The annual Richland Academy Bingo night was back for 2023 and the community couldn’t be more thrilled! After a 2 year hiatus, we only had one question for the participants that night “Are you feeling lucky?”
There were 4 games in total each with 3 prizes. The first prize would go to the person who gets 5 squares in a row. The second prize would go to the person who created a predetermined shape like an X. The third Grand prize goes to the person who gets all the numbers on their bingo card first.
The night promised to be full of excitement as the Piazza was transformed into a state-of-the-art bingo hall that would put most bingo halls in North America to shame. Our host for the night was the venerable Mr. Zolumoff who kept the hall lively with his commentary as he calls out the numbers. At 6.10 pm, participants were still streaming through the front door as they beat away the winter chills to attend the gaming event of the year.
As everyone settled in the numbers started to be called. The atmosphere was muted as the first few numbers are called but that was soon to change. Before long, our first shout of “Bingo” was heard by no other than Richland’s own Mademoiselle Thompson. To the claps and cheers of the audience, she walked away with a beautiful food hamper.
The next prize would go to the person who managed to make a cross on their bingo card. It wasn’t long before bingo was called out again. This time by our very own Mrs. Pace. The excitement in the Piazza was building but there were concerns in the audience that this was a rigged game. After officials intervened, no foul play was found and the game continued to its final outcome.
The once-muted atmosphere had become a deluge of noise, particularly from the group of Grade 4s at the back. Tensions were rising as several players were eagerly waiting for their last number to be called. The eventual Grand Prize winner was Jacob in Grade 4 who took home a Family Night package.
With Game 1 out of the way, the audience knew what they were in for for the remainder of the night. The pressure in the room continued to build as each number was being called out. There were some false calls of “Bingo” which provided some humor that broke some of the tension in the hall.
The eventual winner of Game 2 was Oliver in Grade 3 who took home a Karaoke machine. He went on to eventually be crowned MVP of the night with 2 Bingos under his belt.
With Game 2 over, we began the much-needed halftime intermission. Unfortunately, Rhianna had to cancel on us due to a double booking but it was a welcome break.
As the audience came back to their seats to settle in for the final stretch, you would have been forgiven if you had thought that this was a calm and composed affair. The audience sat down quietly and patiently waiting for the next game to begin.
But it was a mirage. Soon after all the tables were making noise as the players were desperately waiting for their numbers to be called out. There were more false calls on “Bingo” which added to the anxiety of those looking for that final number to complete their Bingo card. The grand prize of Toronto Maple Leaf tickets eventually went to Rachel in Grade 1.
Onto the final game of the night. The stakes were high with a Muskoka getaway to play for. There was added drama and confusion when “Bingo” was called for the second prize. The call was initially dismissed much to the disbelief of Yasmina in Grade 7. After a heated protest with the host, the confusion was eventually resolved with Yasmina’s Bingo call being verified as correct.
At this point, several players only needed one number to win. With enough drama to match an Oscars night ceremony, the winning number was finally called out. In jubilation, Amber in Grade 4 threw her tickets in the air and shouted the magical word “Bingo” to claim the grand prize. The Piazza erupted in cheers as the champion went up to claim her prize.
At the end of the night, everyone was a winner! We wish to thank the staff at Richland for organizing the event, the families who donated the prizes, the student volunteers for manning the pizza and snack bar, and last but not least, a great big thank you to our wonderful host for the night, Mr. Zolumoff.