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Online Bingo: Bingo draws a crowd in DeKalb

DeKALB – Although Monday brings the start of the work week for Kevin Koester, it also means it is time for a break.

“This is just my recreation type of activity that I look forward to,” the 20-year-old said Monday while playing bingo with a friend. “I come here to get away.”

He was among about 100 bingo participants in St. Mary School Monday Night Bingo, during which bingo players are awarded cash prizes ranging in value from $25-$100. All proceeds from the weekly bingo games – a major school fundraiser for the past 30 years – benefit St. Mary School in DeKalb, said Simon Seibert, the event’s coordinator.

“For a lot of people, this is their day out,” he said, adding that 60 percent of regular bingo players are senior citizens. “It’s cheap entertainment.”

Participants, who must be at least 18 years old to gamble, can purchase 13 bingo games for $5, Seibert said.

For DeKalb resident Bobbie Jo Bornhuetter, the investment pays off. She and a friend play bingo every Monday and evenly split their winnings. The two had already won a total of $100 just 30 minutes after Monday’s bingo games began.

“I love it and I like to get out of the house,” said Bornhuetter as she quickly stamped the bingo numbers being called. “It’s a lot of fun.”

All 10 volunteers at the weekly bingo games – they sell tickets, bingo cards, food and call winning numbers – are parents of students at St. Mary School in DeKalb, Seibert said.

Mother Sharon Izula was among those helping. She sat at a table near the room’s entrance selling raffle tickets.

“I love it because I like these people,” she said with a smile. “I like being here, and a I know a lot of the bingo players because I grew up in DeKalb. This is their day, and with the low price to play, it beats a (casino’s) one-armed bandit.”

Written by Carrie Frillman
www.daily-chronicle.com

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