Lotería Night draws excited attendees to Ostrander Auditorium

Last Thursday, Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Student Events Team and Latinx Student Union teamed up to put on a game of Lotería both in the Ostrander Auditorium and over Zoom. 

Lotería is a traditional game of chance, similar to BINGO, except it’s played with picture cards instead of numbers. Originating in Italy in the 1500’s, Lotería was brought over to Mexico and quickly became very popular.

The event had an attendance of over 50 people, most of which participated over Zoom. Prizes included a set of pots and pans, yoga mats, and an air fryer. Players were able to join via virtual Lotería cards on their phones and send their “Lotería” to the Student Events Team Instagram to claim their prizes. 

Student Events Team member Madeline Berndt helped coordinate the hybrid event and was excited to work with the Latinx Student Union.  

“Lotería Night is one of the many hybrid events that we’ve hosted in the past year, and we were very excited to be working with the Latinx Student Union to show students something new and encounter a new cultural experience,” said Berndt.

Berndt explained the event came to be from the events team wanting to work with other student groups on campus and to expand relationships to provide better events for students. 

“In the process of reaching out, we offered up the idea of teaming up on a hybrid event with the Latinx Student Union,” shared Berndt. “We decided it was a perfect time to switch things up and introduce a cultural experience through playing a game.”

Maria Rios De Santigo, the Latinx Student Union’s PR chair, was also involved in orchestrating the event and was also fortunate to expand their relations. 

“I’ve always found it valuable to work with groups outside of our Multicultural Center circle to help expand the coverage of culture beyond the limits of those who it’s already accessible to,” said Rios De Santiago. “This means that when opportunities like working with the Student Events Team appear, we are nothing but excited to start working on projects that showcase Latinx culture while engaging others in fun.”

People from a variety of backgrounds attended the event to learn something new and vie for some prizes.

“I am a member of both the Latinx Student Union and Latino Wellness. I always like playing bingo at MSU and I’ve played Lotería with my friends, so this seemed like a fun event,” said  attendee Orlando Hernandez.

MSU junior Kara Svercl added, “I was excited to attend because I love BINGO games and I liked that I could attend online in my apartment.” 

Lotería Night provided a fun middle ground where people were able to come together to win prizes while playing a familiar game through the lens of another culture. Rios De Santiago is proud of the outcome of the event. 

“Oftentimes the hardest part of hosting ‘cultural events’ is that the moment it’s labeled as such, people who don’t belong to the community shy away,” said Rios De Santiago. “Lotería night was one of those events that meets people in the middle.”

Write to: Syd Berggren at sydney.berggren@mnsu.edu

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