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Publication numberUS20050197181 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/068,998
Publication dateSep 8, 2005
Filing dateFeb 28, 2005
Priority dateMar 3, 2004
Publication number068998, 11068998, US 2005/0197181 A1, US 2005/197181 A1, US 20050197181 A1, US 20050197181A1, US 2005197181 A1, US 2005197181A1, US-A1-20050197181, US-A1-2005197181, US2005/0197181A1, US2005/197181A1, US20050197181 A1, US20050197181A1, US2005197181 A1, US2005197181A1
InventorsJoel Jaffe
Original AssigneeWms Gaming Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming terminal with bonus payout indicated by a rotating ball feature
US 20050197181 A1
Abstract
A gaming terminal for playing a basic wagering game and a bonus game includes a display for displaying a randomly selected outcome such as a start-bonus outcome. The gaming terminal further includes a player-input device for receiving gaming input and a bonus game region, which includes a plurality of bonus indicators for indicating a bonus award. At least one of the bonus indicators includes a bonus-indicia video display located in a back portion of the bonus indicator for displaying a bonus indicia. Upon selection by the player, the bonus indicator rotates to position the video display within the line of sight of a player.
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Claims(20)
1. A gaming terminal for playing a basic wagering game and a bonus game, comprising:
a display for displaying a randomly selected outcome for a basic wagering game, said randomly selected outcome being selected from a plurality of outcomes in response to receiving a wager input from a player, said plurality of outcomes including a start-bonus outcome;
a player-input device for receiving input related to playing said basic wagering game and said bonus game; and
a bonus game region including a plurality of rotatable bonus indicators, at least one of said plurality of bonus indicators being adapted to be selected by a player via inputs from said player-input device, said plurality of bonus indicators having a corresponding bonus-indicia video display located on a back portion of said bonus indicator, said bonus-indicia video display being rotated in a position within the line of sight of the player in response to a player selecting said corresponding bonus indicator via said player-input device.
2. The gaming terminal of claim 1, wherein said plurality of bonus indicators include reference symbols on a front portion, said front portion being visible to the player of the gaming terminal during said basic wagering game, said reference symbols being used for player selection via the player-input device.
3. The gaming terminal of claim 2, wherein said reference symbol is selected from the group consisting of a letter, a number, a word, and a phrase.
4. The gaming terminal of claim 1, wherein said plurality of bonus indicators are adapted to rotate around a corresponding central axis, said central axis being generally parallel to a front portion of said bonus indicator, said bonus indicator rotating to show its corresponding bonus-indicia video display after rotating around said central axis.
5. The gaming terminal of claim 1, wherein at least one of said plurality of bonus indicators is illuminated via a LED.
6. The gaming terminal of claim 1, wherein said bonus-indicia video display shows a bonus game outcome by displaying symbols selected from the group consisting of a letter, a number, and a phrase.
7. The gaming terminal of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of mechanical reels for playing said basic wagering game.
8. A gaming terminal for playing a basic wagering game and a bonus game, comprising:
a display for displaying a randomly selected outcome for a basic wagering game, said randomly selected outcome being selected from a plurality of outcomes in response to receiving a wager input from a player, said plurality of outcomes including a start-bonus outcome;
a player-input device for receiving input related to playing said basic wagering game and said bonus game; and
a bonus indicator having a video display integrally mounted in a back portion and a reference symbol in a front portion, said video display indicating a randomly selected winning outcome for said bonus game, said reference symbol being displayed at said player-input device to allow selection of said bonus indicators by the player, said video display being positioned such that it is obscured from a player's line of sight when the bonus indicator has not been selected by the player, said bonus indicator rotating to position said video display in the player's line of sight when the corresponding bonus indicator has been selected by the player.
9. The gaming terminal of claim 8, wherein said bonus indicator has a hemispherical shape.
10. The gaming terminal of claim 8, further comprising a controller for controlling said video display, said video display being wirelessly connected to said controller.
11. The gaming terminal of claim 8, further comprising a controller for controlling said video display, said video display being wired to said controller.
12. A method of conducting a basic wagering game and a bonus game, comprising:
receiving a wager input;
selecting a randomly selected outcome from a plurality of outcomes in response to said receiving step, said plurality of outcomes including a start-bonus outcome;
triggering a bonus game when said randomly selected outcome is said start-bonus outcome;
selecting one bonus indicator from a plurality of movable bonus indicators after said triggering step, said one bonus indicator having a video display integrally mounted thereto;
moving said one bonus indicator upon selection to reveal a bonus indicia via said video display; and
determining a total award won in said bonus game based on said bonus indicia.
13. The method of claim 12, further comprising illuminating at least one of said plurality of bonus indicators.
14. The method of claim 12, wherein said moving includes rotating said one bonus indicator around a central axis of said one bonus indicator such that a front portion of said first bonus indicator, which is initially facing said player of the gaming terminal, is now facing away from said player.
15. The method of claim 12, further comprising
selecting another bonus indicator from said plurality of bonus indicators after said selecting of said one bonus indicator,
moving said another bonus indicator upon selection to reveal another bonus indicia via another video display, said another video display being integrally mounted in a back portion of said another bonus indicator; and
determining said total award won in said bonus game based on said another bonus indicia, in addition to said bonus indicia.
16. The method of claim 15, wherein said determining includes multiplying said bonus indicia with said another bonus indicia to obtain said total award for said bonus game.
17. The method of claim 15, wherein said determining includes adding said bonus indicia to said another bonus indicia to obtain said total award for said bonus game.
18. The method of claim 12, further comprising generating said bonus indicia prior to said selecting of said one of said bonus indicators.
19. The method of claim 12, further comprising generating said bonus indicia after said selecting of said one of said bonus indicators.
20. The method of claim 12, further comprising controlling independently each video display associated with a corresponding one of said plurality of bonus indicators.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to and claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/549,674 filed Mar. 3, 2004, titled “Gaming Terminal With Bonus Payout Indicated By A Rotating Ball Feature,” which is incorporated herein in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to gaming terminals and, more particularly, to a gaming terminal having a bonus feature that is indicated by a rotating ball.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Gaming machines, such as slot machines, video poker machines, and the like, have been a cornerstone of the gaming industry for several years. Generally, the popularity of such machines with players is dependent on the likelihood (or perceived likelihood) of winning money at the machine and the intrinsic entertainment value of the machine relative to other available gaming options. Where the available gaming options include a number of competing machines and the expectation of winning each machine is roughly the same (or believed to be the same), players are most likely to be attracted to the most entertaining and exciting of the machines.

Consequently, shrewd operators strive to employ the most entertaining and exciting machines available because such machines attract frequent play and, hence, increase profitability to the operator. In the competitive gaming machine industry, there is a continuing need for gaming machine manufacturers to produce new types of games, or enhancements to existing games, which will attract frequent play by enhancing the entertainment value and excitement associated with the game.

One concept that has been successfully employed to enhance the entertainment value of a game is that of a “secondary” or “bonus” game which may be played in conjunction with a “basic” game. The bonus game may comprise any type of game, either similar to or completely different from the basic game, and is entered upon the occurrence of a selected event or outcome of the basic game. Such a bonus game produces a significantly higher level of player excitement than the basic game because it provides a greater expectation of winning than the basic game.

Another concept that has been employed is the use of a progressive jackpot. In the gaming industry, a “progressive” game involves collecting coin-in data from participating gaming device(s) (e.g., slot machines), contributing a percentage of that coin-in data to a jackpot amount, and awarding that jackpot amount to a player upon the occurrence of a certain jackpot-won event. A jackpot-won event typically occurs when a “progressive winning position” is achieved at a participating gaming device. If the gaming device is a slot machine, a progressive winning position may, for example, correspond to alignment of progressive jackpot reel symbols along a certain payline. The initial progressive jackpot is a predetermined minimum amount. That jackpot amount, however, progressively increases as players continue to play the gaming machine without winning the jackpot. Further, when several gaming machines are linked together such that several players at several gaming machines compete for the same jackpot, the jackpot progressively increases at a much faster rate, which leads to further player excitement. In existing progressive jackpots, the progressives are often high-pay, low-frequency progressives, which may result in some players becoming disheartened when they do not win.

In existing gaming machines, the indicators for a winning outcome in a bonus game or a progressive game is a simple display or mechanical reel. The current indicators do not stand out in a visual thrilling way. One problem with the current indicators is that they do not provide an enhanced entertainment experience during at least a portion of the winning outcome.

Another problem with the current indicators is that potential players do not perceive them as having an increased entertainment value or as having a big payoff. For example, lottery balls are indicators that are generally associated with winnings and gaming entertainment even by people that do not play the game of lotto. Because the current indicators lack the necessary association to already established symbols of entertainment and winnings, the current indicators fail to attract potential players.

To provide a higher entertainment value, and, consequently, to attract more players, a need exists for new indicators showing a winning outcome in a bonus game or a progressive game. Accordingly, a need exists for a gaming terminal having indicators that will provide a solution to the problems discussed above.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a gaming terminal for playing a basic wagering game and a bonus game. The gaming terminal includes a display for displaying a randomly selected outcome for a basic wagering game, the randomly selected outcome being selected from a plurality of outcomes in response to receiving a wager input from a player. The plurality of outcomes includes a start-bonus outcome. The gaming terminal also includes a player-input device for receiving input related to playing the basic wagering game and a bonus game. The gaming terminal further includes a bonus game region having a plurality of physical bonus indicators, at least one of the bonus indicators being adapted to be selected by a player via inputs from the player-input device. At least one of the bonus indicators is rotatable and includes a bonus-indicia video display that is located in a back portion of the bonus indicator. The bonus-indicia video display associated with a selected bonus indicator is rotated in a position within the line of sight of the player upon selection at the player-input device by the player.

The present invention also relates to a method of conducting a basic wagering game and a bonus game, wherein the method includes receiving a wager input and selecting a randomly selected outcome from a plurality of outcomes in response to receiving the wager input. The plurality of outcomes includes a start-bonus outcome. The method also includes the triggering of a bonus game when the randomly selected outcome is the start-bonus outcome. After the bonus game has been triggered, a bonus indicator is selected from a plurality of bonus indicators. The bonus indicator includes a video display integrally mounted in a back portion thereof. Upon selection by a player, the bonus indicator rotates to display a bonus indicia via the video display. The rotation of the bonus indicator positions the video display in the line of sight of the player. A total award won in the bonus game is determined based on the bonus indicia.

In an alternative embodiment, after triggering the bonus game, all of the bonus indicators are selected and moved to reveal the bonus indicia via their respective video displays. A plurality of symbols are displayed on a player-input device, each symbol revealing a hidden indicia upon selection by the player. The total award is determined based on the number of hidden indicia that match the bonus indicia.

The above summary of the present invention is not intended to represent each embodiment, or every aspect, of the present invention. The detailed description and figures will describe many of the embodiments and aspects of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing and other advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description and upon reference to the drawings.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a gaming terminal according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of the gaming terminal of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a schematic view of a main display of the gaming terminal of FIG. 1 showing a reel combination triggering a bonus game.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a push-button panel of the gaming terminal of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a plurality of bonus game indicators of the gaming terminal of FIG. 1, the indicators being shown before the triggering of a bonus game.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a plurality of bonus game indicators of the gaming terminal of FIG. 1, the indicators being shown after the triggering of a bonus game.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a gaming terminal according to another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a plurality of bonus game indicators according to another embodiment of the present invention, the indicators being shown after the triggering of a bonus game.

FIG. 9 is a schematic view of a main display of the gaming terminal of FIG. 1 according to another embodiment of the present invention.

While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments have been shown by way of example in the drawings and will be described in detail herein. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not intended to be limited to the particular forms disclosed. Rather, the invention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a typical gaming terminal 10 used by gaming establishments, such as casinos. With regard to the present invention, the gaming terminal 10 may be any type of gaming terminal and may have varying structures and methods of operation. For example, the gaming terminal 10 may be a mechanical gaming terminal configured to play mechanical slots, or it may be an electromechanical or electrical gaming terminal configured to play a video casino game, such as blackjack, slots, keno, poker, etc. The gaming terminal 10 includes a “bonus” or “secondary” game that can be achieved in the basic game and the results are shown in a bonus game region 12 of the housing of the gaming terminal 10.

As shown, the gaming terminal 10 includes input devices, such as a wager acceptor 16, a push-button panel 22, and a player-identification card reader 24. For outputs, the gaming terminal 10 includes a progressive game display 25 for displaying the value of a progressive game, and a main display 26 for displaying information about the basic wagering game. While these typical components found in the gaming terminal 10 are described below, it should be understood that numerous other elements may exist and may be used in any number of combinations to create various forms of a gaming terminal.

The wager acceptor 16 may be provided in many forms, individually or in combination. The wager acceptor 16 may include a cash wager acceptor and a card wager acceptor. The cash wager acceptor may include a coin slot acceptor or a note acceptor to input value to the gaming terminal 10. The card wager acceptor may include a card-reading device for reading a card that has a recorded monetary value with which it is associated. The card wager acceptor may also receive a card that authorizes access to a central account, which can transfer funds to the gaming terminal 10.

The push-button panel 22 is typically offered to provide players with an option on how to make their game inputs. The push-button panel 22 includes a plurality of mechanical buttons, which can be arranged in various ways. The mechanical buttons can be used to initiate a gaming session, such as, for example, starting of spinning reels, stopping of spinning reels, increasing credits, etc.

The player-identification card reader 24 allows for the identification of a player by reading a card with information indicating his or her identity. Currently, the identification is used by casinos for rewarding certain players with complimentary services or special offers. For example, a player may be enrolled in the gaming establishment's players' club and may be awarded certain complimentary services as that player collects points in his or her player-tracking account. The player inserts his or her card into the player-identification card reader 24, which allows the casino's computers to register that player's wagering at the gaming terminal 10.

The operation of the basic wagering game is displayed to the player on the main display 26. The main display 26 may take the form of a cathode ray tube (CRT), a high resolution LCD, a plasma display, LED, or any other type of video display suitable for use in the gaming terminal 10. Alternatively, the gaming terminal 10 may have a number of mechanical reels to display the game outcome.

The progressive game display 25 shows the current value of the jackpot awarded to a player if the predetermined winning outcome for the progressive game is achieved. The progressive game display 25 is located at the top of the gaming terminal 10, above the bonus game region 12. Because the gaming terminal 10 has a lotto theme, the spheres above the progressive display 25 spell the word “POWERBALL®.” The spheres can be illuminated or non-illuminated, can have different colors and shapes, and can vary in numbers. The spheres can be adapted to provide a more attractive visual display by having one or more of the spheres do one or more of the following: rotate in place, move in any direction, and illuminate according to a predetermined pattern.

The bonus game region 12 includes a plurality of bonus indicators 50. The bonus indicators 50 are shown having a generally spherical shape, having different coloring shades, and having a reference symbol printed on a front side of each of the bonus indicators 50. Specifically, each one of the first five bonus indicators 50 are white and each one has a different letter printed to spell the term “POWER.” The sixth bonus indicator 50 is red and it includes the term “BALL.” Together, all six bonus indicators 50 spell out the word “POWERBALL®.” As will described in more detail later, each one of the bonus indicators 50 is adapted to rotate around its own axis such that its back side, which initially is not visible to the player, displays a bonus outcome to the player on a miniature video display.

In other embodiments, the bonus indicators 50 can have any other shape, can vary in numbers, can have different colors, can have varied sizes, and can display any reference symbol, e.g., letters, numbers, symbols, and phrases. The bonus indicators 50 and the reference symbols can be illuminated or non-illuminated. For example, the illumination can be provided via a light-emitting diode (“LED”). In the embodiments where the bonus indicators 50 are illuminated, the illumination can be constant or can vary according to predetermined patterns. Further, the bonus game region 12 can be a video display wherein the bonus indicators 50 are shown as video symbols.

In general, a bonus indicator 50 includes a bonus indicia display 51, a motor, a motor-controller, and a support shaft. The display 51 showing the bonus indicia can be any type of video display. For example, the bonus indicia display 51 may take the form of a CRT, a high resolution LCD, a plasma display, LED, or any other type of video display suitable for use in the bonus indicators 50. Preferably, the bonus indicia display 51 is a LED. In general, the bonus indicia display 51 is mounted on the back portion of each of the bonus indicators 50 such that the bonus indicia display 51 and the corresponding bonus indicator 50 form an integral unit. The bonus indicia display 51 can selectively display any type of symbol, including any combination between letters, words, and numbers.

The motor, which is preferably located in the housing of the gaming terminal 10, can be any type of motor, (e.g., a stepper motor), used for rotating a respective bonus indicator 50 upon selection by a player. The motor-controller controls the direction and range of the motor for rotating the bonus indicator 50. The motor is capable of providing the bonus indicator 50 with a rotation span that ranges 360 degrees in any direction. The support shaft for the bonus indicator 50, which is in general hollow, holds a respective bonus indicator 50 in place, and contains control wires and a drive shaft.

Wires included in the support shaft connect the bonus indicia display 51 to a central processing unit (CPU) 30 (see FIG. 2). Alternatively, the bonus indicia display 51 can communicate wirelessly with the CPU 30, or with another controller. Similarly, the motor-controller can communicate with the motor wirelessly. Optionally, the CPU 30 can be used to control all movement of the motor instead of the motor-controller.

The gaming terminal 10 includes a pay table 53 located below the bonus game region 12. Winning basic game outcomes (e.g., symbol combinations resulting in payment of coins or credits) are identifiable to the player by the pay table 53. When symbols appearing on reels 55 a-55 c along an active payline 60 correspond to one of the winning combinations on the pay table 53, a winning basic game outcome occurs.

As shown in FIG. 2, the various components of the gaming terminal 10 are controlled by the CPU 30 (such as a microprocessor or microcontroller). To provide the gaming functions, the CPU 30 executes a game program that allows for a randomly selected outcome. The CPU 30 is also coupled to or includes a system memory 32. The system memory 32 may comprise a volatile memory 33 (e.g., a random-access memory (RAM)) and a non-volatile memory 34 (e.g., an EEPROM). It should be appreciated that the CPU 30 may include one or more microprocessors. Similarly, the memory 32 may include multiple RAM and multiple program memories.

Communications between the peripheral components of the gaming terminal 10 and the CPU 30 occur through input/output (I/O) circuits 35 a. As such, the CPU 30 also controls and receives inputs from the peripheral components of the gaming terminal 10. Further, the CPU 30 communicates with external systems via the I/O circuits 35 b. Although the I/O circuits 35 may be shown as a single block, it should be appreciated that the I/O circuits 35 may include a number of different types of I/O circuits.

The gaming terminal 10 is typically operated as part of a game control network 40 having control circuitry and memory devices. The gaming terminal 10 often has multiple serial ports, each port dedicated to providing data to a specific host computer system that performs a specific function (e.g., accounting system, player-tracking system, progressive game control system, etc). To set up a typical serial communication hardware link to the host system, the typical RS-232 point-to-point communication protocol that is often present in the gaming terminal 10 is converted to an RS-485 (or RS-485-type) master-slave protocol so as to take advantage of some of the advantages of the RS-485 capability (e.g., multi-drop capability that allows many gaming terminals 10 to communicate with the game control network 40). To perform this function, a custom interface board may be used by the gaming terminal 10 for each communication port in the gaming terminal 10. It should be noted that the gaming terminal 10 can initially be designed to be configured for a typical RS-485 protocol, instead of the typical RS-232 protocol. Further, the gaming terminal 10 may simply be designed for an Ethernet connection to the game control network 40.

Further, the gaming terminal 10 can lack the CPU 30 such that the wager-related processing and the random outcome selections for the gaming terminal is performed within the game control network 40. In essence, the gaming terminal 10 is simply an input station for receiving inputs from the players and an output station for displaying the randomly selected outcomes and other information to the player. In such an embodiment where the CPU 30 is not present, the gaming terminal 10 may have a display controller that controls the information and images displayed on the main display 26 and the progressive display 25, and bonus indicators 50 based, at least in part, on commands received from the game control network 40. Such a display controller could be linked to these displays like the CPU 30 shown in FIG. 2

Referring now to FIGS. 3-6, the playing of a bonus game will be described. As shown in FIG. 3, the main display 26 shows the triggering of a bonus game. Each one of the reels 55 a-55 c includes a variety of symbols, such as “7,” “2X SWEEPSTAKES,” “BAR,” “POWERBALL® It's America's Game,” and “BONUS.” One of the plurality of outcomes of the basic game is having a pot of gold “BONUS” symbol along one or more of the reels 55 along the payline 60, as shown in FIG. 3. Alternatively, the pot of gold can be on a different reel or on a plurality of reels. Having the pot of gold symbol along the payline 60 triggers the bonus game, i.e., the outcome of the basic game is a start-bonus outcome.

The player uses the push-button panel 22, which is shown in FIG. 4, to play the triggered bonus game. After the bonus game has been triggered, the player presses the “BONUS” button 22 a to confirm the playing of the bonus game. Then, the player chooses a specific letter, which is printed on one of the bonus indicators 50, by selecting an appropriate button from the push-button panel 22. In one embodiment a “LEFT” button 22 b and a “RIGHT” button 22 d can be used to change the letter selection while a “SELECT” button 22 c can be used to confirm the selection.

Before selecting a letter, the bonus indicators 50 are shown facing forward, enabling the player to read the word “POWERBALL®,” as shown in FIG. 5. After confirming the selection of a letter using the “SELECT” button 22 c, the bonus indicator 50 corresponding to the selected letter will spin about 180 degrees to display the video display 51 displaying bonus indicia. The displayed number corresponds to the number of credits that the player has just won in the bonus game. For example, as shown in FIG. 6, if the player selects letter “W” then the player has just increased the winnings by forty-two credits.

In another embodiment, the bonus indicator 50 a (“Ball”) can be a bonus multiplier. The player can then press the “BONUS” button again to get the “Powerball Bonus,” which is a number displayed on the back of the bonus indicator 50 a having the word “BALL” imprinted on its front side. The “POWERBALL®” bonus can add credits or multiply the win, depending on the particular gaming terminal 10. Assuming that the “POWERBALL®” bonus revealed by the “BALL” bonus indicator 50 a is two and that the bonus winnings are multiplied by the “POWERBALL®” bonus, then in the above example, the final bonus game winnings will be eighty-four credits (forty-two, in the bonus game, multiplied by two, in the “POWERBALL®” bonus). Assuming that the “POWERBALL®” bonus is two and that the “POWERBALL®” bonus are added to the bonus winnings, then in the above example, the final bonus game winnings will be forty-four credits (two, in the “POWERBALL®” bonus, added to forty-two, in the bonus game).

The video display 51 on the bonus indicators 50 can be used to provide creative indications of certain bonus outcomes. For example, the video displays 51 for each bonus indicator can be revealed to the player showing fireworks after the bonus indicia (e.g., 42 credits in FIG. 6) of the selected bonus indicator 50 is revealed. Alternatively, each bonus indicator 50 can rotate to reveal the prize the player would have achieved had he or she chosen that bonus indicator.

Referring now to FIG. 7, a gaming terminal 110 includes a main display 126, a touch screen 121, a push-button panel 122, a secondary display 141, and a plurality of bonus indicators 150. As shown, the main display 126 includes the touch screen 121 overlaying the entire monitor (or a portion thereof) to allow players to make game-related selections.

The secondary display 141, as shown, includes a touch screen overlaying the entire monitor (or a portion thereof) to allow players to make game-related selections. The players can select one or more of the bonus indicators 150 using corresponding buttons in the touch screen overlaying the secondary display 141. By pressing one or more of the touch-buttons of the secondary display 141, the player can cause the rotation of one or more of the bonus indicators 150. Alternatively, the secondary display 141 can display additional information related to the bonus indicators 150, such as statistical information regarding the winning chances for each one of the bonus Indicators 150.

Referring now to FIG. 8, a gaming terminal includes a plurality of bonus indicators 250. Each one of the bonus indicators 250, including the “POWERBALL®” 250 a, has a video display 251 located in a back portion of the respective bonus indicator 250. As shown, the bonus indicators 250 have been moved (e.g., rotated) to display a set of winning lottery numbers for a particular bonus game. Thus, as described below in more detail, a player selecting at least one of the numbers “31,” “40,” “7,” “23,” and “16” would be awarded a corresponding bonus. A player selecting a “POWERBALL®” 250 a would receive one hundred extra credits.

Referring now to FIG. 9, a main display 226 includes a touch screen 221 having a plurality of comical symbols shaped as “LOTTO®” balls, and a pay table 253. The comical symbols are arranged in an array having five rows and six columns, and are located next to the pay table 253. The comical symbols can be any symbol, such as a symbol of a caricature with sunglasses or a caricature having a baseball cap. Each one of the comical symbols is selectable by a player via the touch screen 221, which is overlaying the main display 226. The pay table 253 displays to the player the amount of credits awarded for a particular winning combination, e.g., 50 credits for one matching number, 100 credits for two matching numbers, etc.

While playing a basic wagering game (e.g. video reels) at the gaming terminal and achieving a start-bonus outcome, the basic game (e.g. video reels) displayed in the main display 226 transitions to show an array of comical symbols like those in FIG. 9, except that all the comical symbols are shown without displaying any numbers. The player presses a “QUICK PICK®” button (not shown) to start the bonus game. Each of the bonus indicators 250 moves (e.g. rotates) to reveal numbers on the video display 251. From left to right, the bonus indicators 250 reveal the winning numbers “31,” “40,” “7,” “23,” and “16,” and the “POWERBALL®” 250 a reveals the powerball bonus of “100 BONUS CREDITS.” If the player is not satisfied with the displayed numbers, the player may press the “QUICK PICK®” button again to choose new numbers that he or she will attempt to match.

Using the touch screen 221, the player then selects six symbols by pressing each one individually. Upon selection, the respective symbol changes into a “LOTTO®” number. Thus, after the player has made the required selections the array of symbols will include selected “LOTTO®” balls 221 a-221 g and unselected “LOTTO®” balls 221 i. The goal of the bonus game is to have the player match the “LOTTO®” numbers to the numbers displayed by the bonus indicators 250. The more “LOTTO®” numbers that match the numbers of the bonus indicators 250, the higher the bonus reward.

For example, as shown in FIG. 9, the selected “LOTTO®” balls 221 a-221 g display the “LOTTO®” numbers “7” 221 a, “16” 221 b, “POWERBALL® 100” 221 c, “12” 221 d, “36” 221 e, “8” 221 f, and “5” 221 g. Because the “LOTTO®” numbers “7” 221 a and “16” 221 b match two of the numbers displayed in the bonus indicators 250, according to the pay table 253, the player has won 100 credits. The “POWERBALL® 100” 221 c increases the player's winnings by another 100 credits. Finding a “POWERBALL®” symbol can optionally increase the value of the matching pay table 253, rather than just award credits. Optionally, after finding a “POWERBALL®” symbol the player can continue to select unselected “LOTTO®” balls 221 i until yet another “POWERBALL®” symbol is found.

Alternatively, other symbols can be displayed for playing the bonus game described above. For example, when a “NEXT POWERBALL ENDS BONUS” (not shown) is revealed, the player keeps selecting unselected “LOTTO®” balls 221 i until one more “POWERBALL®” symbol is found. Then, the bonus game ends. In another example, five matching white symbols and a “PROGRESSIVE POWERBALL®” results in the award of a progressive jackpot.

In another embodiment, the bonus game is played as described above with respect to FIGS. 8 and 9, except that the numbers displayed by the bonus indicators 250 are revealed after the player has finished selecting the comical symbols, thereby revealing the player's lottery number. Alternatively, an array of player-selectable numbers are displayed, and after the player has selected a set of the player-selectable numbers, the winning lottery numbers are displayed by the video displays on the bonus indicators 250 as they are moved to reveal the winning lottery numbers.

While the present invention has been described with reference to one or more particular embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that many changes may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Each of these embodiments and obvious variations thereof is contemplated as falling within the spirit and scope of the claimed invention, which is set forth in the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7510473 *Jun 30, 2004Mar 31, 2009Wms Gaming Inc.Wagering game having progressive amounts represented in various ways
US7980938 *Mar 18, 2005Jul 19, 2011Wms Gaming Inc.Wagering game with video lottery bonus game
US8517820Mar 23, 2012Aug 27, 2013Marc B. SchwartzMultiwinning opportunities in pick and select gaming platform
US20070054723 *Sep 2, 2005Mar 8, 2007IgtVideo and mechanical spinning bonus wheel
WO2009062153A1 *Nov 10, 2008May 14, 2009Mark B GagnerInteraction with 3d space in a gaming system
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/20
International ClassificationA63F9/24, G07F17/32
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/3244
European ClassificationG07F17/32K
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 28, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: WMS GAMING INC., ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:JAFFE, JOEL R.;REEL/FRAME:016340/0122
Effective date: 20050222