While lots of things have changed over the years, one thing remains the same - family game night is fiercely competitive.

Over the long weekend I was able to catch up with one of my best friends, Daniela, at her home. Daniela invited over some friends and family for game night, which consisted of a classic Spanish game called Lotería. Unbeknownst to me, not everyone has heard of Lotería, so I'm here to describe the fun you've been missing.

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What's Lotería?

Here's my explanation of Lotería: It's Spanish bingo with pictures and cards versus the traditional numbers, letters, and balls. The concept is very similar, with the winner completing a pattern and calling out to win.

What's the History?

According to Google, Lotería originated in Italy in the 15th century, then Spain, and finally Mexico in 1769. The most popular and widely associated version of Lotería was created in Mexico by Frenchman Clemente Jacques in 1887. The “Don Clemente Gallo” edition was copyrighted in 1913, and features the classic images that Lotería is known for throughout the world.

How Do You Play?

There are several boards or tablas for players to choose from which consist of a 4x4 grid with images and numbers in the corners. One player will have the role of caller, and will shuffle through 54 cards which mirror the images on the boards. When your image is called, you will place a token on the corresponding image on your board. Tokens can be anything from bottle caps to uncooked beans. Like Bingo, you must complete an agreed upon pattern to win. This could be a diagonal, column, 4 corners, or even inside center of 4. Once you win, you call out Loteria!

The game is pretty simple and straight forward, and is definitely fun for the whole family. Depending on your group, you could see fast callers or various house rules.

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