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Bingo in the Formula One Realm

NEWS STORY
13/06/2014

May was a pretty eventful month for the 2014 Formula One World Championship season. Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish Grand Prix on May 11; exactly 14 days later, his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg triumphed in the Monaco Grand Prix on May 25. The next two races are the Austrian Grand Prix on June 22 and the British Grand Prix on July 6. Fittingly, Formula One news site Badger GP will organize the 2014 edition of the British Grand Prix Bash to be held at London’s Roxy Bar and Screen. Besides giving Formula One fans the opportunity to watch the British Grand Prix on a cinema-grade 4.5m screen, there will also be a pub quiz, prize raffle and, of course, a friendly game of bingo. Badger GP’s particular brand of bingo is a variation of what’s called buzzword bingo. For example, if James Hunt is mentioned by the commentators, cross it off your sheet. The first player to complete their sheet wins the bingo game.

Of course, it’s not too surprising to learn that bingo is quite a popular pastime in the UK. Photographer Ian Grundy has a comprehensive collection of pictures showcasing both ex-cinemas converted to bingo halls and newer, purpose-built bingo halls. UK-based frozen food purveyor Iceland Foods has its own bingo outfit simply named Iceland Bingo. This relatively new online bingo brand is perhaps most famous for its TV ad featuring two despondent ducks who are eventually enticed to join a party held at an Iceland Foods branch.

Online bingo is just as popular as land-based bingo halls in the UK. There’s at least one instance of an online bingo tournament that was organized to celebrate the 2014 edition of the Formula One Grand Prix. The recently concluded Top Gear Chat Tourney, which ran from May 3 to 28, allowed players who entered in qualifying bingo rooms to be placed into one of five Formula One-themed teams: Force India, McLaren, Mercedes, Ferrari, or Red Bull Racing. Players then had to collect as many bingo Full Houses as possible during the allotted time (usually two hours) to earn tournament points. Each member of the team with the most points at the end of the tournament will earn 5,000 virtual diamonds.

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