Playing the numbers game

Bingo draws a crowd on Friday nights

When it comes to bingo, you have to know the lingo.

Daubers, the ink blotters used to mark off bingo number and phrases like a six pack, a nine pack, anyway T, layer cake or a thumbtack mean something to avid bingo players. Virginia Acord, Jean Bemis and Ruby Wooden are hooked. They play bingo at the Elks Club nearly every Friday night.

"We live for bingo," Jean Bemis said. "We come to the Elks on Friday and most Sundays at VFW. It's what we do."

"We are regulars and we love it, " Virginia Acord said.

Frances Chisholm said she likes bingo but does other things, too.

"Well. I come when I feel like it," Chisholm said. "It is fun and something to do."

Chisholm was glad she felt like coming Friday because she won the last game of blackout, taking home a $200 purse.

"I think I will feel like coming next Friday," she said.

Frank Sadvar, Exalted Ruler for the Craig Elks Lodge and chief bingo organizer said bingo is the reason Elks can provide services to the community.

"We use the proceeds to help the community," Sadvar said.

The Elks sponsor scholarships for high school seniors, donate more than $1,500 worth of toys for the annual Christmas drive as well as sponsor free bowling days for kids. Sometime this summer the club will open their newly remodeled bingo hall on the ground level. It will feature a separate smoking section and will seat 190 people.

"We're pretty excited about the remodel. It's going to be a nice place to come enjoy visiting with friends and playing the best game there is," Sadvar said.

Each game has its own purse ranging from $15 to $200. Elk's bingo also offers a game of progressive bingo, which has paid some pretty nice pots during the last few months.

"Fifty-eight hundred dollars is the largest we've had for a while on progressive bingo," Sadvar said.

In a progressive bingo game, only a certain amount of numbers are called. The player must get a blackout to win the progressive pot. If no one wins after the predetermined numbers are called, the money is added to the pot, more call numbers are added, then held for the next week.

"We take 70 percent of our proceeds for the night and add to the pot," Sadvar said. "It usually goes six to 10 weeks but that depends on the numbers. You just never know."

Berlinda Delgado has played Elks bingo almost every week for more than 10 years. She said she spends about $30 to $50 a week.

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