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Publication numberUS20020149152 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/792,260
Publication dateOct 17, 2002
Filing dateFeb 23, 2001
Priority dateFeb 23, 2001
Also published asEP1390924A2, WO2002068071A2, WO2002068071A8
Publication number09792260, 792260, US 2002/0149152 A1, US 2002/149152 A1, US 20020149152 A1, US 20020149152A1, US 2002149152 A1, US 2002149152A1, US-A1-20020149152, US-A1-2002149152, US2002/0149152A1, US2002/149152A1, US20020149152 A1, US20020149152A1, US2002149152 A1, US2002149152A1
InventorsAlan Taylor, Andrew Gray
Original AssigneeAlan Taylor, Gray Andrew P.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multiple-stage game of chance and method of and system for playing the game
US 20020149152 A1
Abstract
A game of chance for a plurality of game participants that is played in a plurality of drawing stages and a method and system for playing the game are disclosed. Game participants self-select or have selected automatically for them a plurality of playing numbers from a population of numbers that are arranged on a game ticket in a number of columns and/or rows, which are grouped in a plurality of discrete blocks. A selection device randomly selects a plurality of winning numbers from the same population in two or more stages. Game participants can win a prize during or at the completion of each drawing stage if all of their playing numbers in designated rows and/or columns match the winning numbers selected in that drawing stage. Thus, game participants can win some prize for matching fewer than all of the winning numbers selected. Moreover, a plurality of winning combinations is possible on each game ticket, producing a plurality of ways to win on a single ticket. The game is played online to facilitate determining the number of winning game tickets and the number of winning combinations per winning game ticket; determining the prize payout amount; and authenticating winning game tickets.
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Claims(42)
What is claimed is:
1. A game of chance played on a network for a plurality of game participants, having a plurality of drawing stages; wherein,
each of the plurality of game participants has at least one game ticket, said game ticket comprising a plurality of discrete blocks comprising a plurality of game boxes that contain a unique number selected from a population of numbers; and
wherein each of the plurality of drawing stages produces a plurality of possible winning combinations during or at the completion of each of the plurality of drawing stages, the game comprising:
a first selection device for populating the plurality of game boxes in each of the plurality of discrete blocks on said at least one game ticket, wherein the first selection device populates each of the plurality of game boxes with a number selected from the population of numbers to produce a plurality of arrays;
a second selection device for randomly selecting a plurality of winning numbers from the population of numbers in a plurality of drawing stages; and
at least one server, wherein the at least one server controls the network.
2. The game of claim 1 wherein the plurality of drawing stages is two.
3. The game of claim 1 wherein the plurality of game boxes in the plurality of discrete blocks on the at least one game ticket is arrayed in a plurality of columns.
4. The game of claim 3 wherein the plurality of columns comprises three columns, each having a number of game boxes therein, in each of the plurality of blocks, for a total of six columns.
5. The game of claim 4 wherein the number of game boxes is four, six and eight, respectively, for the three columns.
6. The game of claim 1 wherein the plurality of game boxes in the plurality of discrete blocks on the at least one game ticket is arrayed in a plurality of rows.
7. The game of claim 6 wherein the plurality of rows comprises six rows each having a number of game boxes therein, in each of the plurality of blocks, for a total of six rows.
8. The game of claim 7 wherein the number of game boxes is four, six, and eight, respectively, for the three rows.
9. The game of claim 1 wherein the plurality of game boxes in at least one of the plurality of discrete blocks on the at least one game ticket is arrayed in a plurality of columns and the plurality of game boxes in at least one of the plurality of discrete blocks on the lat least one game ticket is arrayed in a plurality of rows.
10. The game of claim 9 wherein the plurality of columns comprises three columns, each having a number of game boxes therein and the plurality of rows comprises three rows, each having a number of game boxes therein.
11. The game of claim 10 wherein the number of game boxes is four, six and eight, respectively, for the three columns and the three rows.
12. The game of claim 1 wherein the first selection device for populating a plurality of game boxes comprises a selection card.
13. The game of claim 1 wherein the first selection device comprises at least one server, having software to populate the plurality of game boxes automatically with numbers selected randomly from the population of numbers, wherein the at least one server is connected to the network.
14. The game of claim 1 wherein the population of numbers is divisible into a plurality of sub-populations so that each of the plurality of sub-populations populates all of the plurality of game boxes in at least one of the plurality of arrays.
15. The game of claim 14 wherein the plurality of sub-populations comprises a first third, a second third, and a final third.
16. The game of claim 1 wherein the second selection device for randomly selecting a plurality of winning numbers comprises an electronic random number generator that is connected to the network.
17. The game of claim 1 wherein the second selection device for randomly selecting a plurality of winning numbers comprises a manual drawing machine.
18. The game of claim 1 wherein the network further comprises:
at least one server having:
at least one database for storing the plurality of game participant's arrays;
at least one database for storing the population of numbers from which the second selection device samples to produce the winning numbers; and
software for determining the number of winning game tickets and the number of winning combinations on each winning game ticket; for determining at least one prize payout; and for authenticating at least one winning game ticket;
at least one printer, which is connected to the network, to produce at least one game ticket; and
at least one reader, which is connected to the network, wherein the reader provides each of the plurality of game participant's arrays to the at least one server for storage in the database therefor and to the printer for use in producing the plurality of game tickets.
19. A method of playing a game of chance on a network, the game having a plurality of game participants each having at least one game ticket, comprising the steps of:
populating a plurality of game boxes of a plurality of game tickets with discrete numbers selected from a population of numbers to produce a plurality of arrays;
randomly selecting a plurality of winning numbers from the population of numbers in at least two distinct stages;
determining the number of winning combinations on the plurality of game tickets of the plurality of game participants;
verifying that a game ticket is a winning game ticket; and
awarding at least one prize to at least one game participant, wherein the at least one prize is awarded based on the number of winning combinations appearing on at least one winning game ticket.
20. The method of claim 19 wherein the game ticket comprises a plurality of discrete blocks comprising a plurality of game boxes that are arranged in a plurality of columns, wherein the plurality of blocks comprises two blocks of three columns each.
21. The method of claim 19 wherein the game ticket comprises a plurality of discrete blocks comprising a plurality of game boxes that are arranged in a plurality of rows, wherein the plurality of blocks comprises two blocks of three rows each.
22. The method of claim 19 wherein the plurality of game boxes is populated automatically by at least one server, which is connected to the network, having software therefor.
23. The method of claim 19 wherein the plurality of game boxes is populated manually using a selection card.
24. The method of claim 19 wherein randomly selecting a plurality of winning numbers is performed by a selection device.
25. The method of claim 24 wherein the selection device comprises an electronic random number generator that is connected to the network.
26. The method of claim 24 wherein the selection device comprises a manual drawing machine.
27. The method of claim 19 wherein selecting the plurality of winning numbers stages comprises the additional steps of:
selecting a predetermined number of winning numbers from the population of numbers in a first drawing stage; and
selecting a predetermined number of winning numbers from the population of numbers in a second drawing stage.
28. The method of claim 27 wherein the predetermined number of winning numbers drawn in the first and second drawing stages are twelve and six, respectively.
29. The method of claim 19 wherein the selecting the plurality of winning numbers stages comprises the additional steps of:
selecting a predetermined number of winning numbers from the population of numbers in a first drawing stage;
selecting a predetermined number of winning numbers from the population of numbers in a second drawing stage; and
selecting one or more bonus ball from the population of numbers in a third drawing stage.
30. The method of claim 29 wherein the predetermined number of winning numbers drawn in the first and second drawing stages is twelve each.
31. The method of claim 19 wherein determining the number of winning combinations is performed automatically by at least one server, which is connected to the network, having software therefor.
32. The method of claim 19 comprising the additional step of dividing the population of numbers into a plurality of sub-populations so that each of the plurality of sub-populations populates all of the plurality of game boxes in at least one of the plurality of arrays.
33. The method of claim 32 wherein the plurality of sub-populations comprises a first third, a second third, and a final third.
34. The method of claim 19 further comprising the additional step of storing the plurality of playing numbers for each of the plurality of game participants in at least one server, having at least one database therefore, wherein the at least one server is connected to the network.
35. The method of claim 19 further comprising the additional step of producing the plurality of game tickets.
36. The method of claim 35 wherein the plurality of game tickets is produced by at least one printer, wherein the at least one printer is connected to the network.
37. A system for playing a multiple drawing stage game of chance on a network, comprising:
at least one server, which is connected to the network, wherein the at least one server comprises
at least one database for storing a plurality of arrays of playing numbers populating a discrete blocks comprising a plurality of game boxes on a plurality of game tickets of a plurality of game participants, and
at least one database for storing a population of numbers;
a first selection device for selecting a plurality of playing numbers from the population of numbers to produce the plurality of arrays; and
a second selection device for randomly selecting a plurality of winning numbers from a population of numbers in a plurality of drawing stages.
38. The system of claim 37 wherein the at least one server includes software for:
automatically populating the plurality of game boxes on the plurality of game tickets;
determining the number of winning game tickets and the number of winning combinations on each winning game ticket;
calculating at least one prize payout; and
verifying at least one winning game ticket.
39. The system of claim 37 wherein the first selection device comprises a selection card.
40. The system of claim 37 wherein the second selection device for randomly selecting a plurality of winning numbers comprises an electronic random number generator that is connected to the network.
41. The system of claim 37 wherein the second selection device for randomly selecting a plurality of winning numbers comprises a manual drawing machine.
42. The system of claim 37 further comprising:
at least one local printer, which is connected to the network, for producing at least one game ticket; and
at least one reader, which is connected to the network, wherein the reader provides each of the plurality of game participant's arrays to the at least one server for storage in the database therefor and to the printer for use in producing the plurality of game tickets.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to an online game of chance and a method of and system for playing the game. More precisely, the invention relates to an online lottery-type game of chance with multiple lottery drawing stages and multiple winning combinations during each drawing stage.

DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

[0002] Legalized public and private bingo-, keno-, and lottery-type games abound in the United States and throughout the world. Bingo-type games involve a plurality of participants each having at least one pre-printed playing card. Typically, bingo playing cards comprise five columns, corresponding to the letters “B”, “I”, “N”, “G”, and “O” whence the game derives its name, and five rows in a boxed matrix. A plurality of numbers and/or free spaces populates the boxes in the matrix.

[0003] The game of bingo is played by randomly selecting winning numbers from a population of numbers. The game ends when a combination of selected winning numbers covers at least one row, column, and/or diagonal of five numbers on at least one participant's playing card. Generally, there is only a single winner for each game. Hence, bingo-type games are an example of a “first-to-the-post” game. One shortcoming of a “first-to-the-post” game includes that, typically, only one, or very few people, win anything. Furthermore, the game ends; no additional numbers are drawn; and there is no additional play once at least one participant declares that he or she has “Bingo!”.

[0004] The most common lottery-type format comprises a game, e.g., LOTTO, THE BIG GAME, POWERBALL, etc., in which participants win at least one prize, e.g., a cash jackpot, if their playing numbers, which have been selected from a population of numbers, e.g., integers between 1 and 49, match all or most of a plurality of winning numbers, which are drawn at random from the same population of numbers. Participants either select their own combination of “lucky numbers” using a mark/sense-type, i.e., computer, card; or, in the alternate, an electronic random number generator, which is connected to a remote server, produces, e.g., by “quick pick”, a combination of playing numbers for them. Playing numbers are recorded on a playing ticket. The odds of winning any prize decrease significantly, as more numbers must be matched to win. Hence, cash payoffs are usually quite large and, traditionally, cash payoffs go to a very small number of participants.

[0005] A shortcoming associated with lottery-type games is that they are “linear”, which is to say that, participants are rapidly excluded from winning the top, i.e., jackpot, prize during play. Indeed, there being typically but a single way to win, if the first winning number randomly selected does not match one of the participant's playing numbers, then a participant has no chance to win the top jackpot. Moreover, further winning numbers drawn are of little or no interest. As a result, a participant's interest in the game at that point is one of indifference.

[0006] A variation of the lottery-type game is a keno-type game. By comparison to lottery-type games, keno-type games typically randomly draw more winning numbers from a larger population of numbers, e.g., integers from 1 to 80. Indeed, keno-type games select more winning numbers from the population of numbers than are required to win. For example, typically, about 20 winning numbers are selected from the population of numbers and game participants may win a prize if they match anywhere between two and ten of the winning numbers. Thus, a game participant still can win the top prize without having to match all of the winning numbers drawn. Moreover, keno-type games are more flexible than lottery- or bingo-type games as game participants can choose how many winning numbers they want to try to match in each game.

[0007] Indeed, by comparison, keno-type games typically produce (i) more opportunities to match winning numbers, which minimizes the linear effect generally associated with a lottery-type format, and (ii) participants actually can choose the number of winning numbers that he or she intends to match, e.g., two, five, ten, etc. Correspondingly, prizes, e.g., cash jackpots, are greater when more numbers must be, and ultimately are, matched. Indeed, keno prizes increase commensurate with the odds of matching two numbers of the 20 selected, versus matching five of 20, versus matching ten of 20, etc.

[0008] Shortcomings associated with keno-type games include inaccessibility to the game and game complexity. Indeed, keno-type games are most frequently played in gambling establishments and bars, which restricts the game participant profile to those who frequent such establishments. Furthermore, those who have never played the game find the rules and the selection process confusing, so they are not inclined or hesitant to play.

[0009] There is a present and recurring need for new games of chance that are easily understood; that produce more than one winner; and that provide for multiple ways of winning during a single game to spark greater public participation. Arguably, the best understood games are bingo- and lottery-type games. Bingo-type games are “first-to-the-post” games, in which only a small number of participants, typically just one, wins. Moreover, once a participant is “at the post”, the game is over and no more winning numbers are drawn. Lottery-type games are linear and allow only a small number of participants to win anything. Moreover, interest and participation in current lottery-type games are often flat unless extraordinarily large jackpots accumulate following a series of drawings without a winner. Keno-type games provide potentially more winning combinations and more opportunities for more participants to win some prize. However, the game is not accessible to the public-at-large. Furthermore, the game is confusing to novices, many of whom could be participants.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] Thus, it would be desirable to produce a novel game of chance that produces a plurality of potential winning combinations on a single playing ticket, which allows more participants to win at least some prize and a method of and system for playing that game. It would further be desirable to produce a novel game of chance wherein more winning numbers are selected than are needed to win the top prize and a method of and system for playing that game. It would also be desirable to produce a novel game of chance that is easily understood to encourage more people to participate and a method of and system for playing that game. Furthermore, it would be desirable to produce a novel game of chance that is accessible readily by the general public and a method of and system for playing that game. Moreover, it would be desirable to produce a new game of chance that is neither linear nor “first to the post” and a method of and system for playing that game.

[0011] Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to produce a novel game of chance that provides more than one possible winning combination on a single playing ticket and a method of and system for playing that game.

[0012] It is a further object of this invention to produce a novel game of chance in which more than one participant can win some prize during a single scheduled drawing event and a method of and system for playing that game.

[0013] It is another object of this invention to produce a novel game of chance that is easily understood to encourage more people to participate and a method of and system for playing that game.

[0014] It is yet another object of the present invention to produce a novel game of chance that comprise more than one drawing stages, with possible winning combinations at the end of each drawing stage to substantially minimize the effects of linearity and a method of and system for playing that game.

[0015] These objects and other objects that will become obvious to those skilled in the art can be attained by the disclosed online multiple stage game of chance and method of and system for playing that game. Indeed, the game can be played by a plurality of game participants who participate by purchasing a game ticket at a point of sale terminal, which is connected to a network. Game tickets can include a combination of playing numbers, e.g., integers from 1 to 36, that can be arranged in a plurality of, e.g., columns or rows of equal or unequal length in more than one distinct area thereon. Playing numbers can be self-selected or randomly selected by an electronic random number generator from a population of numbers.

[0016] A selection device, which also can be connected to a network, randomly selects a predetermined number of winning numbers from the same population of numbers in a plurality of drawing stages. Participants can win at least one prize during or at the completion of each of the plurality of drawing stages if a combination of winning numbers matches all of the playing numbers appearing in at least one row and/or column on the participant's game ticket and/or completely covering one of the plurality of distinct areas on the game ticket.

[0017] The online nature of the game ensures that the game can be administered and operated efficiently and in real time. Indeed, a plurality of point of sale terminals can be connected by a network to at least one server, which contains (i) sufficient memory to store all of the playing number arrangements of all of the participants; (ii) software that can search all of the participants' number arrangements to identify winning game tickets for each drawing event and at each stage of each drawing event; (iii) software that can generate a plurality of numbers randomly to populate a participant's playing game ticket, and (iv) software to calculate the cash payoff for each winning combination. Communication on the network can be by local area net (LAN) wide area net (WAN), Internet, wireless, and any of the other methods that are known to those skilled in the art.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018] For a fuller understanding of the nature and desired objects of the present invention, reference is made to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing figures wherein like reference character denote corresponding parts throughout the several views and wherein:

[0019]FIG. 1a is an illustrative embodiment of a game ticket;

[0020]FIG. 1b is another illustrative embodiment of a game ticket;

[0021]FIG. 1c is yet another illustrative embodiment of a game ticket;

[0022]FIG. 2a is an illustrative embodiment of a 4-square row or column win;

[0023]FIG. 2b is an illustrative embodiment of a 6-square row or column win;

[0024]FIG. 2c is an illustrative embodiment of an 8-square row or column win;

[0025]FIG. 2d is an illustrative embodiment of a block win without a bonus game square;

[0026]FIG. 2e is an illustrative embodiment of a block win with a bonus game square; and

[0027]FIG. 3 is an illustrative embodiment of a network for playing the game.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION AND ITS PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0028] The present invention relates to an online game of chance and a method of and system for playing that game. The game can be played by a plurality of game participants, each of which can have at least one game ticket 100 (See FIGS. 1a to 1 c). Preferably, on each of the plurality of game tickets 100 can be printed at least two discrete areas, or blocks, 200, 300. The at least two blocks 200, 300 can be separated from each other by a spacer, or separating region 400, which can be, e.g., a line. Preferably, each of the at least two discrete blocks 200, 300 comprises a plurality of game squares, or boxes, 150, which are displayed on each playing ticket 100. Preferably, the plurality of boxes 150 can be populated by a plurality of whole numbers selected from a population, e.g., of integers from 1 to 36. In this preferred embodiment, each of the at least two discrete blocks 200, 300 comprises an equal number of, i.e., 18, game squares 150 for a total of 36 game squares 150.

[0029] The plurality of numbers 150 can be arranged on each game ticket 100 in each of the at least two discrete block 200, 300 in, for example, a plurality of columns A, B, C (FIGS. 1b and 1 c) and/or rows H, I, J (FIG. 1a), which for illustrative purposes only is shown in the figures as comprising three rows and/or columns. Preferably, the number of game squares 150 in each column A, B, C and/or row H, I, J differs. However, the number of the plurality of game squares 150 in each column A, B, C and/or row H, I, J can be the same without violating the scope and spirit of the disclosed invention. Indeed, for example, in a preferred embodiment and as shown in the figures, column A and row H comprise four game squares 150, column B and row I comprise six game squares 150, and column C and row J comprise eight game squares 150.

[0030] Game tickets 100 can contain other information, designs, and/or graphics printed thereon, which can include the name of the game 110, the owner or sponsor of the game 120, the date of the scheduled drawing event 130, the cost of the game ticket 160, and a ticket coding 170. Ticket coding 170, e.g., by bar code or magnetic stripe, is an integral element of the present invention. Ticket coding 170 facilitates rapid transmission and storage of digitized information, e.g., in binary form, between a plurality of point of sale terminals 505 and at least one server 500 (FIG. 3). This digitized information can include a point of sale terminal identifier that tells whence a playing ticket 100 was issued, the date of the scheduled drawing event 130, which coincides with the scheduled drawing date 130 appearing on the face of each playing ticket 100, and the arrangement, i.e., the location, of each participant's playing numbers in the plurality of game squares 150 in the at least two discrete blocks 200, 300. For example, with respect to FIG. 1a, ticket coding 170 can include the “January 13” drawing date 130 and, furthermore, that the number two (2) is located in game square J1, the number twenty (20) is located in game square I4, the number six (6) is located in game square H8, etc.

[0031] Indeed, the plurality of game tickets 100 can be printed and issued by a plurality of printer/readers 510 that is located at each of the plurality of point of sale terminals 505 and is networked with at least one server 500 in a conventional manner employed by a myriad of instant games and lotteries (FIG. 3), e.g., WAN, LAN, wireless, Internet, etc. The at least one server 500 includes means for storing relevant game ticket information 520 for each scheduled drawing event, e.g., a database, an algorithm 530, e.g., software, for (i) searching data stored for each game ticket 520 to identify winning combinations on winning game tickets 100 for each drawing event and each stage of each drawing event; (ii) randomly generating a plurality of numbers to populate the game squares 150 of a participant's game ticket 100; (iii) calculating the cash payoff for each winning combination; and (iv) verifying a winning ticket. As a result, the at least one server 500 can determine the number of winning game tickets 100 and the prize amount for each winning combination on each winning game ticket 100 virtually instantaneously.

[0032] For example, in a preferred embodiment, each of the at least two discrete blocks 200, 300 can contain eighteen game squares 150 that can be grouped into three columns A, B, C and/or three rows H, I, J of four, six, and eight numbers 150, respectively. Each game square 150 can contain therein a number, e.g., an integer, taken from a population of numbers, e.g., integers from 1 to 36. The population of numbers is of minor importance to the present invention. Thus, the population could be even integers from 2 to 72, etc.

[0033] In this preferred embodiment, a fraction of the total population of integers can be assigned to populate the plurality of columns A, B, C and/or rows H, I, J according to a formula that the fraction is equal to the reciprocal of the number of rows A, B, C and/or columns H, I, J. For example, assuming three columns and/or rows, one-third (⅓) of the population of numbers, e.g., integers from 1 to 12, populates, e.g., the four-game square column A or the eight-game square row J in block 200 and the eight-game square column C or the four-game square row H in block 300. The second third of the population of numbers, e.g., integers from 13 to 24, populates, e.g., the six-game square columns B or rows I in blocks 200 and 300. The final third of the population of numbers, e.g., integers from 25 to 36, populates, e.g., the four-game square column A or the eight-game square row J in block 300 and the eight-game square column C or the four-game square row H in block 200.

[0034] In this preferred embodiment, the at least one server 500, which can be connected to a network, can include software to generate a plurality of numbers randomly and/or in accordance with the above described distribution scheme, to populate each of the plurality of game squares 150 on each of the plurality of game ticket 100. These generated numbers can be printed automatically in the plurality of game squares 150 on the plurality of participant's game tickets 100 to provide each of the plurality of participants with a record of his or her winning combinations. Furthermore, the generated numbers also can be recorded in a database 520 of the at least one server 500 to facilitate a virtually instantaneous determination of the number of winning game tickets 100 per scheduled drawing event, the number of winning combinations per game ticket 100, and the amount of each prize, e.g., cash jackpot, for each winning game ticket 100.

[0035] In an alternate embodiment, a participant himself or herself can select the plurality of numbers to populate one or more game squares 150 in a plurality of rows H, I, J or columns A, B, C rather than having the server 500 do so automatically. Means of selectively populating a game ticket 100 include, e.g., using mark/sense, i.e., computer, cards, punch-type cards, and/or other arrangements for recording number selection that are well known to those skilled in the art. Mark/sense cards and/or punch-type cards can be fed into the printer/reader 510 at the point of sale terminal 505, where software in the server 500 can read the marked information and generate a game ticket 100 that corresponds to the arrangement selected by a game participant. The online server 500 also can select randomly and can populate automatically those empty game squares 150 in rows H, I, J and/or columns A, B, C to which a game participant purposely or mistakenly did not assign a number.

[0036] It is preferred that the scheduled drawing event for the game occurs live on commercial or closed circuit television. For example, the drawing can take place after the evening news on at least one of the local television affiliates. However, the game can be played using other drawing events that are known to those skilled in the art without violating the scope and spirit of the invention. The game can be played by drawing manually or by generating randomly a plurality of winning numbers from the population of numbers in more than one stage, or phase. Manual drawing techniques can include, e.g., a drawing drum or similar device. Random number generating can be effected using, e.g., an electronic random number generator.

[0037] A variety of winning combinations can occur during and/or at the completion of each of the plurality of drawing stages. Prizes can be awarded for each winning combination commensurate with the odds of getting that winning combination. A winning combination comprises one or more columns H, I, J and/or rows A, B, C wherein each of the plurality of numbers in the plurality of game squares 150 in the one or more columns H, I J and/or rows A, B, C match winning numbers drawn randomly in the various stages of the game. Thus, the object of the game is to have as many of the randomly drawn winning numbers match the numbers populating the game squares 150 on a participant's game ticket 100 so that one or more columns A, B, C, and/or rows H, I, J and/or a block 200, 300 is filled.

[0038] The method of playing the game will now be described in greater detail using illustrative examples. The preferred embodiment comprises a two-stage drawing event. In the first stage, eighteen numbers can be selected manually or generated randomly from the population of numbers. Moreover, of the eighteen numbers drawn or generated in the first stage, six numbers can be selected from the range of numbers from 1 to 12; which corresponds to the numbers populating the four-game square 150 column A or the eight-game square row J in block 200 and the eight-game square 150 column C or the four-game square row H in block 300; six numbers can be selected from the range of numbers from 13 to 24, which corresponds to the numbers populating the six-game square 150 column B or row I in blocks 200 and 300; and six numbers can be selected from the range of numbers from 25 to 36, which corresponds to the numbers populating the four-game square 150 column A or the eight-game square row J in block 300 and the eight-game square 150 column C or the four-game square row H in block 200.

[0039] During or at the completion of this first drawing stage, several winning combinations Z can occur and prizes for those winning combinations Z can be awarded. Indeed, at the close of the first stage of the drawing event, potential winning combinations Z can occur by matching each game square 150 in at least one four-square (FIG. 2a, in which winning combination are designated by a plurality of Z's) and/or a six-square (FIG. 2b) row I or column B in at least one block 200, 300. Consequently, during and/or at the end of the first drawing stage, there are nine potential winning combinations Z: a four-square row H or column A in block 200; a four-square row H or column A in block 300; a four-square row H or column A in both blocks 200 and 300; a six-square row I or column B in block 200; a six-square row I or column B in block 300; a four-square and a six-square row H, I or column A, B in block 200; a four-square and a six-square row H, I or column A, B in block 300; a four-square row H or column A from block 200 and a six-square row I or column B in block 300; or a four-square row H or column A from block 300 and a six-square row I or column B in block 200. As a result, for this preferred embodiment, the disclosed game can produce nine unique ways to win a prize during the first stage of the drawing event. Prizes can be awarded commensurate with the odds of getting a four-square row H, I, J and/ column A, B, C, etc.

[0040] Additional potential winning combinations Z can occur during or at the completion of a second drawing stage. For example, it is preferred that for the second stage of the drawing event, up to six additional numbers and one or more bonus numbers B, for a total of six additional winning numbers, can be selected from the total population of numbers that remain after the first stage of the drawing event. As a result, there are six additional potential winning combinations Z at the completion of the second stage of the drawing. Indeed, potential winning combinations Z can occur by matching each game square 150 of one of the eight-square rows J or columns C (FIG. 2c) in either block 200, 300; by matching all of the game squares 150 in one of the blocks 200, 300 using the bonus ball B (FIG. 2e); or by matching all of the game squares 150 in one of the blocks 200, 300 without using the bonus ball B (FIG. 2d). Consequently, a single, two-stage game can produce fifteen potential winning combinations Z from a single game ticket 100. Game participants who have won a prize at the completion of the first drawing stage also can win a prize during and/or at the completion of the second and any subsequent drawing stages. Hence, their interest continues throughout the multiple drawing stages.

[0041] In this preferred embodiment, during or at the completion of this second stage of the drawing, prizes are not awarded for matching all of the game squares 150 in any of the four-square and/or six-square rows H, I or columns A, B. However, in a separate embodiment, lesser prizes also can be awarded for matching all of the game squares 150 in any of the four-square and/or six-square rows H, I and/or columns A, B at the completion of the second stage of the drawing.

[0042] In a second embodiment, the game can be played by making drawings in three stages. For example, in this second embodiment twelve numbers can be drawn or randomly generated in the first drawing stage of the game. Of the first twelve numbers drawn or generated electronically, four numbers can be selected from numbers in the range from 1 to 12; four numbers can be selected from numbers in the range from 13 to 24; and four numbers can be selected from numbers in the range from 25 to 36. For this second embodiment, during or at the completion of the first stage of the drawing event, potential winning combinations Z occur by matching each game square 150 in at least one or both of the four-square rows H and/or columns A in either block 200, 300. Hence, this embodiment of the game can produce three winning combinations during or at the completion of the first drawing stage. Correspondingly, game participants can received at least one prize for having one of these potential winning combinations Z.

[0043] During the second stage of the drawing event of this second embodiment, four additional numbers can be selected from numbers in the range from 1 to 12; four additional numbers can be selected from numbers in the range from 13 to 24; and four additional numbers can be selected from numbers in the range from 25 to 36.

[0044] Potential winning combinations Z during or at the completion of the second drawing stage can occur by matching each game square 150 in at least one eight-square row J and/or column C in either block 200, 300; by matching each game square 150 in one six-square row I and/or column B in either block 200, 300; by matching each game square 150 in one eight-square row J and/or column C and one six-square row I and/or column B in either block 200, 300; or by matching all of the game squares 150 in one of the blocks 200, 300. Hence, this embodiment of the game can produce nine additional winning combinations Z at the completion of the second drawing stage. Correspondingly, game participants who have any of these potential winning combinations Z, even those game participants who might have had a winning combination Z during or at the completion of the first stage of the drawing event, can be awarded at least one prize.

[0045] Preferably, no prizes are awarded at the completion of the second drawing stage of this second embodiment for matching all of the game squares 150 in either of the four-square rows H and/or columns A. However, in a separate embodiment, prizes can be awarded for matching all of the game squares 150 in at least one of the four-square rows H and/or columns A at the completion of the second drawing stage.

[0046] In the final stage of this three-stage drawing event, at least one bonus number B is selected from the total population of numbers remaining after the first and second drawing stage. Potential winning combinations Z at the completion of this third drawing stage can occur by matching all of the game squares 150 in one of the blocks 200, 300. Hence, this embodiment of the game can produce two additional winning combinations at the completion of the third drawing stage. Consequently, the embodied three-stage drawing event can produce 14 winning combinations on a single game ticket 100. Preferably, no prizes are awarded at the completion of the third drawing stage for matching all of the numbers 150 in any four-, six- or eight-square rows H, J, columns or I A, B, C. However, in yet another separate embodiment of the three-stage game embodiment, prizes can be awarded at the completion of the third stage drawing for matching all of the game squares 150 in at least one four-, six, and/or eight-square row H, I, J or column A, B, C.

[0047] Prizes can be awarded to winning game participants based on the odds of having one or more winning combinations Z on a single game ticket 100, the amount of the jackpot, and the number of winning participants per drawing event. For example, the odds associated with the preferred, two-stage drawing embodiment described above are provided in the table below:

Number of Odds/Card
Winning Combinations Balls Drawn (#:1)
4-square row or column 18 16.5
6-square row or column 18 462
8-square row or column 23 89
Entire block with bonus 24 38,926
Entire block without 23 165,993
bonus

[0048] To redeem a winning game ticket 100 for a prize, participants need only return their winning game ticket 100 to any point of sale terminal 205, where the winning ticket 100 can be inserted into the printer/reader 510 for verification. Because the game can be played on a network, verification can be fast and simple.

[0049] Indeed, the verification process can include reading the ticket coding 170 that appears on each game ticket 100 to ascertain the arrangement of the participant's playing numbers, the date of the scheduled drawing event 130, and the original point of sale terminal identifier. This information can be compared with similar information that has been stored in the memory of at least one server 500 to verify that the game ticket 100 is indeed a winning game ticket 100 and to confirm the prize amount. Comparison of the information in the server memory 520 with the information downloaded at the point of sale terminal can be processed expeditiously by software 530 by means that are well known to those skilled in the art.

[0050] While a number of embodiments of the invention have been described, it should be obvious to those skilled in the art that other embodiments to and/or modifications, combinations, and substitutions of the present invention are possible, all of which are within the scope and spirit of the disclosed invention.

Referenced by
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US7311606Dec 22, 2004Dec 25, 2007Cantor Index, LlcSystem and method for betting on a subset of participants in an event wherein betting parameters may change over time
US7713125Jul 26, 2005May 11, 2010Cantor Index, LlcJackpot race event
US8187196Apr 25, 2008May 29, 2012Ramot At Tel-Aviv University Ltd.System for determining endothelial dependent vasoactivity
US8444479Nov 5, 2004May 21, 2013Cantor Index LlcBetting against participants in an event
US8460076Oct 30, 2007Jun 11, 2013Cantor Index LlcBetting on a subset of participants in an event wherein betting parameters may change over time
US8636571Feb 3, 2004Jan 28, 2014Cantor Index, LlcSystem and method for managing select five horseracing bets
US8708789May 10, 2010Apr 29, 2014Cantor Index, LlcConducting a jackpot race event
US8764543Aug 17, 2006Jul 1, 2014Steve HouleMethod and system for playing a networked bingo game
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/269
International ClassificationA63F3/06
Cooperative ClassificationA63F3/065
European ClassificationA63F3/06F
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 23, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: EUROPRINT HOLDINGS LIMITED, UNITED KINGDOM
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:TAYLOR, ALAN;GRAY, ANDREW P.;REEL/FRAME:012160/0960
Effective date: 20010302