Diane Waitman may not get rich playing bingo. But she hopes to at least get younger.
The Mission Viejo resident ventures to the Huntington Beach Elks Lodge at 11 a.m. every Wednesday to try her luck with the numbers game, as she has for nearly 20 years. In between rounds in Surf City, she fits in others in Fountain Valley and Westminster. She seldom wins much money at the Elks Bingo Wednesday Matinee, but she credits the fast pace of bingo — in which participants listen to numbers and quickly mark them on their cards — for keeping her mind acute.
"It's a social game and keeps your brain active," Waitman said. "That's a proven medical fact, it really is, that bingo keeps your adrenaline going."
For that matter, players like Waitman keep bingo going in Huntington Beach. The Elks Lodge draws about 200 people on a typical Wednesday, and while more than a few of them go home with cash prizes, the biggest winners are charity groups around the Southland; the club gives out $30,000 or more every year.