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Wednesday, May 31, 2023


Students compete for prizes at Bingo Night event

Students participated in SPB’s Bingo Night, which featured a lotería-style game rather than the traditional bingo style. | Courtesy of the Student Program Board

On March 6, the Student Program Board hosted a Bingo Night in the Student Center Ballroom. The game night was open to all students, providing them an opportunity to win big and learn about a fun Mexican tradition.

Featuring the Mexican-style  lotería in favor of the American version of the game, the idea for Bingo Night came from SPB special events chairman Ed Gonzales.

“I am a Mexican, and this game is a primary part of Mexican culture that I’ve been playing for so many years,” Gonzales said. “Everyone knows about bingo, but not this.”

The primary difference between the traditional American form of the game bingo and lotería lies in the game board, Gonzales said. While bingo is played with letters and numbers displayed on the card, lotería uses pictures and can be announced with a riddle. 

The images included on the cards represented different aspects of campus life, such as Cougar Village, TDECU Stadium and the Games Room.

Many participants, like biology junior Jonathan Nguyen, had a clear goal in mind before walking into the event.

“I came for the Nintendo Switch,” Nguyen said. “I’m leaving here mad if I don’t win it.”

To have a chance to win the Switch, UH swag or a Google Home Mini, students had to win the corresponding round of lotería. Rounds varied from the traditional four-in-a-row to four corners, an “x” and blackout.

Corporate communications junior Hannah Menslage was one of the UH swag recipients of the evening.

“I’m usually a very unlucky person, so I didn’t actually think I would win,” Menslage said. “I was floored when I realized I won. I thought they were going to tell me I was wrong.”

While most people wanted the Switch, Menslage was grateful to have won anything at all.

The two-hour event was a success in the eyes of the lotería announcer.

“I don’t think people like the cards that I’m drawing, but I think they’re having a lot of fun,” said SPB Social Media and Programming Chair Gabriel Johnson.

Even though there was only one Switch winner at the end of the night, participants walked away with a full belly and a deeper understanding of a different culture’s tradition.

“Everybody loves bingo, and I’m sharing my heritage with my peers,” Gonzales said. “It’s so cool.”

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