Long Island

Long Island Family Hosts Virtual Bingo For Anyone to Join Every Night of Shutdown

The familiar pastime is played to help families and strangers have some fun and connect to each other — and maybe help some remember what life could be like "B4" quarantine

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March 20 was just the first day New York's stay-at-home order took effect — it was also the first time a Long Island family decided to fight boredom with a few rounds of bingo.

The Mastriano family has played the game every single night (42 straight days and counting) since the start of the shutdown, and has invited a few friends to join — as well as strangers.

The Stony Brook family hosts the event every night at 7:30 p.m. on Facebook Live, with each night having a different theme. They've had nights dedicated to sports, Disney, superheroes, Legos and many more.

Laura and Joseph Mastriano, along with their children Maddie and Joseph, came up with the idea when the coronavirus pandemic forced everyone inside. The idea came naturally to mom Laura, who is regularly an event planner. She works all day to design and craft a new set for each show, which goes along with each day's theme — and she said players get in on the fun too.

"They're finding something to wear that matches the theme, so they're spending like the whole day doing everything so they're ready for bingo," Laura said.

The Mastrianos say there's about 100 players each night — some of whom are total strangers, others who join in to connect with their families.

"We have a family in New Jersey who has relatives in Florida and Georgia and they're all playing together, watching this and they talking on the chat, which is exciting," dad Joseph said.

Laura said the goal of the who thing is simply to get people to participate in some family fun, and get a little break from the frequently bleak current reality. Or as Laura put it in one video: "A quick escape, to a fun and magical land called Bingo."

"To simply provide smiles and some fun together with everyone," Laura said.

The Mastrianos plan to continue live game night until the shutdown measures are lifted. For those interested in playing along, click here to go to Laura's Facebook page, where the game is held each night.

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