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Interstellar Bingo

(seb)’s regular Breakfast and Bingo was held with a celestial twist.

Every other week, the Student Events Board hosts Breakfast and Bingo. Students turned out on March 7 to win space-themed prizes as a tie-in for UMBC’s Interstellar Week.

Every other Saturday evening, UMBC2’s Student Events Board hosts a free breakfast and bingo with prizes offered. The March 7 event had an outer space theme to go with UMBC’s Interstellar Week.

Held in the Sports Zone in The Commons, the event was well attended for a weekend. Nearly fifty students crowded the booths on the wall and large round tables for an evening of free food and fun. Each seat had a place setting of four bingo cards and each table had several bowls of colorful plastic discs for marking the cards.

Eager chatter filled the room as some students picked out their colored discs of choice. Either for luck or fun, players marked their cards in blues, purples or reds. Breakfast was served shortly after the 6 p.m. start time. Attendees lined up for Belgian waffles, sausage links and bacon.

The games began at 6:30 p.m. Two members of (seb) took the stage: one to pick numbers and another to call them out to the players.

“Are you ready to play Bingo?” said the host with a microphone. The other host stood behind a red box that contained ping-pong style balls printed with bingo numbers. When the box was turned on, the balls bounced around like popcorn. Next to the number-picker was a table of prizes with an E.T. plush doll, astronaut ice cream, a Kevin Spacey poster and more.

A silence came over the room as the numbers were called out in quick succession. Each time B4 was called, a group of students responded with the one-liner “Before what?” After a few rounds the gag lost its luster. Despite this, the group remained dedicated to the joke.

Jason Mascelli, a freshman majoring in global studies, was the first player to win. It was also his first time winning at bingo. Mascelli’s prize was a set of glow-in-the-dark, press-on stars for walls and ceilings.

To keep things interesting, each round used different bingo patterns as a goal. Players had to cover all four corners, make an “x,” a cross, and the extremely difficult “blackout” where the entire board had to be covered in chips.

In the case of a tie, which happened several times throughout the evening, players performed a “Bingo-Off,” where they competed in simple challenges. In the unprecedented case where four players called “Bingo,” a bit of trivia was given. Each winner had to state the largest and smallest planets in our solar system (Pluto didn’t count). Three guessed Jupiter correctly as the largest, but only one knew that Mercury was the smallest. The prize: a Space Jam DVD.

It’s easy to assume that this Breakfast and Bingo was attended primarily by student residents like Mascelli, as it was held on Saturday around dinner time when commuters are less inclined to come to campus. Still, Mascelli insisted the event was not just for residents.

“Bingo is really fun,” he said. “Everyone should come out, especially because it’s a free event.”


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