How annoyed would you be if you heard the final number on your bingo card being called out, but as you jumped up to shout bingo, someone else did the same?
The atmosphere in that bingo hall would no doubt get pretty tense as tickets were checked, and winners eyeballed each other from across the room.
Management might even have to get Keith from behind the bar to come out and make sure the two ‘lucky’ winners didn’t get too close to each other in case it turned into a case of handbags (or man bags!) at dawn.
Well now imagine that same scenario but with 101 winners all screaming in celebration at the same time, and you have the situation that unfolded on the coast of Brazil last week.
It was a printing error that was to blame for the confusion, as the number 49 was called and everyone had it on their card.
Here is what the aftermath of the chaos looked like:
The local game played in the small town of Iparana, just outside Fortaleza, was offering 2,000 BRL (about £310) in prize money, with 1,000 BRl of that (£155) going to the full house.
Each ‘winner’ therefore thought they were going to pocket £155, but in the end after the money was split between all the winners each person only took home BRL 10 (£1.55) – and tickets cost BRL 20 (£3.10) for three!
Not quite the lucky payday everyone was hoping for.
One player, Osmar Saldanha, who was there and held one of the many winning tickets, said:
“It was mayhem. It was the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this. “I have never won at bingo and when I eventually win, I have to share the prize with 100 other people.”
The game was being played outdoors in the town square, so it was a real community affair, and one of the organisers was quoted as saying:
“It was a printing error that shouldn’t have happened. For me, it was very surprising. Everyone was so excited to have won, they started screaming.”
I bet they were screaming for different reasons once they realised they were only winning 1% of what they initially thought!