US 3653026 A
A random selection system including a repeating selector operating for a randomly varied period of time following each successive actuation. The random period of time is achieved through a capacitor timing circuit by means of a variable charging time, and changes in capacitance and other circuit parameters.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Hurley RANDOM SELECTION SYSTEM FOR BINGO AND THE LIKE Frederick A. Hurley, 1204 Ali Baba Avenue, Opa Locka, Fla. 33054 June 3, 1970 Inventor:
U.S. Cl. ..340/323, 273/138 A, 273/139, 340/324 R, 340/336, 340/339 Int. Cl. ..G08b 5/36 Field of Search ..340/324, 323, 336; 273/138 A, 273/139 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/ l 943 Goldborodko ..340/323 5/1954 Jameson ....340/323 X 6/1964 Giacobello ..273/138 A [4 1 Mar. 28, 1972 3,357,703 12/1967 Hurley ..273/138 A 3,439,281 4/1969 McGuire et a1. ....273/l38 A 3,459,427 ,8/1969 Rhodes ....3 72/l38 A 3,505,672 4/1970 Chisholm ..340/336 X Primary Examiner-David L. Trafton Attorney-Morgan, Finnegan, Durham & Pine [5 7] ABSTRACT A random selection system including a repeating selector operating for a randomly varied period of time following each successive actuation. The random period. of time is achieved through a capacitor timing circuit by means of a variable charging time, and changes in capacitance and other circuit parameters.
A memory circuit keeps track of the selected numbers and is coupled to the selector control circuits to prevent a repeat selection of any number.
9 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTinmzs I972 SHEET 2 [IF 4 PATENTEDMARZB 1912 SHEET 3 OF 4 INVENTOR FREDtW/C/r I. x/u/Pur av wa w gazmgw I 7 A ORNEYS PATENTED MAR 2 8 I972 SHEET U UF 4 1G? mun RANDOM SELECTION SYSTEM FOR BINGO AND THE LIKE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to apparatus for randomly selecting and displaying numbers in connection with a game of chance. Although not limited thereto, the invention will be described principally in connection with Bingo.
Bingo is played using 75 numbers grouped with the letters B-l-N-G-O such that the numbers 1 through are associated with the letter B, l 6 through 30 are associated with the letter I, etc. Each of the players is given a card having 24 numbers arranged in a 5 X5 matrix with a center free" square. The numbers are in columns under the letters B-I-N-G-O. As the successive numbers are selected, the individual players mark the selected numbers on their card. The first player to complete a row, either horizontal, vertical or diagonal, is the winner.
Various techniques have been used for the random selection of the numbers. A rotating wheel with the 75 numbers indicated thereon can be used to select numbers according to the position at which the wheel comes to rest. With this approach the entire selection process is visible to the players but the rotating wheel approach is nevertheless undesirable because it repeats previously selected numbers.
The more customary technique is to use a number drawing approach. The 75 numbers are placed in a bowl and withdrawn one at a time, or in more sophisticated systems the numbers are withdrawn automatically by means of pneumatic apparatus. Although this approach precludes the possibility of repeating numbers, there are other disadvantages. The players cannot be sure that all the numbers were initially placed in the bowl and there is always the possibility of miscalled numbers. As a result of these disadvantages the players have less than full confidence in the number selection system.
An object of this invention is to provide a truly random selection system in which players will have full confidence.
Another object is to provide an electric random number selection system which does not repeat previously selected numbers.
Another object is to provide apparatus which will automatically display the selected numbers so that numbers cannot be miscalled.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The system according to the invention repetitively progresses through a sequence including all 75 numbers of the game. The selection can be accomplished electrically, for example, by a motor driven rotary switch, a stepping switch, a ring counter, or a binary counter diode matrix combination. Upon each successive activation by the operator the selector is energized for a period of time which varies in a random fashion from one play to the next. The number of steps which the selector advances varies on each play and cannot be controlled by the operator and, therefore, the selection of numbers is completely random, the same as it would be with rotating wheel number selectors.
The variable time interval controlling activation of the selector is determined by a capacitor discharge and therefore is a function of the charge across the capacitor as well as the value of capacitance. The capacitor charging time is different during each successive activation by the operator and therefore the initial charge on the capacitors will be difi'erent for each successive number selection. The capacitance in the circuit is changed subsequent to each activation to add an additional variable. The variation in circuit parameters from one activation to the next further adds to the randomness of the time interval variation. Since the time interval during which the selector operates is different for each successive activation by the operator and varies randomly, the ultimate selection of numbers is likewise random.
The display visible to the players consists of a momentary display which always displays the number corresponding to the then existing position of the selector and a memory display which registers the numbers as they are selected during the game. When the operator first activates the system a series of numbers will be flashed in succession on the momentary display during the selection process. When the selector comes to rest the number appearing on the momentary display is the selected number and the same number will be permanently displayed on the memory display.
The system is designed to avoid a repeated selection of any number. A memory circuit is included which keeps track of previously selected numbers. If the selector would normally come to rest on a previously selected number, it is activated to continue advancing a step at a time until it reaches the first number which has not previously been selected.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS An illustrative embodiment of the invention is described in detail in the following specification which includes the drawings and wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the momentary and memory displays as seen by the players;
FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing the interrelationship of the various circuits in the system;
FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of thecontrol, selector, and memory circuits of the system;
FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of the alpha-numeric encoder of the system; and
FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of the diode matrix digit decoder.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION The display units as seen by the players are illustrated in FIG. 1 and include a memory display 1 and a momentary display 3.
The front panel 2 of the memory display includes the letters B-l-N-G-O on the left. The top row, called the 8" row includes the numbers one through 15; the next row, called the I row includes the numbers 16 through 30; the third row from the top includes the letter N" and the numbers 31 through 45; the fourth row includes the letter G" and the numbers 46 through 60; and the bottom row includes the letter 0 and the numbers 61 through 75. A compartmented structure and individual light bulbs are located behind front panel 2 to permit selective illumination of the numbers and letters. The letters B-l-N-G-O remain illuminated throughout the game. The numbers are not illuminated until selected and thereafter remain illuminated until the game is reset.
The momentary display includes an alpha display 4 across the top for selective display of the letters B-l-N-G-O. The digits displays 5 and 6 appear below the alpha display and are capable of displaying the numbers one through 75.
The system is controlled from a push button 11 which is part of a transmitter control unit 10. When the operator activates the push button, the selector goes into operation causing numbers and their associated letters to appear on the momentary display in rapid succession following a sequence which appears to be random. When the selector comes to rest the number appearing on the momentary display is the selected number. lfthis number is 35 as shown in FIG. 1, the number 35" is also illuminated onmemory display 1 when the selection process is completed.
The block diagram in FIG. 2 shows the basic circuit arrangement. The signal from the remote transmitter circuit l0 is received by a receiver 12 which in turn activates the control circuit 13. The control circuit determines the time interval during which the selector circuit 14 operates. The selector circuit includes a 75 step stepping switch SS-l which advances step-by-step when activated. The time interval as determined by control circuit 13 is difi'erent for each successive operation and, hence, the number of steps by which the stepping switch advances is likewise different for each successive operation. The time interval varies in a random fashion and therefore the numbers selected by selector circuit 14 are selected in a random fashion.
An alpha-numeric encoder circuit 15 converts the position indication of the stepping switch into corresponding electrical signals which will cause selective display of the letters and digits on the momentary display. A first digit decoder circuit 17 illuminates selected segments of the units digit display 6, a second digit decoder circuit 16 illuminates selected segments of the tens digit display 5 and an alpha decoder circuit 18 illuminates selected letters in the alpha display 4. The operation of circuits through 18 is such that the instantaneous position of the stepping switch is always indicated by the letters and digits of the momentary display.
Memory circuits 19 includes 75 electromagnetic relays corresponding to the 75 numbers. When the stepping switch of selector circuit 14 comes to rest the corresponding relay is energized which in turn energizes the lamp bulb of memory display 2 causing a display of that number for the remainder of the game.
A no repeat feedback circuit is built into the system so that the selector circuit cannot select a previously selected number. If the stepping switch attempts to stop at a previously selected number as indicated by an energized relay in memory circuits 19, a feedback signal is supplied to control circuit 13 causing the stepping switch in circuit 14 to continue advancing. The stepping switch continues to advance in step-by-step fashion until a number is reached which has not been previously selected.
Control circuit 13, selector circuit 14 and memory circuits 19 are shown schematically in FIG. 3, alpha-numeric encoder 15 is shown schematically in FIG. 4 and digit decoder 17 (schematically the same as digit decoder 16) is shown in FIG. 5.
Capacitors 22, 25, 26, 27 and 28 in FIG. 3 determine the basic time interval during which stepping switch SS-l is energized.
Contacts 20 are part of receiver 12 and are closed whenever a signal is being received from transmitter 10. Contacts 20 are connected in series with a diode 21 between 8+ and one plate of capacitor 22, the other plate of the capacitor'being connected to ground. Junction A between diode 21 and capacitor 22 is connected to one plate of capacitor via a diode 23 in series with a resistor 24 and the other plate of capacitor 25 is connected to ground. A diode 32 is connected in parallel with resistor 24 with the common cathode connection of diodes 23 and 32 being designated junction B and the anode connection of diode 32 being designated junction C. Capacitors 26 through 28 are connected in parallel between junction C and ground in series, respectively, with contacts 41 through 43 of a program relay PR.
Program relay PR is a multi-position relay arranged to close a different combination of contacts in each position. For example, in a first position contacts 41 may be closed, in a second position contacts 42 and 43 may be closed, in a third position all contacts may be closed, etc. Thus, one or more of the capacitors 26 through 28 may be connected to junction C depending upon the position of the program relay.
The capacitors are charged when contacts 20 close. Capacitor 22 rapidly charges to the full value of B+. Capacitor 25 and those of capacitors 26 through 28 connected in parallel charge more slowly via resistor 24. Resistor 24 is sufficiently large such that capacitors 25 through 28 will only reach a partial state of charge while contacts 20 are closed.
Winding of relay K1 is connected between junction B and ground used is in the discharge path of capacitors 22 and 25 through 28. Winding 30 is initially energized when contact 20 close due to current flow through diodes 21 and 23. Thereafter, when contacts 20 open, the winding remains energized because of the discharge current of capacitor 22 via diode 23. Since capacitor 22 is fully charged and capacitors 25 through 28 are only partially charged the potential at junction A (and junction B) is initially higher than the potential at junction C. Diode 32 is therefore initially back-biased and capacitors 25 through 28 do not begin to discharge until the potential at junction B drops below the potential of junction C. Winding 30 remains energized until capacitors 22 and 25-28 are all discharged.
Typical values for components in the timing circuit are as follows:
capacitor 22 250 rni'd. capacitor 25 500 mfd. capacitor 26 500 mfd. capacitor 27 250 mi'd. capacitor 28 100 mfd. resistor 24 2.2 K
There are several factors contributing to the random variation of the basic time interval (period during which relay K1 is in the energized state) from one play to the next. The time interval will vary in accordance with the closure time of contacts 20 which will vary over a wide range. The interrelation between the contact closure time and the basic time interval is highly nonlinear and complex such that undetectable changes in closure time may drastically change the basic time interval. Another significant factor is the variations of the quantity of capacitance in the circuit due to the action of program relay PR. Also changes in circuit parameters for example, due to temperature, stray capacitance, contact bounce and arcing provide further randomness in the basic time interval.
Relay K2 directly controls energization of stepping switch SS-l in accordance with the basic time interval and, as will be explained later, to avoid repeats of the selected number. Normally open contacts 31 of relay K1 are coupled to winding 50 of relay K2 to complete a circuit from 3+ to ground when relay K1 is energized. Normally open contacts 51 of relay K2 are connected directly to winding 60 of relay K3 and to winding 70 of stepping switch via off-normal contacts 71 of the stepping switch.
Stepping switch SS-l has a rotary movable contact 72 which advances through a 75 step sequence making contact with the stationary contacts 73 in succession. Each time winding 70 is energized the movable contact advances one step and momentarily opens the off-normal contacts 71. Because of periodic interruption of current flow through the winding caused by the off-normal contacts, current flow through closed contacts 51 of relay K2 will cause the stepping switch to advance continuously repeating the 75 step sequence until contacts 51 open.
The memory circuits include 75 relays K101 to K175 which are each associated with a different one of the Bingo numbers. For convenience only three of these relays are shown in FIG. 3. Relay K101 is associated with the first Bingo number and includes a winding and two sets of normally open contacts 81 and 82. The seventh stationary contact of contact bank 73 of the stepping switch is connected to one end of winding 80, and the other end of the winding is connected to ground. A reset switch 76 connects B+ to one end of winding 80 via contacts 81 to form a hold circuit. The lamp bulb 83 associated with the first Bingo number on the memory display (FIG. 1) is connected in series with contacts 82 across on AC source. When relay K101 is momentarily energized as a result of current flow from the stationary contact of the stepping switch, the relay thereafter remains energized because of the hold circuit completed via contacts 81 and lamp bulb 83 is illuminated as a result of current flow via contact 82. i
In similar fashion winding is connected to the second sta- -tionary contact and winding is connected to the 70th contact. The connection between the relays of the memory circuits and the stationary contacts of the stepping switch is preferably nonsequential so that the display of numbers on the momentary display will appear to skip around in a random fashion. Contacts 91 and 101 provide hold circuits for the relays and contacts 92 and 102 energize the associated light bulbs.
The circuit which prevents a repeat selection of a number includes normally open contacts 63 of relay K3 and diode 59 connected between movable contact 72 and winding 50 of relay K2.
Assume that at the end of the basic time interval (deenergization of relay K1 which would normally deenergize relay K2 to in turn deenergize the stepping switch) the stepping switch is in the position shown and that Bingo number 35 had been selected previously so that relay winding 90 is energized.
Under these conditions current would flow through switch 76, contacts 91, movable contact 72, contacts 63 and diode 59 to maintain winding 50 of relay K2 in the energized state and therefore the stepping switch remains energized via closed contacts 51 of relay K2 to advance to the next position. As a result, the stepping switch cannot come to rest on a previously selected number, but instead, will continue to advance until reaching a number which has not previously been selected.
Relay K3 includes contacts 61.. and 62 which, respectively, develop pulses for energizing a relay in the memory circuits and for advancing program relay PR when the stepping switch comes to rest. The B+ is connected to the normally open stationary contacts via diodes 64 and 65 and the associated movable contacts 61 and 62 are connected, respectively, to capacitors 66 and 67. The normally closed stationary contact associated with movable contact 61 is connected to movable contact 72 of the stepping switch via a diode 68 and the normally closed contact associated movable contact 62 is connected to winding 40 of program relay PR via a diode 69.
As previously mentioned, vrelay K3 is energized while stepping switch SS-l is energized and advancing. Under these I conditions capacitors 66 and 67 are charged via contacts 61 and 62. When relay K2 is deenergized opening contacts 51 in turn deenergizing stepping switch SS-l and relay K3. When this happens, capacitor 66 discharges via movable contacts 61 and 72 to energize the relay in the memory circuits (relays K101 to K175) associated with the then existing position of the stepping switch. Capacitor 67 discharges via contacts 62 to momentarily energize winding 40 of the program relay and advance the program relay so that a different combination of capacitors 26 through 28 will be in the circuit during the selection of the next number.
Thus, the operation of the system to randomly select a number commences when pushbutton 11 is actuated to provide a momentary closure of contact 20. Capacitors 22 and 25 through 28 charge while contacts 20 are closed and thereafter discharge to maintain relay K1 in an energized state for a period of time which is different for each successive play by. the operator.
Relay K1, when energized, in turn energizes relay K2 which then maintains relay K3 and the stepping switch in the energized state. The stepping switch advances until the end of the basic time interval at which time relay Kl returns to the deenergized state. However, if the stepping switch position corresponds to a previously selected number, as indicated by an energized relay in the memory circuits K101 through K175, a feedback signal flows through contacts 63 and diode 59 to maintain relay K2 in the energized state until the stepping switch has advanced to a position corresponding to a Bingo number which has not been previously selected. When this position is found, relay K2 is deenergized which in turn deenergizes relay K3 and the stepping switch. As relay K3 returns to the deenergized state it develops a pulse which passes via contacts 61 and 72 to energize the selected relay in the memory circuits and also develops a pulse which passes via contacts 62 to advance program relay PR one step to change the capacitance in the timing circuit for the next play.
The operation continues in this fashion with a new number being selected upon each activation of pushbutton 11. When sufficient numbers have been selected for a winner to be declared, switch 76 is opened to deenergize the hold circuits of the relays in the memory circuits and, hence, the system is ready for a new game.
The alpha-numeric encoder shown in FIG. 4 operates to develop electrical signals for energizing the digit and letter displays appearing on the momentary display according to the instantaneous position of the stepping switch. The terminals 78 of the encoder are connected to a separate bank of stationary contacts (not shown) of the stepping switch. The interconnection of the 75 terminals 78 and the stationary contacts of the stepping switch follows the same sequence of the interconnection between the 75 terminals 74 (FIG. 3) and the associated bank of stepping switch contacts 73 so that there will be a correspondence between the momentary and memory displays. The movable contact associated with the second bank of contacts (not shown) is connected to B+ so that the stationary contacted associated with the instantaneous position of the stepping switch is energized.
The isolating diodes 121 connect the individual input terminals 78 to the appropriate ones of the units digits terminals 120. In similar fashion the input terminals 78 are each connected to the appropriate one of the tens" digits terminals 122. For example, the tenth through'nineteenth terminals are connected to the 10" digit terminal via isolating diodes 124 and the twentieth through twenty-ninth terminals are connected to the "20 digit terminalvia isolating diodes 125. Also, the input terminals are each connected to the appropriate one of the letter terminals 127. The first 15 input terminals are connected to the B terminal via isolating diodes 126, the next fifteen terminals are connected to the 1" terminal via isolating diodes 128.
Accordingly, when the stepping switch is in a position corresponding to Bingo number 12," current will flow from B+ through the movable contact of the stepping switch, the twelfth one of the'contacts 78 and the isolating diode to energize the 2, 10" and B output terminals. Similarly, if the stepping switch is at a position corresponding to Bingo number 24 the 4, 20" and I output terminals are energized.
The encoding diode matrix for energizing selected segments of the units digits display 6 is shown in FIG. 5.
The sevensegments of the digit display are arranged as shown in FIG. 5, the segments being designated by the letters a through 3. The segments are connected to corresponding lines running verticallyin FIG. 5. The 10 units terminals are connected to lines running horizontally. The circles at the intersections each represent a diode connection between a horizontal and vertical line.
As indicated by the designations toward the right in FIG. 5, if the 1 terminal is energized, the diode connections of the matrix are such that lines f and g are energized which provides a display of the number l on digit display 6. If the 2" terminal is energized, lines a b c e and f are energized to provide a display of the number 2 on the digit display 6. The display of the other numbers is obtained in similar fashion.
The encoder for the tens display is the same as that shown in FIG. 5 except that input terminals 120 are replaced by terminals 122 (FIG. 4). Since the alpha display consists simply of illuminating separate compartments for the letters B-I-N-G-O terminals 127 can be connected directly to the light bulbs without the need of any special encoders.
Although only one illustrative embodiment has been described in detail it should be obvious that there are numerous variations within the scope of this invention. For example, the electromechanical components such as relays and stepping switches can be replaced by comparable solid state components and circuits. The apparatus can be modified and used in connection with other games of chance such as roulette. The invention is more particularly defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A random selection system comprising a selector which, while energized, repeatedly advances through the numbers to be selected following a predetermined repeatable sequence;
player actuatable means;
a timing circuit connected to said selector to randomly vary the period of energization for said selector with each successive player actuation including a capacitor and a charging circuit for controlling the charging rate so that said capacitor is charged to a state dependent upon the length of time of the player actuation, and
circuit means coupling said capacitor to said selector so that said selector is energized while said capacitor discharges; and
means coupled to said selector for displaying the selections.
2. A random selection system according to claim 1 further including a second capacitor coupled to said player actuatable means to become rapidly fully charged upon each player actuation, said second capacitor being coupled to said selector to provide a period of energization while said second capacitor discharges.
3. A random selection system for selecting Bingo numbers comprising a display disposed for view by the players for displaying selected Bingo numbers,
a selector coupled to said display to make the successive selection of Bingo numbers, said selector being of the type which, while energized, advances repeatedly through a predetermined sequence of Bingo numbers;
a player actuator;
a timing circuit connected for controlling energization of said selector for randomly variable periods of time in response to successive actuations of said player actuator, said timing circuit including a first capacitor connected to become fully charged during each player actuation,
a second capacitor so connected in a charging circuit that said second capacitor attains a state of charge which varies in accordance with the duration of the player actuation, and
circuit means for coupling said capacitors to said selector to energize said selector during the discharge of said first and second capacitors following each player actuatron.
4. A random selection system according to claim 3 further including a variable capacitor means in said timing circuit connected to attain a state of charge which varies in accordance with the duration of the player actuation and which contributes to the energization of said selector following each player actuation, and circuit means for varying the capacitance of said variable capacitor means prior to each successive player actuation.
5. A random selection system for selecting and displaying Bingo numbers comprising a selector which, while energized, repeatedly advances through the numbers to be selected following a predetermined repeatable sequence;
player actuatable means;
a timing circuit connected to said selector to randomly vary 0 play includes a compartmented structure,
the period of energization for said selector with each successive player actuation; and a display disposed for view by the players including a momentary displaY the number corresponding to the instantaneous position of said selector, and
a memory display for displaying, until the end of each game, numbers selected by said selector following each successive energization thereof.
6. A system according to claim 5 wherein said memory diseach compartment thereof including a separate light bulb so that energization of a selected light bulb provides display of a selected number.
7. A system according to claim 5 wherein said momentary display is a two digit display wherein different numbers can be displayed for each digit by selective energization of number segments.
8. A random selection system for selecting and displaying Bingo numbers without repeating number selections during a game, comprising a selector which, while energized, repeatedly advances through the numbers to be selected following a predetermined repeatable sequence;
player actuatable means;
a timing circuit connected to said selector to randomly vary the period of energization for said selector with each successive player actuation a display disposed for view by the players for displaying numbers as they are selected,
memory circuit means associated with each selectable number, each such memory circuit being coupled to said selector to become energized upon selection of the associated number and to thereafter remain energized for the duration of the game, and
coupled to said display to maintain display of the selected number for the remaining duration of the game; and
circuit means for avoiding repeat selections coupled between said memory circuits and said selector to energize said selector whenever in a position corresponding to a previously selected number.
9. A random selection circuit according to claim 8 wherein each of said memory circuits includes a relay with a hold circuit completed through a set of normally open contacts to maintain the relay in the energized state for the duration of the game subsequent to initial energization and wherein said selector is a stepping switch connected so that the same movable contact of said stepping switch is used to energize a hold circuit in response to a selected number and to sense energized hold circuits to avoid repeat selections of any number.