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Date Night Reviews

BINGO, it’s a religion!

Packed Bingo Hall

I was going through the $30 Date Night site looking for a date idea that would blow me away… nothing popped out at me a grabbed me. Madly pressing the red button I cruised past the Bingo suggestion. It’s such a stupid date suggestion I didn’t even notice it… but, like the subliminal promos played at the movies back in the day, my mind couldn’t focus on much after Bingo.

It’s difficult to get excited about something that you think is going to be shit! I pictured a rundown shack lit by florescent lighting, the aroma of a deep fryer that hasn’t been filtered in 4 weeks, a sea of coin slot machines and massed by the elderly and, uh… bogans!

OMG, what have I got us into?


We drove to the outskirts of Melbourne… Fawkner (way out north!) It’s where no city folk are game to travel. When we got there the Bingo car park was FULL! Seriously jam packed! The venue was massive!!! Much larger than what I expected, and yep there were a few slot machines but the place was clean and well presented.

I had called the center before hand for instructions on how the night works. I figured I’d rather look like a dick to one person than not have a clue in front of a crowd. When we got to the counter, the lady knew immediately who I was… embarrassing? yep!! “Are you the guy that called earlier?” How did she know…? She was lovely, explained how everything worked – but it didn’t sink in. We bought $32 worth of books, which got us 8 books (well it is $30 date night).

We walked into the hall – it was HUGE! And packed with a diverse range of people – yep… not the typical crowd that we’re used to.

At this point, Emma and I were feeling so far out of our comfort circle that we couldn’t even find ourselves a seat. Luckily, people in general are nice, and the organisers were helpful enough to find us a seat together.


The Discarded Bingo Tickets

1 book has several games in it coded by color. Each game lasts approximately 60 seconds. Each Bingo session will go through an entire book, which is something like 7 or 8 games (not sure wasn’t counting). The more books you play with the better chance you have at winning. Like lottery tickets, play with 1 line of numbers or 32 lines… etc. Just means the more numbers you have to belt through to mark off.

Emma and I played with 2 books at a time – the lady at the counter advised against it because she says “they read out the numbers fast!” Well… yep they do! It’s insanely fast… yet looking around the room some people were marking off 8 books at a time!


Den loses concentration

If the caller was serving tennis balls as fast as she was calling out the numbers, Roger Federer wouldn’t stand a chance. It seriously fast, which made it a lot of fun. Emma and I didn’t mean to fill ourselves with sugar before Bingo started, but it proved to our advantage… with sugar loaded our minds were at our peak to absorb the fast paced numbers and mark them off!

After 30 minutes our sugar levels dropped – things turned bad for our heroes.

The concentration levels started to fail. 36 – 21 – 7 – 9 – what’s on for tomorrow? – 76? – Shit what was the last number? – Damn it missed that number – MAYDAY… MAYDAY… bingo player down!


The atmosphere was something else… there’s a massive hall, with a serious amount of people in it. It was packed out, and why wouldn’t it be, the grand prize for the night was $10,000. Unlike the lottery, we were going to keep playing till that $10,000 prize was won!

For a room of approx 500 people I was expecting more chatter, but Bingo players are not ones to socialize – they’re an interesting breed. The room has a slight tone of chatter muttering throughout while the caller is prepping to start the game… without a change in pitch, speed or momentum the caller says “first number” and the mob turns ghostly quiet… heads down and sharpies madly marking paper.

A mobile phone goes off close by to us… it has been set to vibrate yet it was enough to drive the mob wild! The caller had to stop just in case it was someone who muttered bingo but they knew better. The room was unsettled with people yelling out over the top of hundreds of disappointed sighs, until the caller said “next number” and then *BOOM* in an instant people were over their disappointment and they were back into it.


Our Bingo Angel

We had met the most lovely lady on our table… dubbed our BINGO ANGEL (only because we forgot to ask her name, but we did get her picture.) She gave me and Emma a real sharpie to borrow… each! Allowing us to discard our measly pens which don’t stack up in the Bingo world.

Our table sat out of one of the games, waiting patiently and quietly for the game to finish… I had to hold myself back – a room full of people, an audience… I so badly just wanted to call something out although I knew it would be instant death!!! Our BINGO ANGEL opened an individually wrapped mentos and quietly popped it in her mouth. It was enough to set a lady on the table next to us off! When the game had finished the lady had no reservation to put her opinion forth and ask for quiet on the court. Bingo is serious stuff – a religion not to be reckoned with!


Bingo is a lot of fun… I almost filled out an entire game… I was one number off which would have netted me 120 big ones. But the anticipation of waiting for that number to come up was better than winning the cash. My heart rate elevated, mouth a little dry, the anticipation of calling out bingo as soon as that number comes up was intense. Everyone said, “If you hear your last number come up – don’t mark it off just yell out bingo! Cause if they call out another number before you yell out bingo you you’ve lost your chance.” Boy oh boy the pressure… how are the oldies not getting angina from this game?

$10,000 game…

It’s ALL about this game! 60 seconds of play and someone was going home $10,000 richer. I had not noticed, but Emma did… people were putting on their jackets, scarfs and hats in preparation for this game (its winter here).

The game begins and I’m off like a rocket – marking 6 numbers off in a matter of 3 seconds then nothing for what felt like an eternity. I had marked off 3 / 4 of my book and the adrenalin really kicks – concentrate Den, trust your brain to process the numbers and your hand to mark them off, then suddenly… “BINGO!” A lady yells out only 4 tables up from me…

People leap from their seats and dash for the exits. I couldn’t believe it… someone had just won $10,000 and no one claps! No congratulations? Those who lost the $10,000 game were now in a new race – the first to get out the door. What a site!!! Emma, BINGO ANGEL and I sat back to watch the spectacle of a mob disbanding while ONE person sits in elation repeating to herself “oh my God, oh my God… I just won $10,000.” I gave her a gentle clap, and a smile. BINGO ANGEL (a regular to the scene) says “it’s like this every week – a mad rush out of here. You should come and see what it’s like on Pension’s Pay Day!”


Would I do it again? HELL YES!

It was a lot of fun, but unfortunately we cannot do it again for date night cause you are not allowed to repeat the same date night twice (well at least within 12 months.)

I’m also rapt that we took ourselves way out of our comfort circle. What I thought would be a shitty night out ended up quite the opposite. Em’s and I couldn’t stop chatting about it on the drive home.

Rate the Date:

Romance Factor: 0/5 (Fluro lights are not your friend)

Cheese Factor: 4/5

Fun Factor: 5/5

Overview: Hiliarious date night, totally pushes your comfort circle and you may even win some moolah! A definite success – go next week!

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4 comments for “BINGO, it’s a religion!”

  1. Posted by That Guy from across the hall | July 31, 2009, 3:55 am

    haha – that is too funny :)

  2. Posted by Denis | July 31, 2009, 4:27 am

    cheers you crazy guy from across the hall… it’s true you really are crazy!

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