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Aug 08/13

Bessie Does Bingo — Behind the Fertilizer Lottery Posted by: Dan | 0 Comments

Only in a place where they have an excess of pastures and patience does cow poop become a game. Yes, we mean you, Southern states. It actually becomes a gambler’s game, with money on the line.

The Modern Farmer has an entertaining tale of Cow Poop Bingo — aka ” Cow Pie Derby, Cow Chip Bingo, Cow Plop Drop, Bessie Bingo, Fertilizer Lottery, and dozens of colloquial variations’ — and the trials, trickery and laxatives that sometimes go into the process.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the ritual, it’s described this way:

A grid is set up, typically on an outdoor field, comprised of numbered, one-yard squares. Spectators buy tickets that stake out a specific square. If Bessie chooses your real estate to do her business, then shazaam: You’re a winner, with prizes running upwards of $10,000.

Sometimes the game can last for hours, which has fundraisers and game-organizers adding a virtual aspect, giving bidders the option of playing at home and being alerted of their win via email. “Congratulations! You picked the poop spot!” This modern age cannot be beat, y’all.

An annual game near Santa Cruz, California, made the distance even farther — you play from home. In response to waning attendance, their bovine bingo has now gone virtual. You can still view the game IRL at the Kersten Ranch, but organizer Tamera Smith said not a single person took that option this year. The Kerstens kept a California vigil with Bessie, “drinking champagne and eating strawberries” on their porch until she dropped her plop. Winners were notified by email. “This is Santa Cruz,” said Smith. “[Ticket-holders] were probably out surfing, hiking, eating some gourmet goodies.”

Have you ever played cow-patty bingo? Or waited around for the poop to to hit the grid?


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