When I lived in Grenada, one of my favorite things to do was play Bingo. It sounds kind of silly, I know, like it should be a game at an old folks home. However, Bingo was actually a super happenin’ part of island life.
People used to come to a restaurant called Prickly Bay every Wednesday night for some Bingo action. You would be amazed at the sheer amount of people who participated, and it was always a great mix of tourists, locals, and ex-pats like myself.
In order to play, you had to buy a bingo card, which was around 20 ECD (Eastern Caribbean Dollars) which is like $8 U.S. dollars. The best part about the whole entire thing though is that people would get really into it. There would be yelling and clapping and loud craziness, all who wanted to get a piece of the Bingo pie! If someone filled up their whole card, you have no idea how much yelling there would be! (Actually, Grenadians get into everything. They used to cheer in the movie theater too – it was awesome!)
Bingo, though, was specially because it was totally random what the prizes were. Sometimes, the prizes would be t-shirts. One time they gave away actual live goats!
My friends won cell phones and cash. The ONLY time I ever got to win, I had to choose between a t-shirt and an envelope. I picked the envelope, and it was empty! I’m such a sucker! Honestly, I kind of miss those hot Wednesday nights on the island. We could walk to Prickly Bay from our apartment, and we always saw so many people we knew. It was definitely about the community and seeing friends all while playing a fun game. There were even people who were really superstitious about which “board” they played with, and they had lucky boards and numbers.
Ever since I left the island, I think about bingo nights from time to time. When I looked online if people still played bingo, I had no idea that other people thought it was still cool too! There are entire places online where people go to play 90 ball bingo and tons of other types of games.
I don’t know if it’ll ever be the same as having a beer and taking in the cool Caribbean air, but at least it’s something! I should mention that although this was gambling in theory, it really wasn’t a huge amount and I never played two games in a row. I always say that gambling, like most things, is okay in moderation.
Of course, if you are significantly in debt, these are the types of things to watch out for. However, if you are diligently paying off your balances and have some extra funds for a slice of an entertainment budget, then maybe you should go old school and try to find a bingo game near you!
Have you played bingo lately? Do you consider this gambling or just something fun to do?