A middle-aged man looked through three bingo cards, all completely marked up which signifies the games' name-The first game of the 13 rounds of bingo games that would be played at the American Legion Post 280 that Tuesday night.
That man is Darwin Hunter who is already a veteran player for the past 10 years now.
Judging from the fact that the man had already won $750 dollars and $500 dollars from the same venue just last week, Darwin Hunter can already be called a veteran on the game and a die-hard enthusiast. He is also pretty lucky because even before the actual start of the main bingo game that night, he had already won $100 dollar from the "pull tab game" which only cost him a meager 50 cents in order to play.
The VFW on Thompson Drive and the American Legion are two of Darwin Hunter's favorite bingo halls to play in. Usually twice a week with a big crowd of almost 100 players. Hunter says that one of the reasons that he plays is the rapport he have developed with his fellow players and it feels like as if you are a one big happy family. Bingo is also one way to socialize because it keeps you from just sitting on your house. Even if you do not win always, you meet tons of new people.
Hunter pointed to a girl who "regularly wins" when she is playing bingo unlike him who although wins, is only in case to case basis. She came in late last time but still manages to hit bingo four times in a row. She won about $500 dollars that day.
Most people will tell that they did not win but that hardly stop them from playing bingo
The girl Darwin Hunter is talking about is Bea Mundahl who plays bingo for 14 years now and has played at Kerryville in different locations. She won very big jackpots but when she do not win, it does not discourage her. She also has to play bingo at least once a week because she gets restless if she does not. It is already an ingrained habit of hers.
Carolyn Winborn, Mundahl's friend, has been playing bingo for about six months now but so far, she has yet to win.
Bea Mundahl also said that through Bingo, she have been able to meet new friends who are virtually strangers at first but later on become her new bingo mates like her crowd in the non-smoking section on the American Legion Hall.
Some of the players who play bingo at the hall comes from the surrounding areas like Comfort, Bandera, Boerne and even as far as Junction and Mason.
One of those people are couple Gary and Joan Harper and lives on Bandera. They play bingo together as a sort of a bonding experience between the two of them and in the process, have a good time doing it and it is affordable because it only costs about $15 dollars.
They even brought their good luck charms to the game. Joan, a toy monkey figurine and Gary, a ceramic gorilla. Surprisingly enough, you can also enjoy good food at a bingo game.
Bingo revenues also help a lot of charities like scholarships, programs geared towards the youth, etc. So even if you do not win all the time, Darwin Hunter commented, you feel a lot better that your money is being use for a good cause. That you are giving back to the community.
Bingo prices usually cost around $15 dollars per book of the playing cards but it is also available about $2 dollars a piece. But it also depends on the location where the game will be played.
Some places also offers discounts to customers who buy more cards and they also offer the option to play electronically but if you want the traditional kind, you must provide your own ink blot dabbers.
Bingo can be played several times a week in Kerryville with bingo games during the day and evening at VFW No. 1480, 220 Thompson Drive, 792-35-85; and at the American Legion Post 280, 3800 Riverside Drive, 896-6164.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006