This isn’t your grandmother’s bingo. Infact, it might be unlike any bingo you’ve ever been to. UNH’s themed bingo nights are a huge hit on campus. Orchestrated by the Campus Activities Board (CAB), these events are highly anticipated, and often have a long line to get in. On Thursday, Oct. 20 CAB put on a Halloween themed bingo night in the Granite State Room of the Memorial Union Building (MUB). A wide array of Halloween costumes was proudly displayed, and energy was high overall. Bingo nights offer students the chance to let loose, meet people and win some great prizes.
CAB Bingo Co-Chairs Francesca Molinari and Rebecca Philbert said that they started planning for Halloween Bingo about a month ago. They have to decide what the theme is, figure out what they want to buy for décor and then execute that. Also, Molinari and Philbert brainstorm possible prizes, where they’ll get them and how they’ll do that while staying under budget.
Molinari said that the planning for bingo events is detailed and thoughtful. “We have nice table cloths that we put out and crosswords on the table, and candy just to keep everyone interested. We have to do the playlists, and then we have to decide what we want the raffle prize to be for the first 150 people in the door,” she said.
Both Molinari and Philbert said that they are trying to bring new ideas to bingo this year by incorporating the celebration of UNH’s 150th birthday, along with simpler things like taking a break to get up and have a flash dance party.
What’s nice about bingo night is that you don’t have to be great at bingo to go. You can be a seasoned bingo enthusiast, knowing the “bingo-lingo” to shout out when certain numbers are called, or you can be the bingo rookie. Event organizers and other attendees are enthusiastic and welcoming, always just out to have a good time.
Regular bingo-nighter Katie Baker said that she won Red Sox tickets last year during a lip sync battle of ‘90s songs. It’s great prizes like this, coupled with a friendly atmosphere, that keep her coming back, Baker said.
Relative bingo rookie Brittany Sherman said that she started coming to the event last year and fell in love with bingo. “I think it’s a great atmosphere, where everyone is pumped up and excited. I feel like it’s so welcoming. If someone doesn’t have a seat, they can absolutely sit there and make friends.”
Molinari and Philbert said that they are thrilled bingo night has grown in popularity. Previously, they said that they didn’t do a lot of advertising for bingo nights, such as for Fitness Bingo, but have seen the event grow just by word-of-mouth.
Philbert said that she thinks CAB’s bingo night turnouts are growing due the event offering something different from other campus activities. “I think students come to this because it’s definitely a de-stressor, and it’s something different that you don’t normally do all the time. It’s not a hall event where you go to something for 20 minutes. It’s an hour and a half or two hours of fun stuff where you can bring all your friends, you don’t get bored and you could win something,” she said.
Bingo is swiftly becoming a UNH tradition, and all Wildcats should experience it at some point before graduation. Who knows? You could walk out of the MUB with Red Sox tickets in hand on one side, new friends on the other and a significantly decreased stress level overall. It’s free, it’s fun and anyone can play.