BINGO Mathematics
Edwin Lowe, the son of an orthodox rabbi, introduced the game of BINGO to Americans. He discovered a version of it (called BEANO) at a carnival in Atlanta in December 1929.
Later, Lowe made up 12 different cards and tried it out with with his friends. They loved it...so he produced a version with 24 different cards. Sales took off...
A parish priest at a bankrupt church in WilkesBarre (PA) pleaded with Lowe to expand the game to more players...so his church could make enough money to save itself.
Lowe hired a mathematician to create 6000 unique cards...and supposedly the mathematician did so, but "almost went mad."
Consider these facts:
 A typical BINGO card contain 25 squares arranged in a 5x5 grid
 The five columns are labeled 'B', 'I', 'N', 'G', and 'O' from left to right
 The center space is marked "Free" and is considered automatically filled
 Every other space in the grid contains a number from 1  75
 The 'B' column only contains numbers 115, the 'I' column 1630, the 'N' column 3145, the 'G' column 4660, and the 'O' column 6175
 When numbers are randomly called (175), a player wins the game by covering all of the cells in a row, a column, or a diagonal
Task 1: Investigate why the mathematician had such difficulty. That is, how many unique BINGO cards can be made?
Task 2: What is the greatest number of chips that can be placed on a BINGO board without having a BINGO! (not counting the FREE space)?
Source: Adapted from Ripley's Believe It or Not! Encyclopedia of the Bizarre, 2002, p. 125
