When we go to the bingo, we don’t just turn up for the game itself do we?
Of course the game itself and the possibility of winning some money is the lynchpin that holds everything together, but we also go to meet friends, see other regulars, have a drink and maybe get a hunters chicken or something for tea, chat with the staff who we are on first name terms with, etc.
There are all sorts of different reasons to rock up to your local bingo hall besides winning the big prize.
That said, if and when it’s our turn to make a claim, it doesn’t half feel good, even if it’s only £20 or so.
Bingo is a cheap game to play with relatively small prizes compared to other gambling products, but there are still certain games where big money can be won, and these are the dream for most players.
And yet, there have been numerous occasions where it has been reported that a big winner has barely cracked a smile after calling bingo, so we wanted to figure out why this might be.
Cheer up grumpy guts – you’ve just won £50,000!
What Qualifies as a Big Win in Bingo?
We suppose that the reaction to a big win sort of depends on what you would call a big win in the first place.
If you don’t have a lot of money then winning a few hundred pounds might be considered a big win, but for someone on a decent salary it might feel more like a bit of extra spending money.
We can all agree though that winning something like the National Game, where there is £50k on offer, would count as a big win to anyone who won it. Unless you were a millionaire perhaps, but how many millionaires play bingo?
Another question might be, should the size of the reaction or celebration of a winner be directly linked to the size of the win?
So winning £20 might result in Ethel doing a mini fist pump, and winning £20,000 might result in her climbing onto the table and doing the hula dance.
The thing with this, is that everyone is different.
Ethel might be a bit of a party animal, but poor old Doris has always been the shy sort, so perhaps even calling to make her claim would be uncomfortable for Doris – all those people looking at her *shudder*.
The point we are making with all of these silly examples is that everyone is different, and everyone’s personal situation is different too.
These things will of course contribute to how a person reacts when they win at bingo.
Big Bingo Wins Don’t Always Equal Big Celebrations
We interviewed some of the staff at Cosmo Bingo in Stalybridge (the full interview can be found here), and the bingo caller there, Tony, told us about a regular who won the National Game – that’s a £50k win.
The room around her got very excited, but the winner herself stayed very calm, barely reacted at all, and simply asked how long it would take for the money to hit her account.
To some people, this sort of response might seem very strange, even ungrateful or possibly even rude.
But before we judge other people’s reactions to big wins at bingo, let’s have a think about why they might react (or not as the case may be) in the way they do.
- Don’t want to show off
- Are shy and don’t like the attention
- Have just had some bad news
- The good news hasn’t sunk in yet
- They are scared of having so much money
- They won’t believe it’s real until the money is in their account
- They are in shock
- They are trying not to get emotional
- They agreed to share winnings with their bingo chum and are now regretting it
- They don’t really need the money and feel guilty for winning
These are just a few reasons we can think of, but there could be many more.
If we think about a few of them, they really make sense.
If someone has just lost a close friend or family member, and came to the bingo to take their minds off it and ended up winning big, it might not feel ‘right’ to celebrate the win.
If someone is very conscious of others they might not want to appear to be gloating or showing off by jumping around and waving their arms about, in case it upsets people who didn’t win.
If it’s someone who has never had more than a few hundred pounds in their bank account it could actually be intimidating to win this sort of money, it could make them feel stressed and worried.
Equally, if someone won who only really plays for the fun of it and is quite comfortably off, they might feel guilty about winning such a large sum of money when there are other people in the room who clearly need it more.
Connected to all of this is the idea of emotional shock.
Our brains can do funny things, and when something big happens in your life that has a profound effect on you, the way you react can be surprising.
Awful news such as a cancer diagnosis or a sudden job loss can be met with denial, anger, blame, anxiety, paralysis etc. as your brain processes the information, but interestingly, we can get the exact same impulsive reactions from good news too.
So it’s not the type of news that dictates your reaction, but the size of that news.
What do we tend to do when something huge happens? We go into autopilot and attempt to carry on as normal don’t we?
This is why lottery winners go back to work the next day, and why people with terminal illnesses continue to drink and smoke. The normality and the routine is comforting at a time when our lives have been turned upside down.
These effects can last for a few minutes to a few months, but everyone has them.
So a bingo player who has a huge win may well carry on as though nothing incredible has happened, as though it’s just a £20 win. They might just want to get their heads down and play the next game.
Of course, plenty of people will do the opposite too, and scream the bingo hall down or sob with happiness, because we are all human beings and our reactions don’t always make sense.