YCP bingo: So what’s the big draw?

By Hayley Leitzinger

I ARRIVED a half hour early with some friends for my first bingo session at YCP. On Feb. 10, more than 300 people gathered in Johnson Dining Hall to participate in squishmallow bingo. I was surprised at the number of people present and watched the line fill the Student Union lobby until we were allowed into the dining hall.

The game did not start until about 9:40 p.m. and the bingo chair, Mar Kenawell, announced the numbers. A total of 10 rounds of bingo were played. For each round, they alternated between a normal 5-in-a-row bingo and a special bingo, such as postage stamp, small diamond or large square. Blackout bingo, which is when all the numbers on your card are covered, was played during the last round. 

The squishmallow draws a lot of interest at YCP bingo. (Photo by Hayley Leitzinger).

The bingo night progressed quickly, ending at about 10:15 p.m.. During two rounds, two people got bingo and had to do rock-paper-scissors to determine the winner. The first time this happened, one of the winners let the other person take the prize, as it seemed to be their birthday from the way their friends were singing to them. During every round, people who lost would boo when someone yelled “bingo!” However, those same people would then cheer for the winner as they walked back to their table with a prize. It was interesting to see how intense of a game bingo is at YCP. As each round went on, you could feel the tension in the room grow, then explode once there was a “bingo!”

I asked a CAB (Campus Activities Board) staff member Lora Snyder why she thought bingo was such an important activity at YCP. “Bingo is a fun way for students to socialize with their friends, and the prizes are a huge draw, too,” Snyder said. “Sometimes we [CAB] have expensive prizes, like headphones or TVs at our bingo finale.”

She also said that bingo has been around for more than 40 years at YCP, so it has a long history here at the college. Snyder also said that CAB alternates bingo and trivia nights during the semesters and gave me the dates for more bingo games to look out for:

  • Feb 24, 9:30 p.m.
  • March 17, 9:30 p.m.
  • April 14, 9:30 p.m.

I asked the bingo chair, Mar Kenawell, why she thought students came to bingo. She said,  …the big draw to bingo could be the prizes themselves or how we at CAB advertise it.”

Kenawell also said, “I took all the squishmallows on a cart to advertise the event, so that everyone gets a little taste of what the prizes are. This showed me the advertising did work since squishmallow bingo had an attendance of 306.”

Says Lora Snyder of the Campus Activities Board, ‘Bingo is a fun way for students to socialize with their friends, and the prizes are a huge draw, too.’ (Photo by Hayley Leitzinger)

Personally, I think another draw to bingo is that it’s a free event. There’s no entry fee, which means students can bring friends and spend time together without spending money. This also makes the prizes worth a lot more, since they tend to be on the expensive side but students don’t have to do anything to pay for them. 

After the final round was played and the raffle drawn, my friends and I waited for the dining hall to clear for a bit before making our way to the door. I walked out of bingo that night with a fun experience to share with friends and a squishmallow to bring home. Overall, bingo seems like a great way to get involved on campus, meet new people and have fun on a Friday night!

Hayley is a freshman at YCP and her major is currently undeclared. She is considering Occupational Therapy and is tailoring her classes this semester towards that career.

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2 thoughts on “YCP bingo: So what’s the big draw?

  1. You really captured the essence of bingo! I’m so happy you enjoy bingo, I enjoyed planning it and seeing everyone enjoy the night.


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