The value of the cash prizes offered by the bingo halls may vary from a mere $50 to $100 and can sometimes go up to a $1 million or even more in the casinos located in the reservations of North America. The prize can also take the form of gifts like trips, cars and even drinks. The money that is at stake in bingo bingo jackpotsis defined by the money that the bingo hall will finally earn in the process. Normally is is around 50 to 60% of the jackpot amount. In some states the laws restricts the maximum payout amount per night. In Georgia the limit is $1100 per night and in the state of Louisiana this limit is about $4500 per session.
The progressive jackpot amount goes on increasing with every passing game until there is a winner. Instead of being a percentage of the money earned, the initial seed money for a progressive jackpot may be declared as $500. To win this jackpot a player should get a blackout i.e. getting all the numbers on a bingo card marked when the 49th ball is called. As long as there is no winner, then the money in the progressive jackpot goes on increasing, sometimes at the rate of $100 per game, throughout the sessions held maybe for days and weeks.
State laws put a limit to what the maximum value of a progressive jackpot can be and the value remains at that point until a winner is declared. The state of Michigan on the other hand does not put any cap on the amount a progressive jackpot can have.
Games with high stakes like $50,000, $100,000, $1 million or more has become the latest phenomenon because of the great popularity of the bingo game. Bingo halls are getting insured against bankruptcy as they compete with each other to offer these high stakes.
A few bingo halls hold the game in steps in which $50,000 is paid for getting a blackout in 49 balls or $100,000 is paid out if the blackout occurs in 45 balls. But as it is very difficult to get a blackout with so few balls, the progressive jackpot game can stretch over weeks and months.
Some of the bingo halls offer $100,000 jackpots which can be won in a session spread over a week comprising of five games at night and one game in the afternoon. In this session the winner should get a special winning pattern within a limited number of balls. They may also have to chose a winning card or spin a wheel to win after they get the winning pattern.
A player may win the top jackpot prize at the first chance he plays bingo or may take weeks or months or even years to win it.
Winners of a large progressive jackpot do not get the money immediately. They have to wait for 48 hours before they can be paid. During those 48 hours the balls are checked for tampering by labs and the video tape footage is checked by the insurance companies. Only after passing these tests does the winner get the money in lump sum cash or check if it is less than $100,000. If the value is more than $100,000 then he is paid in yearly installments.
A type of bingo game is called Satellite Bingo where a number of bingo halls in one area are connected by satellite so they can offer a bigger jackpot. The bingo halls can thus offer a bigger jackpot collectively than they could have offered individually.
These are some of the important points you should remember when playing a game of bingo.
Gamble Aware (www.gambleaware.co.uk) is managed by the Responsibility in Gambling Trust, an independent charity which funds treatment, research and education about responsible gambling. The website has been developed by a Task Force made up of representatives from the Gambling Commission, DCMS, academia and industry.