Bingo may be bigger in Britain than it is in the US, but that hasn’t stopped some famous ex-pats taking their love of the game to Hollywood. Bingo has undergone something of an image transformation in recent years, thanks to ad campaigns from the likes of Jackpotjoy, introducing a fresh, new, younger player base to a game that was traditionally seen as an OAP pastime.
While British celebrities like Denise van Outen and Barbara Windsor are renowned for their love of the bingo hall, with Barbara being officially crowned the Queen of Bingo by Jackpotjoy, it seems that celebrities Stateside are going ga-ga for Britain’s favourite game of luck too!
One celebrity A-lister that owes more than most to the good old game of bingo is Mrs. Michael Douglas. The Welsh beauty’s parents won a whopping £100,000 at the bingo in the 1980s, allowing them to move to a more uptown area of Swansea. Catherine is reportedly still a big bingo fan, carrying on her family’s traditional Christmas bingo game to this day. As a child she used to make the bingo balls and cards herself for the annual family game. While we doubt she still has to go to all that effort today, she does still love to call out those numbers, and is a regular organiser, player and caller at fundraising charity bingo games around Hollywood.
Daryl Hannah’s no stranger to the lucky numbers game. You can spot her playing bingo alongside one very famous British bingo lover – Robbie Williams – in the video for his hit single Feel. As well as her bingo playing music video cameo, Daryl has been spotted regularly attending charity bingo games for years. Maybe she was introduced to the game by Robbie? Most recently, she attended the Annual Bingo Night at the Roxy in West Hollywood, alongside famous faces like Cisco and The OC starlet Mischa Barton.
Think of bingo players, and you’ll inevitably think of little old ladies, or girls heading for a fun night out – but boys love bingo too. One Hollywood celeb that definitely turns the bingo player stereotype on its head is fiery New Zealand actor Russell Crowe. Before he made his name in Hollywood with leading roles in blockbusters like Gladiator, Russell worked as a bingo caller in his home town Rotorua – but was sacked for using racy versions of traditional bingo calls! Russell is reportedly still a lover of the game, and introduced his wife to the joys of the bingo hall too.
While we might never know just how many Hollywood A-listers like a flutter on online bingo sites like Jackpotjoy, one West Hollywood hotspot gives us a clue as to which red carpet regulars are bingo fans. Legendary Bingo at Hamburger Mary’s on Santa Monica Boulevard is the longest running weekly charity event in LA. With tongue firmly in cheek, this drag queen-run bingo game raises money for local, national and international charities every Wednesday and Sunday, with local celebrities often popping in to do a spot of number calling. Past callers have included Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Rikki Lake, N-Sync, Courtney Cox and Paris Hilton, with plenty more celebs playing along to raise a bit of cash for worthy causes too.