Rowan After Hours (RAH) kicked off its spring semester Bingo Series over the weekend with $1,000 Grocery Bingo in the Student Center Pit. Food-related prizes included a movie basket laden with popcorn and candy, a pasta pack with various sauces and strainers and a coffee-themed container that included a Keurig brewer and K-cups. In the spirit of food, players who donated a non-perishable pantry item to The Students Helping Other Profs Food Pantry and Resource Center (SHOP) received an additional Bingo board, perhaps doubling their chances of success.
Among the winners of the night’s competition was senior biology major Cali Janulis, who walked out of the student center with spaghetti, a strainer and the euphoria of a bingo victory.
“I’ve been coming to every single [bingo] for four years and this is the first time I’ve ever won,” Janulis said. “I almost cried I was so happy. Honestly, I could have won a pile of trash and I still would’ve been super excited.”
Janulis was among those who donated food to receive an extra board, perhaps contributing to her win.
“I think it’s really awesome that they’re having those initiatives to get people to donate,” she added.
Not every student who came to bingo was so lucky.
“I feel personally victimized by bingo,” said freshman mechanical engineering major Lia Mahoney, who came within a single number of winning on at least five different rounds.
Sophomore computer science major Rob Sacco, who has attended several Rowan-sponsored bingo events in the past but who has yet to win, said that what makes even an unsuccessful game worth playing is the “the downtime, the closeness, and even the intensity” that the game brings to his group of friends.
“I always feel a bit lucky,” Sacco admitted. “I feel the need. I feel the gambling addiction.”
However, Sacco noted very explicitly that he does not believe that Rowan University promotes gambling addiction in its students through bingo.
Freshman music education and vocal performance major Diana Claps agreed that the social aspect of the event is the major draw.
“My friends come here often and I want to hang out with them,” Claps said. “It’s not necessarily whether I win something. But I just like food in general.”
Served at the Midnight Food Bar were donuts on which could be covered with chocolate and caramel sauce, chocolate and vanilla frosting, sprinkles, or crushed Oreo cookie pieces.
The night was full of tension. People left broken, empty – or else ecstatic. Friendships seemed either to be forged or fractured in these very moments. This night of elevated emotions encapsulated the spirit of bingo events at Rowan University.
The next chance for Rowan students to play RAH Bingo will be on February 23 in Pfleeger Concert Hall. Should 750 students be present by 10 p.m., the prize pool will jump from a value of $1,000 to $10,000.
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