Origin of Instant Win Games

While instant win games are found in online and offline casinos in various forms today, they originate from all over the world. They all have distinct lottery-like elements about them. Interestingly, they have all been successfully used for fund-raising in the past. Many still are, though when you enjoy instant win games at an online casino, the only funds you need to worry about raising are for yourself!


Our first game of drawing numbers to see if they correspond to what is on a ticket comes to us from Ancient China. Famous general, Cheung Leung, needed to find a way to finance the continuous battles that his army had to face. He created a game using the first 100 symbols of the 1000 Characters classic poem, used to teach children the traditional Chinese alphabet.

The game’s popularity soared all over the country, with carrier pigeons delivering the results to the more remote areas. Because of this, Keno was sometimes referred to as the White Pigeon Game. Leung earned enough to keep his army going, to save the Han Dynasty and managed to have enough change left over to build a little construction – known today as the Great Wall of China! Keno has been played ever since.


Bingo is considerably younger than Keno. The French developed their own form of the lottery from the original 16th Century Italian version, Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia, in the 1800s. This involved drawing numbers from a cloth bag and calling them out, so that players could cover the corresponding numbers on their tickets. The winner was the first person to cover a horizontal row completely.

The games were popular around Europe, and a man travelling with a carnival in Germany came across the Lotto game in 1928. He thought it would be the perfect carnival amusement, so he made some changes and brought it to the United States the following year. In his version, called Beano, the numbers were covered with a bean when they were called out.

Ed Lowe, who had a struggling toy company, came across the man running the Beano games at a fair one night. He could see the mass appeal immediately, and created his own version to test out with his friends at home. One friend shouted ‘Bingo’ instead of ‘Beano’ when she won, and Lowe’s game got its own name.

As Bingo’s popularity spread like wildfire, a priest from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, approached Lowe to ask for his help. The priest’s church was using Lowe’s Bingo game to raise funds, but because there were only 24 cards in a set, there were too many winners. Lowe engaged a mathematician named Carl Leffler to devise 6 000 new cards, and the rest is fund-raising history!

Scratch Cards

Scratch cards have an even more recent history than Bingo. First printed in 1976 by the Dittley Brothers Lottery Division for the Massachusetts State Lottery, they are used to raise money at all levels, from local communities to nationwide events. Scratch cards at online casinos are not usually used to raise funds; they’re just an enjoyable addition to any playing session.

Global Appeal

The immediate nature of instant win games, and the fact that no skills are involved, gives them their own unique appeal. They’re great to mix with the more strategy-based table casino games, for a well-rounded casino experience that has different game tempos.

The huge variety available online also makes them more appealing, and for someone looking for a sociable game, it doesn’t get more community orientated than Bingo’s live chat games. The fact that you can win decent amounts of cash as you’re playing is the cherry on top!