Eyes down! Bingo draws big crowds in Whitsundays
BINGO is a popular game that is not only fun but gives people a chance to win prizes and cash.
The game is hundreds of years old, dating back to the 1500s, in Italy, spreading to France in the 1700s, and to Germany in the 1800s.
But you don’t have to go all the way to Europe to play this exciting, fast-paced game.
Thursday night bingo at the Reef Gateway Hotel is hotly contested – with 60 to 100 people turning up each week – and it’s free to play.
There are large jackpots to be won - up to $500 if you have the jackpot - and a $17 bingo menu is available to all players.
The evening is organised by Sabrina Mitchell, who calls the numbers, and Kerry Cooper. The pair have been running bingo sessions locally for about 10 years.
Mrs Mitchell said it was a great fun, community night out with entertainment.
“It’s different and it’s fun – you don’t have to be a big drinker to enjoy it – and it’s all cash prizes,” she said.
“We run raffles as well and, sometimes, we do theme nights, for example, we have had pyjama nights, where everyone turned up in onesies, we’ve had Halloween nights and Valentine’s Day themes, and we always celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
“Teams are welcome – a few work teams play – and we also do birthday parties with platters. Kids loving playing too, it’s not just the adults.”
Mrs Mitchell thanked the Reef Gateway Hotel for donating the space.
“The pub is open for drinks and meals and people can bring the kids – there’s a playground area and mum and dad can have dinner and then play bingo and everyone’s home by 8.30pm, so you can do it on a weeknight.”
Bingo is now also being introduced on Monday nights at the Reef Gateway Hotel, as a fundraiser for the Cannonvale State School P&C Association.
Held on the last Monday of every month, the new bingo is due to start this Monday, February 24.
“The money is spent on the kids,” Mrs Mitchell, who is the president of the P&C Association, said.
“We’ve bought musical instruments, sports equipment, mats for the prep students, gardening items, fridges for the classrooms, cold water bubblers - anything we can do for the kids.
“The P&C’s job is to do all the extra stuff. We get to supply all the fun things for the kids and make their educational environment better than it is – more enjoyable.
“It’s a great fun night out and people are supporting the kids as well – it’s a win, win.”
Mrs Mitchell said everyone was welcome and a cover charge of about $20 per person (price to be confirmed) includes two books and two jackpots, with huge prizes, and people can buy extra books.
Bingo starts at 6.30pm, on both Monday and Thursday nights, in the Reef Room, at the Reef Gateway Hotel. For more information visit www.reefgatewayhotel.com.au or visit the Airlie Beach Bingo Whitsundays Facebook page.