Bingo has been around since I can remember. That’s most likely when I learned how to read letters and count numbers. Basically there’s a card with 50 non-repeating numbers (just 49, actually) arranged in a 5×5 grid with the letters B-I-N-G-O on top of the five columns. The innermost box is a “free” slot, which means it’s always selected or marked in every pattern of the game.
The mechanics of the game are pretty simple. A pattern to be accomplished on the bingo card is declared (e.g. the letter “X” would be marking the two diagonals of the card). Some facilitator, draws balls which have a letter (only those that compose the word “bingo”) and a number. If the figures in the ball match one in your card given the pattern, then you mark it. The first to complete the pattern wins. In order to ensure that there’s a winner, numbers are grouped per column. This, actually, was something I didn’t know until I was around college. 😆
I haven’t really gone to places that ultimately let people register to play the game and win prizes. I’ve only done it in programs and events. And as far as I can remember, I have never won any yet. 😥 Anyway, that’s basically there is to it. Other countries may have different rules.