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Lucas Arndt played the role of Santa and Bingo Caller

Ho Ho Hold Your Cards

We've got a bingo!

December 23, 2015

It was the most wonderful time of the year at the Owatonna High School! Temperatures were dropping; it was almost winter break, and most importantly, it was Ho Ho Bingo day. For those who do not know, Ho Ho Bingo is the competitive holiday extravaganza that takes place once a year on the day before winter break at the high school. Ho Ho Bingo 2015 was much anticipated by OHS students, who hoped to win one of a few coveted prizes.

Seniors Sam Callen and Elena Bueltel rush to the library as Ho Ho Bingo winners
Richard Ong
Seniors Sam Callen and Elena Bueltel rushing in the library as Ho Ho Bingo winners

The game worked like this: Santa Claus and his elves announced bingo numbers over the intercom to students during advisement. When a student got five numbers in a row vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, they won. Winners ran to the library, which was also referred to as the North Pole, to claim their prize while they shouted “HO HO HO” as loudly as they could.

Upperclassmen noticed a few changes to Ho Ho Bingo this year, however. The library held four different prize tables, while in previous years there was only one table. Rules were also enforced more heavily this year. Advisement teachers were instructed to check students’ cards for a good bingo and sign the card before the student ran to the library. Freshman and Ho Ho Bingo co-chair Elena Dant explains these changes were made “to ensure that the event ran smoothly and everyone played fairly.” This year, the intercom was used to announce numbers, while in previous years, the game had been broadcasted over the school’s cable to classrooms. This change was made to avoid technical difficulties that had been common with the cable. Because the game could only be heard, and not seen, students missed a big part of the action they had previously had the privilege of seeing with the live broadcast.

Sophomore Peyton Robb runs to the library as a winner of Ho Ho Bingo.
Richard Ong
Peyton Robb running to the library as a winner for Ho Ho Bingo.

Despite the changes, Ho Ho Bingo brought happiness to many OHS students. One of the first lucky winners was senior Eli Havelka. Havelka was visibly exhilarated that he won, and said, “I’m so excited that I just won Ho Ho Bingo. Skol bingo, baby!” Havelka added, with a shout, “Take me to Santa. Let’s go!”

Another winner, junior Dan Keller, said “I haven’t won since I started high school so I’m pretty excited.” Keller picked a bottle of Kool Aid as his prize.

Senior Cienna Raden’s prize was a pack of Chiclets gum. The prize had an orange sticker on the back, which meant that she got to meet Santa. Over the intercom, Raden said, “Shout-out to Kelly Pirkl for letting me come down here.”

Arguably the biggest win of the day came from the game of blackout, where the winner must have every number on the card called. The winner of blackout was sophomore Peyton Robb. He said, “I won blackout and I ran as fast as I could. I won a 2.5 liter Shasta Mountain Rush. It’s freaking great.”

Senior Hannah Cochlin dresses up as Cindy Lou Who from The Grinch
Richard Ong
Senior Hannah Cochlin dresses up as Cindy Lou Who from The Grinch

Senior Hannah Cochlin dressed up as Cindy Lou Who for the day’s festivities. She said, “My favorite part of Ho Ho Bingo was seeing people out of breath after they run to the library.”

This year’s Santa Claus was played by senior Lucas Arndt. He was in charge of announcing the bingo numbers to the school, and said, “The experience of announcing over the intercom was a lot of fun. It was great to know that Santa can bring joy to many Ho Ho Bingo winners.” The North Pole elves were played by seniors Emma Smith and Becca Sedivy. Smith said, “It’s a lot of fun up with Santa at the North pole. Its very special that I got to come with him to Owatonna High School today.”

Today, OHS students kept their eyes on the prize when they participated in Ho Ho Bingo 2015. Many students won, and many more will wait anxiously for the most wonderful time of the year to come around again.

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