Students had the opportunity to ditch the checkout lines and keep money in their wallets with a chance to win groceries and kitchen necessities at “Grocery Bingo,” hosted by the Campus Activities Board and Student Involvement Nov. 15 in the Ceremony Room of Patriots’ Casa.
Students entered the Ceremony Room as pop music played. With tables filling up near the podium, the games began. Colorful bingo chips were stacked on every table for players to fill out their bingo cards.
Between 30 and 40 students participated at any one time. They played the classic game of bingo to win grocery bags, and specialty games were conducted to win special prizes.
“I liked the event,” said biology senior Samantha Elizondo. “It was fun. It got everyone playing. People were excited; things were intense.”
A total of 14 rounds took place. There were 11 grocery bags up for grabs and three specialty items: a case of 40 bottled waters, a 143-ounce container of Gain Laundry Detergent and a Power XL air fryer.
Instead of the old-fashioned metal turn cage that releases a ball for the host to call out, the committee used an automated bingo selector for the audience to see the process of how the bingo numbers would be called.
Psychology junior Hayde Gonzalez Cejas was both a part-time bingo player and part-time host. She said CAB has “a tradition” of hosting events that benefit students and provide free stuff.
She presented the winner their Gain Laundry Detergent.
After the first intermission, the next major prize was the case of water.
As Gonzalez Cejas entertained the crowd by asking questions about their experience playing bingo, the final number was called with multiple participants yelling “BINGO!”
As excitement brewed through the air, the host went around to make sure all of the numbers that were called out were on their boards.
“We have a tie… would you believe that?” Gonzales Cejas announced to the crowd.
As the night progressed, the final round of bingo was a version known as Blackout, which requires the winner to completely fill out their bingo card. The winner would receive the air fryer.
Everyone in attendance had an opportunity at the grand prize, including the student hosts. The winner of the air fryer was Gonzalez Cejas.
She said she had never played bingo before, and she had only associated it with her grandma playing.
Jarrick Brown, Assistant Director for Student Involvement and Advisor for the Campus Activities Board, said this was the fourth annual Grocery Bingo.
“We switched it up a little bit this year,” Brown said. “Besides doing it during lunchtime in the cafeteria, we did a late-night event kind of catering more to our dorm students. I think it was very well attended. We passed out about 20 prizes and I just think it was a success.”
Jemareon Moore contributed to this story.