Dear Aunt Bingo,
There was a big blowup today at Bingo when two games
into the second session a player near the caller noticed
a cracked Bingo ball in the blower. They stopped the
machine and emptied it and found not one, but three,
cracked balls. Two of them were split so badly that
there was barely a speck of plastic holding the pieces
The Bingo operator was very apologetic, but
most of the players weren’t interested in her
apologies…we were all too busy searching for our Bingo
paper from the first session. It was total chaos as
people dumped out the used Bingo paper from the trash
bags and began digging through for sheets with matching
serial numbers. Then players began checking to see if
the damaged balls had been called.
As you’d expect,
one of the balls, O-71, never came up. Everyone who had
an O-71 on their sheets (and there were a LOT of us)
were quite upset.
The people running the Bingo
offered a partial refund, which some players liked but
others rejected. They said they couldn’t give full
refunds to everyone because they’d already paid out
prize money—which the winners made clear they were not
going to give back. There were a number of other
suggestions, but no one could agree on anything.
Finally, after at least a half an hour of all this, a
group of players said they were sick of waiting and
demanded their money back, and that if they didn’t get
it they were calling the police! More players joined
them and finally the manager—who looked so stressed I
began worrying about her health—gave in, ended the
games, and agreed to refund everyone’s money (except for
the winners, of course!)
It must have taken at least
another hour (probably more!) before all the players’
paper was verified and we got our money back. You never
saw a more miserable group of people in your
life—players and workers alike. I suspect a LOT of
people will never go there again. —Anna C.,
What a nightmare! You story describes a “perfect storm”
of unfortunate circumstances, resulting in a terrible
day at Bingo for everyone involved. Such a shame.
am not sure what the rules are regarding examining the
Bingo balls before the start of the games, but clearly
someone at that hall failed to do so…miserably.
know they put all the balls in the tray to confirm there
is a complete set before releasing them into the
chamber. That means that each ball was handled
individually by someone, who failed to notice that three
of them were severely damaged. Not good.
me that the Bingo operator really had no choice but to
call an end to the games and refund everyone’s money.
Legally, I assume they couldn’t add sessions or start
from scratch with all new paper and Bingo balls. (Would
they even have other Bingo balls to substitute?) Plus,
doing that would result in their loss of even more
My sincere hope is that players will see this
as an unfortunate accident and will not punish this
Bingo by boycotting it in the future. My heart also goes
out to the Bingo workers who volunteered to be there and
did not sign on for such drama. Let’s hope they return
as well and help keep the games going. —Aunt
Share your views! Write to Aunt Bingo c/o the Bingo Bugle, P.O. Box 527, Vashon, Washington 98070, or email her at STENGL456@aol.com. Be sure to include your name and address (you can request that your name not be published), as typically she will not include anonymous letters in her columns.