wasn’t money or fortune or even fame – but connection. Bingo taught us exactly how much we needed and valued one another. 

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