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Jackpot: The Curious world of hardcore Bingo players

"Jackpot" is a compelling documentary that explores the fascinating world of hardcore Bingo players, revealing a unique subculture filled with joy, heartbreak, and obsession.

Keywords: Bingo, gambling, addiction, community, competition, entertainment, psychology, sociology, American culture, documentary. Three words: Compelling, humorous, heartbreaking.


"Jackpot" is an intriguing documentary film directed by Alan Black and released in 2009. The film delves into the captivating, often funny, sometimes heartbreaking world of hardcore Bingo players.


"Jackpot" provides an intimate look at the world of Bingo, a game often associated with elderly church halls but that also encompasses a thriving, nationwide subculture. The film introduces a range of characters, from a mother and daughter who believe they communicate with the dead through Bingo, to a man who has lost his family and job due to his intense addiction to the game.

More Film Analysis


The documentary adopts a balanced approach, showing the lighter side of Bingo while also exploring its potentially destructive effects. It combines interviews, game sequences, and personal stories, delivering an in-depth study of this underestimated pastime.

Historical and Factual Context

Bingo dates back to 16th-century Italy, gaining popularity in the US in the early 20th century. Today, it's a billion-dollar industry, revealing the game's significant social and economic impact.

Key themes in the film

  • The power of community
  • The allure of gambling
  • The struggle with addiction
  • The role of superstition in human behavior

Film Comparisons

"Jackpot" can be compared to films like "Gambling, Gods and LSD" and "The Queen of Versailles," which also explore unique subcultures and the human condition.

Noteworthy Moments

A standout moment in the film is when a player who has lost everything breaks down, revealing the devastating impact of his Bingo addiction.


"Jackpot" has been praised for its insightful and empathetic portrayal of Bingo players. As one reviewer noted, "It's a fascinating look into a world most of us never see."


"Jackpot" is an important exploration of a unique subculture, offering insights into human behavior, addiction, and community bonding. It's a must-watch for anyone interested in sociology, psychology, or American culture.

More film information:


  • Genre: Documentary



  • Alan Black: Director
  • Bingo Enthusiasts: Main Characters



  • Various Bingo halls across the United States

Key Questions Raised by the Film:

  • What drives people to become so invested in a game like Bingo?
  • How does Bingo act as a form of therapy or escape for some people?
  • What are the social and psychological implications of Bingo addiction?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. If this film was a famous book, it would be "Moneyball" – a deep dive into a misunderstood subculture.
  2. If this film was a famous song, it would be "The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers, reflecting the risks and rewards of the game.
  3. If this film was a famous piece of art, it would be Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks," capturing solitary figures in a public space.
  4. If this film was a famous celebrity, it would be Danny DeVito – small but packed with personality and depth.
  5. If this film was a color, it would be blue – reflecting both the camaraderie and melancholy within the Bingo community.
  6. If this film was a music style, it would be country – narrating everyday life's struggles and joys.

Watch the documentary on iWonder:

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Inside the strange, compelling, sometimes hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking world of hardcore Bingo players.

Watch the trailer: