Bingo draws full house at rec center for prizes

Carolyn Drummond

Student wins year’s worth of free rent at Campus Pointe

WATCH a video of Bingo night at the rec center’s big top.

When chemical physics graduate student Shawn Hurley picked up a Big-Top Bingo flier during one of his routine visits to the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, he made plans to get there early. Doors opened for the event at 7:30 p.m., but Hurley got in line at 6 p.m.

Hour-and-a-half wait was worth it when he won free rent for a year at Campus Pointe in the ninth round of bingo.

“I could feel the rest of the staff that had seen me in line collectively gasp when I won,” Hurley said.

Although he said it had been years since he’d played bingo, Hurley got a feeling when he got down to one last number.

“I memorized the number I needed, and I knew it was going to be called next,” Hurley said. “It was one of those weird things where you just know.”

As part of the rec center’s 10th Anniversary “Circus Extravaganza,” the bingo game was only open to the first 325 current Kent State students in line. Approximately 20 students were turned away at the door.

While in line, Hurley said if he didn’t win the 2010 Mazda 3 that was being offered in the 10th and final round, he wanted free rent for a year.

“I had already signed a lease at Campus Pointe, so it worked out perfectly,” he said.

With the free rent given away, attention turned to the Mazda 3. To win the car, the entire bingo board had to be covered before 50 numbers were called. But no boards were covered by that time, so the car went unclaimed.

Judy Watkins, the group fitness and instructional programs manager, called out the winning numbers as bingo ringmaster.

“I couldn’t believe that no one won,” Watkins said.

Many people shared that sentiment.

“I really wanted to give the car away, but I guess luck wasn’t on our side (Friday) night,” marketing coordinator Jason Hawk said.

Several numbers later, a board was covered and the winner received four tickets to a Cleveland Indians baseball home game of their choice.

In addition to Big-Top Bingo, the “Circus Extravaganza” offered free entertainment for students and Kent community members all day Friday and from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Several thousand people attended.

“I think it’s a tremendous success,” Hawk said. “It’s definitely packed, and people are enjoying themselves.”

Mike Caparanis, sophomore visual communication design major, played life-size Wii, which projected the game onto a racquetball court wall.

“I played an 8-year-old in Mario Kart, and I won with a well-placed green turtle shell,” Caparanis said. “If anyone knows about Mario Kart, they know how skilled that is.”

Collaborating with Lil’ Sibs weekend led to a full rec center with lines for all the free activities Saturday. Those who waited got airbrush tattoos, caricatures and wax models of their hands.

“I think the event was well-planned out and good, wholesome family fun,” Caparanis said. “Two thumbs up.”

Contact Student Recreation and Wellness Center reporter Carolyn Drummond at [email protected].