I had originally intended this post for our work blog, but forgot to submit it. Oops. Pardon my institutionally sanitized phrasing! xoxo, Lulu


Today, President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address before members of Congress, Justices of the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, members of the Cabinet (save for one, who will need to run the country in case something unplanned and unfortunate happens), and a few lucky members of the public. In case you did not know, the State of the Union report is a constitutional requirement.  Article II, section 3 mandates that the president update the Congress “from time to time” on how things are going in the United States. The State of the Union does not need to be a speech, nor does it need to take place annually. But, every president since Woodrow Wilson has given the State of the Union as an address before both chambers of Congress, almost every year.

The State of the Union is more than just an update. The President may also “recommend to [the Congress’] Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” In other words, the President has Congress’ undivided attention to talk shop. What will he say? That’s where bingo enters the picture.

A traditional bingo board is a square of squares (5 x 5, 8 x 8, etc.) populated with lettered numbers (A4, B73, C82, etc.). A bingo caller draws from the lettered numbers and reads them aloud to players, who mark off their cards accordingly. Whoever makes a complete horizontal, vertical or diagonal line first shouts “Bingo!” and wins the game.

Instead of lettered numbers, State of the Union bingo squares have words or phrases that are likely to be included in the speech. Healthcare, jobs, debt ceiling, compromise, energy, American spirit, God Bless America are all good candidates.

Want to do some background research to craft the perfect board? Try searching words and phrases from the 112th Congress in THOMAS. The more hits you get, the easier the square will likely be to fill. For example, “jobs” had over 400 hits, “Medicare” had nearly 300. Easy! Think solar energy will be mentioned? According to THOMAS, that’s more of a gamble at just over 20 hits for the word “solar.”


Turning this into a drinking game? Don’t include jobs, economy, or work. You’ll die.