By 6:30 p.m. the official head count had grown past 200 and the line was out the door. Game time was still an hour away.

It was going to be a hot time in the cold town down on South Main Street in Gunnison — on a school night in January, no less. It was Tuesday, which means bingo night at the Elks Lodge.

“We’ve never had to lock ‘em out before,” explained Eddie Evans, a member who was helping man the door in a bright purple Elks-emblazoned shirt and a count clicker in his hand.

But by 6:55 p.m. that’s exactly what they did. Tick-tock the game was locked. Lodge 1623 had reached its 250-player capacity.

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