Rock 'n' Roll Bingo a hit in Nelson
On bingo night at Mike’s Place Pub there’s not an empty seat in the joint.
Players who aren’t lucky enough to snag a spot at the bar or a table (you have to arrive an hour before the balls start dropping if you want to sit down), will hold their bingo cards against a wall or railing — any available surface will do.
“We want to start covering one of the pool tables so people can use it as a playing surface,” says Brian Kalbfleisch who, along with Ali Becker, has been organizing the Tuesday night games since December.
The pair have been packing the house since the first night and have already started to crack $1,000 per night in bingo card sales. The cards are $2 each or three for $5, and all the money goes to local charities.
“We usually recommend people start out playing one card at a time, but once you get good you can play a lot more cards each round, which is what people have been doing — I see a lot of people playing three cards or more,” Kalbfleisch says.
That’s pretty impressive, considering each card is actually a sheet of three bingo games. And you don’t want to get caught with a false bingo: anyone who calls who mis-calls bingo has to go up to the mic and read a few pages from an erotica novel like Fifty Shades of Grey.
For the true bingos, there are huge prizes to be won from local businesses. This week there were two Red Mountain season passes up for grabs (yeah, you read that right, full season passes).
Kalbfeisch says it’s the prizes that keep people coming back, as well as the thrill of the game.
“It’s just fun to gamble,” he says. “Bingo is a stupidly fun game. It gets your blood pumping.”
And, as the name of the night suggests, it all goes down while listening to rock music.
“This isn’t old lady bingo,” Kalbfleisch says.
He and Becker plan to continue Rock ‘n’ Roll Bingo until at least April, and may extend it until the beginning of summer if there’s still a demand is there.
Updates from the bingo organizers, including announcements of upcoming prizes, can be found up at facebook.com/rocknrollbingonelson.
Rock ‘n’ Roll bingo at Mike’s Place Pub on Tuesdays, February 5, 12, 19 and 26. Cards are $2 each or $5 for three. Tickets go on sale at 8:30 p.m. and balls will be called at 9 p.m.