The odds favor the house in bingo

by Peter Twitchell

I’d never thought I’d ever have to talk about bingo, but it’s starting to bother me again. I hear too often how bingo has taken over our lives. We depend on playing bingo for whatever reason. I believe if I had the answer to this growing problem I’d be a millionaire.

This is going to be an assumption on my part. I assume that some play bingo as a way to socialize and see old friends. They don’t feel they have to go to bingo every single day, but they like being around people.

Then there’s the person who acts like they’re addicted to the game. If they don’t get money from their partner to go play bingo they become violent. They start breaking things around their house, becoming destructive is serious enough. Some people take this a step further, they start becoming abusing to their partner, boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife. It’s hard for me to imagine but it does happen. Some people even to go jail because they let their anger get the best of them.

Let’s face it, of the two hundred or more who go to bingo, there are only a handful of winners. A person is not going to get rich going to bingo and winning sometimes. The house always wins and the odds of you winning is probably 10 to 1. I used to go now and then, and sometimes as luck would have it, I would win the big pot, but almost never.

We fool ourselves every time we go to bingo and come home broke. We pacify ourselves as we lick our wounds by saying, “I was waiting for one number!” or “If the other person hadn’t won, my number was next!”

I guess we keep going back to bingo hoping we will beat the odds and win. What’s the chances of that happening though? Probably still 10 to 1 we’ll lose.

How about the guilt of losing our money at bingo? Maybe we ciin-llugguar’aq. “I should have waited and go Friday.” Or we may believe that the odds of us winning will be better on Monday, lying to ourselves again. “There’ll be less people on Monday and my chances of winning will improve.”

I like to go once in a great while, and guess what. I know just about who will be at the bingo parlor. It seems like the same people go all the time, the “regulars”. I could go once a year to bingo and this holds true. If I went to bingo every night there would be people who go every single night of the week.

Sometimes I begin to wonder, where do they get the money to come back to bingo night after night? I realize some people go to bingo just to play a few games, hoping to beat the odds and win. I used to see the joy on their faces. I was happy for them. I’m glad they won. I was happy they beat the odds for a change. They felt like winners for a change!

I believe like any addiction, there is a down side to losing at bingo. People begin feeling down, even depressed about losing all the time. What keeps them going? I wonder about that. Some start turning to the Everlasting God and pray for help in beating the odds. I’ve even heard some humming a gospel tune. There may be some who become closer to their Creator at bingo. I cannot judge each individual person.

There are the risk takers who go to bingo to win, they have a competitive spirit. They want to win at any cost. Good luck.