Saturday Night Bingo

South Pasadena's Best Kept Secret

Alberta Alexander and Roberta Bullock

Looking for something new and different to do on a Saturday night? Enjoy being around interesting people? Like the thrill of winning money?

 Well, you could fly to Vegas for the weekend, drive out to a desert casino, take in a Hollywood nightclub, or  head over to the South Pasadena High School gym for a memorable night of Tiger Bingo.

 Under the noses of most South Pasadena residents, more than 200 people regularly spend Saturdays taking their chances of walking off with some cash while raising thousands of dollars for SPHS students.

Gil KaanTiger Bingo raises about $200,000 a year for athletic teams and school clubs on campus. An activity of the SPHS Booster Club, the earnings pay for all transportation to sporting events, equipment and uniforms, and student activities from band, drama, and dance, to the Academic Decathlon team and an annual spring break trip to Washington, D.C.

Tiger Bingo is run completely by volunteer parents, teachers, and students who set up the hall and Pamela and William Hillclean up at the end of the night. Each week a different crew of 24 adults and sixteen students devote their Saturday nights to working what is,  what organizers call,  one of the best-run bingo halls in Southern California.

A full night, there are 24 regular games with jackpots ranging from $250 to $500, special games that win up to $1,000, and a Tiger Board drawing that increases by $250 every time it isn’t won until it reaches a whopping $5,000 jackpot.

Tiger Bingo draws a diverse, fun, and entertaining crowd from all over the area.

Sandra Peharer and Michelle TugadeDoors open Saturday at 4 p.m., and games start at 6 p.m. Volunteers are always willing to teach beginners.

Here are some of the folks you’ll meet:

•Gil Kaan, office manager by day and freelance theater critic by night;

•Sandra Peharec, martial arts instructor in Nippon Kempo, and Michelle Tugade, credit union Valerie Vu and Dan NguenTito Perezemployee, with their good-luck buddie;

•Sebastian Reyes, student athlete, and his dad Vladimir Reyes, U.S. Federal Courts Library Technician;

•Pamela and William Hill, actors;

•Tito Perez, bingo bum and retired steelworker;

•Sisters Alberta Alexander, retired Lockheed computer operator, and Roberta Bullock, retired Pasadena Schools administrative worker;

• Students Valerie Vu and Dan Nguyen.


  • : South Pasadena's Best Kept Secret