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“National Bingo Night” on ABC … no, I’m not joking!

March 15, 2007

I remember going out with my grandmother as a young child to local BINGO games at the local fire hall, watching my grandma spread out about 20 paper game sheets in front of her.

Bingo BallsArmed with two ink daubers, she’d cover up the numbers in two-fisted fashion, as the number caller pulled out ping-pong balls in rapid-fire fashion from the blower machine.

If she won, we got a McD’s Happy Meal on the way home. So that was cool…

Now, according to the guys at BuzzerBlog, ABC is looking to bring back the magic of those smoke-filled BINGO parlors with “National BINGO Night“, a new game show which starts May 18th at 9 p.m.

Seriously. I can’t make this stuff up. The show was previously developed as a show called “Easy Money” and is planned as a May sweeps-month ratings grabber.

Here’s how it works, according to BuzzerBlog:

  • You download BINGO cards off of the Internet and play along at home. I imagine each card will be coded with a unique number, so that if you do actually win, it can be confirmed without seeing the actual card.
  • As numbers are drawn on screen by host Ed Sanders (host of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition“…doesn’t look too much like a Bingo fan…), you mark off your card at home.
  • When you win, you call in/e-mail in and claim your prize, which will be confirmed by the card code. According to Wikipedia, there are 552,446,474,061,128,648,601,600,000 (five hundred fifty-two septillion, four hundred forty-six sextillion, four hundred seventy-four quintillion, sixty-one quadrillion, one hundred twenty-eight trillion, six hundred forty-eight billion, six hundred one million, six hundred thousand) possible arrangements of the numbers on a bingo card.

Buzzerblog says three games per night will be played, and will have in-studio contestants competing for prizes. (Want to be an in-studio contestant? Click here for info.)

Despite the sort-of-mundane premise, people will tune in and play along if the top prize is big enough (say, for a “coverall” game or for a “BINGO” in the first four numbers … maybe $250,000 or so?).

I can see this show making the Top 10 in the week’s ratings, sort of like “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” surprised us all.

I wonder if it’ll be in HDTV? Bingo balls in HD have to be cool, right? πŸ™‚

[UPDATE April 21: Some clips of the show have shown up on YouTube, and some quick 10-second promos as well.Β  Here’s the clips below for your amusement.

In the words of “Buzzer Blog“, look at the size of those balls! … haha …:

  1. damewigginsoflee permalink
    March 15, 2007 1:07 pm

    I’m chewing my wrists wide open at the very thought!

  2. March 17, 2007 3:21 am

    Here in Italy the bingo is called “tombola” and we play it just in Christmas days…
    For us the numbers have a peculiar meaning (90 is the fear; 47 dead man speaking; 11 the women legs; 22 the fouls…)
    we have the bingo too, but it’s not so popular.
    I Thing it’s quite boring… πŸ™‚
    I don’t know why you love it so much in America πŸ˜‰

    any way
    bye bye from Italy

  3. Courtney permalink
    March 20, 2007 9:09 pm


  4. Maureen permalink
    March 24, 2007 1:17 am

    Actually, this isn’t a new concept. When playing at the Indian casinos here in Alabama, there is a satellite link about halfway through the evening, which connects all the bingo halls in the country, located on the reservations, and there is a central point where the numbers are called. Once someone bingos, no matter where in the country, they yell bingo and the caller in the casino where the bingo is made, says bingo over the satellite link and the game stops. We can all hear the caller at the main link, but only he can hear the caller at the hall where the bingo has been called. All cards are already in the computer system, so verification is a snap. Some may chuckle at this idea, but believe me, it will be a hit.

  5. Denice Vickers permalink
    April 15, 2007 4:48 pm

    OK; count me in, I auditioned for Easy Money Show months back and never heard back. But Bingo I can play. I’ve been playing it at the nuriseing home as I visited my mom or should I go ahead and tell you I was the bingo caller outer a few times. So count me in on the show

  6. Vanessa Clark permalink
    April 20, 2007 7:34 pm

    I have applied for the show and I’m ready to win a lot of money to buy my dreamhouse and brand new PT Cruiser plus go a vacation with my family.

  7. Missy permalink
    April 23, 2007 9:22 pm

    I cannot wait for “National Bingo Night” I do the real thing about 3x a week and have a blast and I have been playing since my grandmother taught me my numbers so long ago.

    Love It

  8. shelly marquette permalink
    April 27, 2007 2:40 pm

    Very excited about National Bingo Night,it’s a Mother’s Day present to me. I started playing when I was 9 yrs old, now 38. I’m very glad someone decided to do this. By the way how do you get the cards.

  9. April 27, 2007 11:21 pm

    I thought that I had given up on BINGO, I am so excited. I am going to do an audition tape and send it in. I just threw away three grocery bags of almost empty bingo daubers that I was going to mix to get a crazy color to mark with. I love playing bingo, and I love that feeling of being on the verge of winning the big money, just to hear someone else yell BINGO!! Where I live there is not much money to be won just playing regular bingo, so I can imagine what it would be like playing for the big bucks!! Count me in.

    Rocking Bingo Moma

  10. TINA permalink
    April 29, 2007 7:19 pm

    I can’t wait!! I’m so excited about this game!!! πŸ™‚

  11. John Matts permalink
    April 30, 2007 12:09 pm

    Is this Bingo tv show in any way connected with the hilarious play Bingo the Musical that I saw in Chicago at the Apollo theater – does anyone know?

  12. Aaron permalink
    April 30, 2007 6:44 pm

    i can’t wait!!!!

  13. DIANNNA SMITH permalink
    May 8, 2007 12:09 am

    how can i get bingo cards to play at home and when. thank you. Dianna Smith

  14. May 8, 2007 12:48 am

    Dianna, try looking at the ABC home page for the series (

  15. Julie D. permalink
    May 11, 2007 6:32 pm

    Im so excited for this show to start!! I would play BINGO every night if I could.

  16. Julie D. permalink
    May 11, 2007 6:33 pm

    Can”t waittttt !!!!!! this is going to be so fun

  17. Yoly Jones permalink
    May 12, 2007 7:03 pm

    I have always wanted to play bingo. The last time I played was when I was a kid, at SAFEWAY grocery store, yes, they had BINGO as you shop. You would win food items. Too cool.
    So with that note, show me the BINGO! I’m ready!

  18. Margaret Ross permalink
    May 15, 2007 11:23 am

    I am so excited.. not just for me but for all the shut ins like my 93yr old Mother. This is such a nice idea.. I just hope they don’t spoil it by too much Nonsense like “Deal or No Deal” I hope your show is a great success. Love to be on it. How do we qualify?

  19. May 16, 2007 10:32 am

    When I print out my bingo cards there are no numbers just blank cards? What may be wrong?

  20. Vincent Abano permalink
    May 16, 2007 1:16 pm

    Why can’t I download and print the bingo cards?
    They ask me to type in the characters in the image above but, there are no characters.
    What is there is just a little red x inside a box, above it reads required field.
    Please help.
    Thank you

  21. Hope Benton permalink
    May 18, 2007 6:10 pm

    Vincent, I’m with you. I’ve been trying for 3 days to print the bingo cards. Support hasn’t been much help. I’ve tried all different times of day and night. Has anyone figured out how to get past the constant “reenter code?”

  22. May 18, 2007 8:19 pm

    What a scam…the cards wont print because the geniuses built the website wrong (on purpose I am sure). Maybe sitting at home watching the commercials, I can “win”. Yet another garbage ABC show that will be cancelled in two weeks.

  23. Katie Hollie permalink
    May 18, 2007 8:25 pm

    i am so excited for tonight. a very good idea.

  24. May 18, 2007 11:40 pm

    The show moves too slow, and to have the first contestant win his goal, and lose to an audience member who has bingo- seems masochistic by the producers. America wants to see big winners- not losers… Lots of editing and sweetening…the ratings will be interesting.

  25. Donna Hodge permalink
    May 19, 2007 12:13 am

    Their website has been hit harder than they expected. The card printing has been an issue for days (I couldn’t enter in the security code either. It wouldn’t show up) Tonight the card printing page is down along with the redeeming of prizes.
    Their rules state the first one to enter in a winning number will use that # and no one else can. What if someone else ‘wings it’ or mistypes and uses my winning ticket #. I am then out-a-luck. I want to get that # in first. I would have thought they would have been more prepared for such a huge site.

  26. Scott S permalink
    May 19, 2007 8:39 pm

    I have a bingo on the BLUE card.
    Any Idea how many bingos for the RED, WHITE and BLUE cards? Are there 100’s or 1000’s, or 10,000s? or more?

  27. May 20, 2007 7:21 pm

    good show

  28. Scott S permalink
    May 20, 2007 8:50 pm

    Any estimate of winning bingo cards?
    Ex. Winning bingo card per 15 cards played.?
    I played 15 of each color:
    got Zero RED, Zero WHITE, and ONE BLUE winning bingo card.

  29. Linda M permalink
    May 22, 2007 12:01 pm

    I had the same .. winning card on the Blue .. have you had any news yet ? I claimed it on Saturday am the 19th

  30. gordy campbell permalink
    May 25, 2007 3:27 pm

    I got a blue one too… screen said “you are a winner” what did I win?? close my eyes and you will see it…. hope the show cancels tonight

  31. william williams permalink
    May 25, 2007 8:15 pm

    I am trying to print a card so I may play the home verson of BINGO, can you help me.

  32. Sarah permalink
    May 25, 2007 9:39 pm

    Anyone notice on tonight’s game that there were no matching numbers for the “N” column … this game is rigged I believe

  33. Scott S permalink
    May 27, 2007 9:09 pm

    I claimed mine on Sun May 20. Oddly, no confirmation email or anything else. I wonder if there was a drawing from the winning cards, or more likely, the winners were pre-arranged. Seems like a big waste of time. In the rules, no mention of any auditing or anything else to give a hint of fairness. (SCAM?)
    Hope the show cancels.

  34. Wendy Frankel permalink
    May 28, 2007 11:15 pm

    We were watching the show “National Bingo Night” for Friday night May 25th, 2007 on our TIVO. We slowed down the numbers as they came out of the shoot and noticed that the number that came out for the last contestant was not the same number that the girl showed. The shoot clearly (when slowed down) was green N36 however she pulled up green 061.

    Now I wonder about these other game shows on any channel as to how real they are.

  35. May 29, 2007 1:55 am

    Wendy, remember that the show is heavily edited, and that the ball dropping down the chute is likely just a quick cut of another ball, not the actual ball. But hey, the producers say the game’s legit, so we should all believe them, riiiight? πŸ™‚

  36. Wendy Frankel permalink
    May 31, 2007 1:26 am

    they need to edit better though because the way they had the game go is how people were supposed to mark their bingo cards. If they are editing, then isnt that still a form of manipulation.

    i thought it interesting.

  37. Scott S permalink
    June 1, 2007 11:49 pm

    June 01, 2007, playing 12 cards.
    RED – zero bingo, White – Zero bingo,
    I got a Blue card bingo, before anyone on TV. They drew 2 more numbers, after I had already got my bingo.
    According to WIKEPEDIA, ,
    There are 552,446,474,061,128,648,601,600,000 (five hundred fifty-two septillion, four hundred forty-six sextillion, four hundred seventy-four quintillion, sixty-one quadrillion, one hundred twenty-eight trillion, six hundred forty-eight billion, six hundred one million, six hundred thousand) possible arrangements of the numbers on a bingo card.
    Mine BLUE card bingo is horizontal middle row, B3, I22,G53, O70. I should be the ONLY one with a bingo in this position, based on above odds.
    Anyone else got a bingo?

  38. Scott S permalink
    June 1, 2007 11:54 pm

    Last week, May 25, played 12 cards, no wins.

    Anyone have an estimate of how many bingos per game?

  39. Elizabeth permalink
    June 2, 2007 12:55 am

    My husband and I watched the first show and we each had 5 cards, no winners. He bet me this show was a scam. I did not believe him. We printed out a total of 90 (3 per page 270 single cards) for this week 6/1 – not one winner. BUT, the real clincher was when no bingo could have won and the contestant won so another ball was spit out and LO and BEHOLD, it was conveniently a “B”. Needless to say, we will not watch again. It’s a shame because I was looking forward to a good honest hour of tv. Also, the prizes you could win really suck.

  40. jay permalink
    June 8, 2007 11:50 pm

    Yay watched it today and guess what? It’s scam worthy! Why you ask? well simple the show is taped which means they know the results before letting you print suposedly random tickets. Also game is listed as a non-state sanctioned game it’s a sweepstakes, which means there is no gaming commision to make sure that there is fair play. Lastly you have to print the cards meaning you waste ink and paper. In the long run it’s cheaper to play a cpl lottery tickets which actualy do have a random chance. Than it is to be scammed into watching an hour of TV commercials and adds.

  41. Marlene permalink
    June 16, 2007 12:01 pm

    Ok, so last night June 15, the numbers being called on the ‘white’ game are mostly under ‘i’ and some joker stands up as one with only 1 needed to win, when g57 is called. Impossible! There were no numbers under ‘b’ or ‘o’ called. Was he just confused or is abc’s game messed up. I hope this game isn’t bogus, it’s so fun.

  42. June 17, 2007 3:02 pm

    I would love to have more information on Italy’s “Tombola”. Sounds very interesting. I would like to know the meaning of the rest of the numbers. Thanks, Pw.

  43. Stephanie permalink
    July 9, 2007 10:33 pm

    I am with you Marlene- My husband and I did the June 15th game it was just so funny that a whole lot of I’s were called and then someone in the 200 called out bingo when it just was not possible to have BINGO at that time in the game.
    We ended up winning on the White Card and I have not yet received anything… it was supposed to be a $5 dollar card to a sub place. The date now is 7/9/07. It was clearly a bust to begin with and it was a shame I wasted my time for 2 weeks hoping to win something big. I hope they never put it back on the air again.

  44. virginia permalink
    July 16, 2007 5:30 pm

    bring it back bingo


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