Students win big at annual CAB Grocery Bingo

Tera Wilson

 Illinois Wesleyan’s Campus Activity Board held their kick-off event of the year, Grocery Bingo on Friday, September 6th at 8:30 p.m. in the Hansen Student Center. 

Grocery Bingo started last year, and after the event’s initial success, CAB decided to explore the possibility of making Grocery Bingo an annual event. 

More than 260 students were in attendance, which prompted CAB’s executive board to set up nearly twice the amount of tables and bingo cards. 

Even with the extra set up, students were sitting wherever they could, on extra chairs, in the balcony, even in the side rooms of Hansen. 

As CAB’s homegrown chair, Wah Chook was the main organizer, and was the host of Grocery Bingo this year. 

“I thought it was a great kick off event! I was super happy with the turn out. 

I’m excited to see how this event grows and hopefully claims a spot in the IWU community,” Cook said. 

The event certainly grew, with nearly double the turnout last year, as the word got out that big prizes were available. 

Many students said they were there for the chance to win appliances. 

Larger prizes included rice cookers, NutriBullets, and Keurig coffee machines. 

Students were also competing for smaller grocery prizes, such as boxes of Ramen noodles, packs of Gatorade, and an impressive amount of La Croix cans. 

Bingo games were fast-paced, with one game style known as “first 4,” in which the first person to put four tiles down on their board wins, taking less than one or two minutes to complete a full game.

 Other game styles took up to ten minutes, such as “diagonals,” where players had to form an “X” on their bingo card. 

There were also games of “traditional” and “four corners” bingo. 

As an additional twist, some games required players to trade their bingo cards with the students around them every couple of rounds. 

To win, players had to prove that they were following CAB on their social media accounts and that their board matched the called numbers. 

For the larger, more expensive prizes, there was only one winner per game, but for the smaller prizes, there could be up to three winners per game. 

To ensure that people wouldn’t win too often, students were only allowed to win one appliance, and were not allowed to win games back to back. 

“I was really stressed out because once the bigger appliances went, I knew people would start grabbing the smaller things,” Olivia Nilsson, senior, said. 

“There were six-packs of La Croix and that’s actually what I wanted.” Nilsson said. 

“People kept grabbing the La Croix after everything else went so I really wanted to win, but unfortunately they ran out,” Nilsson said. 

For games with multiple winners, there was palpable tension in the air as more and more numbers were called. 

With players incredibly aware that everyone else was getting closer and closer to a “BINGO!,” there were often collective sighs or cheers when a winner was announced. 

 “ Students have the opportunity to win things for free that they may not have been able to afford. ” – Maddie Guiard 

Playing students watched carefully as the prizes onstage dwindled as the night went on. 

“I loved it because I won a blender. 

I think it’s cool that students have the opportunity to win things for free that they may not have been able to afford,” Maddie Guiard, senior, said. 

“It’s a fun way to bring students together at the beginning of the year for free. . 

I went last year and it just gets better every year. ” Guiard said. 

The event finally ended around 11:00 p.m., with many people walking away winners and proud new owners of grocery items.