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Interactive Bingo Card Generator

By following these step-by-step instructions, you should be able to install your own branded and customized version of the WNYC bingo card generator at

You're welcome to edit the code and insert your own images as you see fit, though we do ask that you leave the credits thanking our WNYC datanews team intact. Also, it's worth noting the project includes and relies on open-source code from jQuery (, The Miso Project ( and Handlebars (

Customizing the Look

  • Click downloads in the upper right corner here and download and extract the zip. Or run git clone at the command line to get your own local copy.

  • Figure out where the bingo game will sit on your webserver. Open your favorite text editor and search live_files/embed.html and live_files/printcard.html for the string "mysite.url" and replace with the path to your files. For instance, on our site, we would replace "mysite.url" with "".

  • In live_files/embed.html, live_files/newcard.html and live_files/printcard.html, replace "YOUR TITLE GOES HERE" with a title for your bingo game, like "Presidential Debate Bingo."

  • In the live_files/img directory, replace "header_logo_black.png" with whatever you want to appear in the upper left of the bingo card. (Or you can delete it altogether and remove the line referencing it from printcard.html and embed.html.)

  • In live_files/js/this-chart.js, on line 147, change the "hashtags=debatebingo" parameter in the URL to "hashtags=emmysbingo" or whatever hashtag you want to use for the event. In the live_files/embed.html on line 156, update the hashtag #debatebingo to your new hashtag for this card.

Setting Up the Tiles

The content of the tiles (or squares) is stored in a CSV called data/bingo.csv. It's a standard, spreadsheet-style comma-separated value with five columns, headed "B","I","N","G","O". The list of items under each letter should be the same length ... which means each row in the CSV should have 5 values (one for each letter). You need at least 5 rows, but can have more. The code will randomly pick from the entire list and put them in a random order.

The columns should all be the same number of terms (so same number of items on each line) and should have the text of bingo tiles you want to include in those respective columns. Like most CSVs, if there are commas or quotes in the that if there are commas or quite.

Also note that if any item between the commas HAS a comma or a quote, you need to surround that item in quote marks. Like:

"Obama's phone rings, has annoying Marimba sound"

And if you're actually using a quote in the item, represent those with double-double quotes, like this:

"Obama says ""Romneycare"""

Final Polishing

-- Make any other tweaks to the HTML, CSS or graphics you want to make. You might want to change the colors, replace the donkey and elephant graphics, or drop in a custom free square.

-- Upload the contents of the live_files directory to your server. If you want to embed the bingo game on a page, use the HTML code:

<iframe src="http://mysite.url/embed.html" height="785" width="600" scrolling="no" frameborder="0"></iframe>

... replacing mysite.url with your own embed path.

Note: Because the bingo game dynamically fetches information from the CSV file from the server, it won't work if you simply open the HTML files. You have to either upload them to a server and try it from there. To simulate that locally, we use Python's built-in SimpleHTTPServer, which you can launch by running "python -m SimpleHTTPServer" in the live_files directory, then going to http://localhost:8000 in your web browser.


DISCLAIMER: We wrote this code very quickly, and want to share it quickly, too. So there may be problems and pitfalls and can't take responsibility for it failing or causing any problems for you or your systems.

Let us know if you use or improve on it! We're interested. Tweet @datanews, send us a pull request, or email


Interactive Bingo Card Generator



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