She is Aunt “B” to family, and knows a thing or two about the game of Bingo. For two years, Bernice Gursch has celebrated her birthday at the Aliante Station Bingo Hall in North Las Vegas, which rung in its anniversary with Aunt B’s big day for the second year. This year, she turned 100-years-old.
Avid Bingo Player
Aunt B retired when she was 65 and lived on her own in an apartment building until eight years ago. She spent her days after retirement doing the following things: bowling, watching classic movies and playing Bingo. This is a game Aunt B wanted to win at, and win big. Using 2 lucky charms, an angel she rubbed right before the final Bingo number was called, and a leprechaun, Aunt B immersed herself in the game. She reportedly handled 32 cards at one time with her sister – both of them placing chips as the numbers were called. That was in Chicago - Aunt B’s hometown which she left in 2004.
She moved to North Las Vegas to live with her sister’s son, who is retired, and his wife. There she found a new home to play Bingo, the Aliante Station. The manager said Aunt B wanted to celebrate her 100th birthday at the station, where about half of the 300 players are close-knit. He said they are on a first-name basis with each other and share baked goodies, along with lunches and suppers. They party together on each other’s birthdays, too. Aunt B received a steak dinner for her birthday, compliments of the station, and her family was there to see it. Aunt B’s birthday was complete with a cake and balloons, and Bingo. Her niece wanted to know if Aunt B was fired up to win as the games began. The birthday girl said she wanted to win big!
Life in Chicago for Aunt B
What is known about Aunt B’s early life, is that she became an orphan after the onset of the Spanish flu in 1918. She grew up with just a few family members, and didn’t finish high school because she wanted to help the family out financially. Her working life began at an envelope company and ended at Illinois Bell Telephone. She left the company just six months shy of what would have been her 50th anniversary. Her positions were operator and district secretary. After retirement, Aunt B lived in her well-organized, second floor apartment until she fell down the stairs. Her nephew said she couldn’t go home and moved to Las Vegas. Aunt B traveled to Nevada by plane. It was her first ever flight at 92-years-old. The airline company furnished champagne and gave her a certificate. But she still cheers on the Chicago Cubs, her niece said.
She’s 100 Years Old and Still Kicking!
Her nephew marvels at her and wants to live as close as he can to her age. Aunt B says living to 100 takes moderation in everything. The vice president and general manager at the station sent Aunt B good wishes. For now, she’s ready to win at Bingo on her next birthday!