Love a game of bingo? Naturally, that’s why you’re here, but for two pals, the game of bingo wasn’t quite fun enough. Pooling their resources and brain cells, the pair fell upon an idea of reinventing the game, although, the duo never in a million years imagined global success. A typical game of bingo requires tickets, a dabber (or pen), concentration, quiet, numbered balls and luck – six elements…
…but what would you get it you threw in some fun-filled antics and a disco? A headache that’s for sure, but millions of players around the world have bought into the new generation of bingo – Bongos Bingo. The once granny-favoured game is now a boozy wild night out for revellers looking for fun and wins, however, the prizes up for grabs are not the usual type.
Traditional bingo is still a firm favourite with the masses with the likes of Buzz Bingo and Mecca Bingo offering prizes upwards of £50K each session, but for those taking part in Bongos Bingo games, the prizes tend to be a bit of a laugh. One woman found herself shouting for a full house to win a 20ft inflatable penis!
Old vs New:
The younger generation love to party, drink and have fun, which is why Bongo’s Bingo is becoming a global phenomenon. I couldn’t imagine purple-rinsed grannies standing on stage shouting profanities whilst dancing around a pole – could you?
Friends Johnny Bongo (real name Jonny Lacey) and Joshua Burke started the event back in 2015 for a laugh. Since then, more than 1.5 million tickets have been sold with events reaching as far as Abu Dhabi, Australia, Dubai and France. Speaking to the news, Johnny Bongo said: “When Josh and I started Bongo’s Bingo we didn’t think many people really believed it would ever happen or become as crazy as it is. Even now it is sometimes really surreal if I take a step back to consider it all.”
One regular praised the nights by adding: “One minute you’re raving, then you’re playing bingo to win anything from a sex toy to £650, then you’re singing school hymns. Mental is what the night is.”
Play by the Rules:
The types of bingo games are similar to that when you go to your local bingo hall; 90-ball bingo with the chance to win up to three prizes per game, however, instead of the usual interval where you can go buy food or drink, Bongo’s interval is packed with dance-offs, rave-style music, laser shows and lots of drinking.
Star-studded line-ups have included Baywatch star David Hasselhoff, singer Jo O’Meara from S Club 7 and the ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Wayne Rooney’s wife, Coleen has even been on the guest list.
As ambitious as it sounds, Johnny Bongo and Joshua Burke aim to conquer America next year – if they can conquer the Brits who love nothing more than traditions, the US will be easy.