Title:
GAMING SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH A SPECTATOR EVENT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In one embodiment of the present invention a gaming system for use in connection with a spectator event is provided. In another embodiment of the present invention a gaming method for use in connection with a spectator event is provided. In one example (which example is intended to be illustrative and not restrictive), the spectator event may be a sporting event. In another example (which example is intended to be illustrative and not restrictive), the sporting event may be a team sporting event. In another example (which example is intended to be illustrative and not restrictive), the sporting event may be carried out at an area, stadium or other appropriate venue.



Inventors:
Cohen, Andrew H. (Manalapan, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/679427
Publication Date:
08/30/2007
Filing Date:
02/27/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B71/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NICONOVICH, ALEXANDER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP (MET LIFE BUILDING, 200 PARK AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY, 10166, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A sporting event promotion method, comprising: defining at least one sports feat to be achieved to trigger payment of money to essentially all of a plurality of spectators, wherein the payment of money to essentially all of the plurality of spectators is triggered by the same sports feat; associating the defined sports feat with a particular sporting event; and promoting the potential payment of money to be made if the sports feat is achieved at the particular sporting event.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein at least some of the plurality of spectators watch the particular sporting event live, in person.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein all of the plurality of spectators watch the particular sporting event live, in person.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein at least some of the plurality of spectators watch the particular sporting event remotely, via television.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein all of the plurality of spectators watch the particular sporting event remotely, via television.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the defined sports feat is associated with a sport selected from the group consisting of: a) baseball; b) football; c) soccer; d) hockey; e) basketball; f) doubles tennis; g) singles tennis; h) boxing; and i) wrestling.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein essentially all of the money is paid to essentially all of the plurality of spectators if the sports feat is achieved at the particular sporting event.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein a portion of all of the money is paid to essentially all of the plurality of spectators if the sports feat is achieved at the particular sporting event and wherein the balance of the money is paid to a subset of the plurality of spectators if the sports feat is achieved at the particular sporting event.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the balance of the money is paid to a single one of the plurality of spectators via a random draw.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein the payment of money to essentially all of the plurality of spectators is made in a lump sum.

11. The method of claim 8, wherein the payment of money to the subset of the plurality of spectators is made over time.

12. The method of claim 1, wherein a first party promotes the potential payment of money and a second party is obligated to make the payment of money.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the second party issues an insurance policy obligating the second party to make the payment of money.

14. The method of claim 1, wherein the defined sports feat is selected from the group consisting of: a) a starting pitcher for a baseball team pitches, in the particular sporting event, complete game no hitter; b) a player for a baseball team hits, in the particular sporting event, a home run, a triple, a double and a single; c) a player for a baseball team hits, in the particular sporting event, four home runs; d) a pitching staff of a baseball team strikes out, in the particular sporting event, 20 or more players from an opposing team.

15. The method of claim 1, wherein the steps are carried out in the order recited.

16. A sporting event promotion method, comprising: defining a first sports feat to be achieved to trigger payment of money; defining a second sports feat to be achieved to trigger payment of money; associating the first defined sports feat with a first sporting event, wherein achievement of the first sports feat at the first sporting event triggers the payment of money to essentially all of a plurality of spectators at the first sporting event; associating the second defined sports feat with a second sporting event, wherein achievement of the second sports feat at the second sporting event triggers the payment of money to essentially all of a plurality of spectators at the second sporting event; and promoting the potential payment of money to be made if at least one of: a) the first sports feat is achieved at the first sporting event; and b) the second sports feat is achieved at the second sporting event.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein each of the first and second sports feats is distinct from one another.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein achievement of the first sports feat at the first sporting event discontinues the promotion such that achievement of the second sports feat at the second sporting event no longer triggers the payment of money to essentially all of the plurality of spectators at the second sporting event.

19. The method of claim 16, wherein the steps are carried out in the order recited.

20. A sporting event promotion method, comprising: defining a set of numbers consisting of the uniform numbers of each of the players participating in a particular sporting event; permitting each of a plurality of spectators of the particular sporting event to select X numbers, wherein X is an integer between 1 and 100 and wherein the numbers selected are chosen from the defined set of numbers; randomly drawing X numbers to trigger payment of money to each of the plurality of spectators who had selected at least one of the randomly drawn numbers; and promoting the potential payment of money to be made at the particular sporting event.

21. The method of claim 20, further comprising randomly drawing X numbers to trigger payment of money to each of the plurality of spectators who had selected all of the randomly drawn numbers.

22. The method of claim 20, wherein at least some of the plurality of spectators watch the particular sporting event live, in person.

23. The method of claim 20, wherein all of the plurality of spectators watch the particular sporting event live, in person.

24. The method of claim 20, wherein at least some of the plurality of spectators watch the particular sporting event remotely, via television.

25. The method of claim 20, wherein all of the plurality of spectators watch the particular sporting event remotely, via television.

26. The method of claim 20, wherein the steps are carried out in the order recited.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/778,007, filed Feb. 28, 2006, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

In one embodiment of the present invention a gaming system for use in connection with a spectator event is provided.

In another embodiment of the present invention a gaming method for use in connection with a spectator event is provided.

In one example (which example is intended to be illustrative and not restrictive), the spectator event may be a sporting event.

In another example (which example is intended to be illustrative and not restrictive), the sporting event may be a team sporting event.

In another example (which example is intended to be illustrative and not restrictive), the sporting event may be carried out at an area, stadium or other appropriate venue.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Various patents and patent applications have been directed to sports games (of skill and chance). Examples include the skill and chance games described in the following U.S. patents and patent applications:

U.S. Pat. No. 6,296,250 relates to a sports game of skill and chance. More particularly, this patent relates to a sweepstakes-type game in which pre-printed game cards are distributed to contestants which permit the contestants to predict the performance of selected players prior to an athletic event and which will reveal winning contestants and associated prizes based upon the geometric arrangement and/or point value of correct predictions.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,102,797 relates to a method and apparatus for conducting games of chance. More particularly, this patent relates to a weekly or other regularly scheduled game of chance conducted in conjunction with a series of seasonal sporting events, such as baseball, football, hockey and basketball games, in which a number of specific games are identified on a printed or electronic game card, and the participant marks the game card with the predicted total of points scored by both teams for each of the identified sporting events, which can include one or more alternate events. Data related to predicted scores and the fee paid are entered into a programmed central computer system for eventual processing and matching with data entered for the actual scores when the identified games are completed to identify the winners. The participant receives a receipt and unique transaction code. Participant data entry and payment means can include third-party ATMs and cash machines, and third-party vendors and participants' PCs connected to the central computer via the Internet, with payment made through the participants' credit or debit accounts.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,518,239 relates to a lottery racing sweepstake. More particularly, this patent relates to a method of playing a lottery game in which winning numbers are selected by the outcome of one or more sporting events such as horse races. A lottery ticket may be printed which has three rows and three columns of randomly generated numbers. The winning numbers, as determined by the sporting event, are also placed in a three-by-three grid and compared to each player's grid of random numbers. A pattern is formed by comparing the winning numbers to the player's numbers and payment is made to each player in accordance with the number of complete rows, columns and diagonals in each player's pattern.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,540,174 relates to a game of chance particularly adapted for play in conjunction with a team sport contest. More particularly, this patent relates to a game of chance designed to be played in conjunction with a team sport being broadcast wherein the performance of a particular player or position is matched against actual performance, for example, if particular players picked by chance to make the first and last scores in a period, actually do so, a match is made. Other criteria are limitations on opponent's scoring, the position scoring the most points and the like.

U.S. Patent Application No. 2005/0093228 relates to football cash. More particularly, this patent application relates to a game card that identifies several sporting events, e.g., five football games occurring in the first week of the season. Adjacent to each identified sporting event is a possible statistic or outcome. For example, the sporting event might be a football game, and the statistic associated with the game might be a predicted combined score or combined total offensive yardage. If the actual outcome of the identified sporting event matches the predicted outcome printed on the card, a prize is awarded. The prize also varies depending on the number of matches on a single game card.

U.S. Patent Application No. 2004/0087356 relates to methods and apparatuses for gaming. More particularly, this patent application relates to a game having a grid with a plurality of rows and columns. The intersection of the rows and columns form grid blocks that represent a defined time in an event. An outcome that may occur at the defined time is predetermined and inserted into the grid blocks. If the predetermined outcome at the defined time actually occurs, a prize is awarded.

U.S. Patent Application No. 2003/0060262 relates to sports lotto. More particularly, this patent application relates to a method of promotion of television programs of events such as sporting contests which involves combining selecting one lottery number at a time from a set to select a winning combination each selection being triggered by an observer triggering a selection at a time coinciding with a pre established happening in the event. There is also disclosed the use of a clock or a computer program providing a clock output which is associated with the event which also is used to select on a random or on a pseudo random basis the numbers of the winning combination.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely illustrative of the invention that may be embodied in various forms. In addition, each of the examples given in connection with the various embodiments of the invention are intended to be illustrative, and not restrictive. Further, any figures are not necessarily to scale, some features may be exaggerated to show details of particular components. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention.

Referring now to a first embodiment of the present invention, a payout of money (e.g., two million dollars) may be made to the fans in attendance at a sporting event if a certain feat (e.g., performance of one or more players in a team sport) is achieved (in this regard, the present invention may be structured such that the payout provides incentive for the fans in attendance (and/or watching, such as via television) to root for a common goal).

In one example related to payment of the money (which example is intended to be illustrative and not restrictive), essentially all of the fans in attendance may share, based upon the occurrence of the feat, some of the payout money (e.g., essentially all of the fans in attendance may share half of the payout money upon the occurrence of the feat) and a single fan in attendance (or a number of fans comprising a subset of all of the fans in attendance) may receive (e.g., based on a random draw) the balance of the payout money (e.g., half of the payout money).

In another example related to payment of the money (which example is intended to be illustrative and not restrictive), essentially all of the fans in attendance may share, based upon the occurrence of the feat, essentially all of payout money.

In another example related to payment of the money (which example is intended to be illustrative and not restrictive), the payout may be a lump sum payout (e.g., the payout to be shared by essentially all of the fans in attendance may be a lump sum payout).

In another example related to payment of the money (which example is intended to be illustrative and not restrictive), the payout may be spread over time (e.g., the payout to the single fan (or the fans comprising a subset of all fans in attendance) may comprise a 20 year annuity).

In another example related to payment of the money, the payout money may be insured (e.g., via an insurance policy). That is, the party sponsoring the payout of the money (e.g., a stadium owner, a team owner, a promoter) may hedge (i.e., limit liability) relating to some or all of the potential payout (e.g., with an insurance company or other financial institution).

In one example related to the feat to be achieved to trigger payment of the money (which example is intended to be illustrative and not restrictive), the feat may be:

    • If the starting pitcher for a particular baseball team pitches a complete game no hitter
    • If a player for a particular baseball team hits for the cycle (i.e., home run, triple, double and single) in a particular game
    • If a player for a particular baseball team hits four home runs in a particular game
    • If the pitching staff of a particular baseball team strikes out 20 or more players from the opposing team in a particular game

In another example (which example is intended to be illustrative and not restrictive), a number of promotions may be executed on separate days. To give a specific example (which example is intended to be illustrative and not restrictive), each of the aforementioned promotions (e.g., no hitter, hit for cycle, four home runs, 20 strike outs) may be carried out once in turn on separate occasions. To give another specific example (which example is intended to be illustrative and not restrictive), each of the aforementioned promotions (e.g., no hitter, hit for cycle, four home runs, 20 strike outs) may be carried out more than once in turn on separate occasions. Upon the occurrence of a payout, the remaining promotion(s) may be continued or discontinued (e.g., as desired by the party sponsoring the payout of the money).

In another embodiment of the present invention, a payout may be made (e.g., to one or more fans in attendance) based upon a lotto-type drawing in which each fan selects numbers (e.g., 9 numbers) to be drawn (e.g., randomly drawn) from a universe of numbers (i.e., set of numbers) consisting of uniform numbers of the players and/or coaches (payouts may be made to fangs) selecting the correct numbers as discussed above).

Accordingly, as described herein, various embodiments of the present invention may be utilized to add an element of excitement and value to attending a sporting event (thus potentially driving attendance and creating “buzz” around the event).

Further, the present invention may be structured such that the promotion is easy to communicate and easy for fans to understand/root for (in this regard, the present invention may be structured such that the payout provides incentive for the fans in attendance (and/or watching, such as via television) to root for a common goal).

Further still, the present invention may be utilized such that the promotion is efficient (e.g., by insuring (or hedging) the potential payout).

In another example, the present invention may be utilized in connection with a television promotion (e.g., an ESPN game of the week promotion). In this example, viewers may enter a sweepstakes. Each viewer picked in the sweepstakes then has a chance to win money associated with a sports feat achieved in a specific game during the promotion (e.g., if no hitter is thrown in a specific game during the promotion the viewer(s) picked in the sweepstakes for that game may share a payout (e.g., a one million dollar payout) and one of the viewer(s) picked in the sweepstakes for that game (e.g., a randomly chosen viewer) may get his own payout (e.g., a one million dollar payout).

In another embodiment, a sporting event (e.g., team sporting event) promotion method is provided, comprising: defining at least one sports feat to be achieved to trigger payment of money to essentially all of a plurality of spectators, wherein the payment of money to essentially all of the plurality of spectators is triggered by the same sports feat; associating the defined sports feat with a particular sporting event (e.g., a baseball game at Yankee Stadium on May 1, 2007, a 100 football game at Giants stadium on Dec. 1, 2008); and promoting (e.g., via radio, television and/or print advertising) the potential payment of money to be made if the sports feat is achieved at the particular sporting event.

In one example, at least some of the plurality of spectators who can potentially receive money may watch the particular sporting event live, in person.

In another example, all of the plurality of spectators who can potentially receive money may watch the particular sporting event live, in person.

In another example, at least some of the plurality of spectators who can potentially receive money may watch the particular sporting event remotely, via television.

In another example, all of the plurality of spectators who can potentially receive money may watch the particular sporting event remotely, via television.

In another example, the defined sports feat may be associated with a sport selected from the group including (but not limited to): a) baseball; b) football; c) soccer; d) hockey; e) basketball; f) doubles tennis; g) singles tennis; h) boxing; and i) wrestling.

In another example, essentially all of the money may be paid to essentially all of the plurality of spectators who can potentially receive money if the sports feat is achieved at the particular sporting event.

In another example, a portion (e.g., half) of all of the money may be paid to essentially all of the plurality of spectators who can potentially receive money if the sports feat is achieved at the particular sporting event and the balance of the money (e.g., half) may be paid to a subset of the plurality of spectators who can potentially receive money if the sports feat is achieved at the particular sporting event.

In another example, the balance of the money may be paid to a single one of the plurality of spectators who can potentially receive money (e.g., the single spectator may be chosen via a random draw).

In another example, the payment of money to essentially all of the plurality of spectators who can potentially receive money may be made in a lump sum.

In another example, the payment of money to the subset of the plurality of spectators who can potentially receive money may be made over time.

In another example, a first party (e.g., the owner of a sports team, the owner of a stadium, an independent promoter) may promote the potential payment of money and a second party (e.g., an insurance company) may be obligated to make the payment of money.

In another example, the second party may issue an insurance policy obligating the second party to make the payment of money (e.g., in return for one or more premium payments).

In another example, the defined sports feat may be selected from the group including (but not limited to): a) a starting pitcher for a baseball team pitches, in the particular sporting event, complete game no hitter; b) a player for a baseball team hits, in the particular sporting event, a home run, a triple, a double and a single; c) a player for a baseball team hits, in the particular sporting event, four home runs; d) a pitching staff of a baseball team strikes out, in the particular sporting event, 20 or more players from an opposing team.

In another example, the steps may be carried out in the order recited.

In another embodiment, a sporting event (e.g., team sporting event) promotion method is provided, comprising: defining a first sports feat to be achieved to trigger payment of money;

defining a second sports feat to be achieved to trigger payment of money; associating the first defined sports feat with a first sporting event (e.g., a baseball game at Yankee Stadium on May 1, 2007, a football game at Giants stadium on Dec. 1, 2008), wherein achievement of the first sports feat at the first sporting event triggers the payment of money to essentially all of a plurality of spectators at the first sporting event; associating the second defined sports feat with a second sporting event (e.g., a baseball game at Yankee Stadium on May 1, 2007, a football game at Giants stadium on Dec. 1, 2008), wherein achievement of the second sports feat at the second sporting event triggers the payment of money to essentially all of a plurality of spectators at the second sporting event; and promoting (e.g., via radio, television and/or print advertising) the potential payment of money to be made if at least one of: a) the first sports feat is achieved at the first sporting event; and b) the second sports feat is achieved at the second sporting event. In one example, each of the first and second sports feats may be distinct from one another.

In another example, achievement of the first sports feat at the first sporting event may discontinue the promotion such that achievement of the second sports feat at the second sporting event no longer triggers the payment of money to essentially all of the plurality of spectators who can potentially receive money at the second sporting event.

In another example, the steps may be carried out in the order recited.

In another embodiment, a sporting event (e.g., team sporting event) promotion method is provided, comprising: defining a set of numbers consisting of the uniform numbers of each of the players and/or coaches (e.g., from one or more opposing teams) participating in a particular sporting event e.g., a baseball game at Yankee Stadium on May 1, 2007, a football game at Giants stadium on Dec. 1, 2008); permitting each of a plurality of spectators of the particular sporting event to select X numbers, wherein X is an integer between 1 and 100 and wherein the numbers selected are chosen from the defined set of numbers; randomly drawing X numbers to trigger payment of money to each of the plurality of spectators who had selected at least one of the randomly drawn numbers; and promoting (e.g., via radio, television and/or print advertising) the potential payment of money to be made at the particular sporting event.

In one example, the method may further comprise randomly drawing X numbers to trigger payment of money to each of the plurality of spectators who had selected all of the randomly drawn numbers.

In another example, at least some of the plurality of spectators who can potentially receive money may watch the particular sporting event live, in person.

In another example, all of the plurality of spectators who can potentially receive money may watch the particular sporting event live, in person.

In another example, at least some of the plurality of spectators who can potentially receive money watch may the particular sporting event remotely, via television.

In another example, all of the plurality of spectators who can potentially receive money may watch the particular sporting event remotely, via television.

In another example, the steps may be carried out in the order recited.

Of note, the embodiments described herein may, of course, be implemented using any appropriate computer hardware and/or computer software (e.g., to randomly or pseudorandomly draw numbers, calculate odds, output tickets, track winnings). In this regard, those of ordinary skill in the art are well versed in the type of computer hardware that may be used (e.g., a mainframe, a mini-computer, a personal computer (“PC”), a network (e.g., an intranet and/or the Internet)), the type of computer programming techniques that may be used (e.g., object oriented programming), and the type of computer programming languages that may be used (e.g., C++, Basic, AJAX, Javascript). The aforementioned examples are, of course, illustrative and not restrictive.

While a number of embodiments of the present invention have been described, it is understood that these embodiments are illustrative only, and not restrictive, and that many modifications may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. For example, certain methods may be “computer implementable” or “computer implemented”. In this regard, it is noted that while such methods can be implemented using a computer, the methods do not necessarily have to be implemented using a computer. Also, to the extent that such methods are implemented using a computer, not every step must necessarily be implemented using a computer. Further, the specific dates, time spans, rates, prices, values and the like described with reference to the various examples are, of course, illustrative and not restrictive. Further, conditions related to the payout of the money if a certain feat is achieved may be printed on the event entry ticket and/or on a separate ticket. Further, the random draw may be based upon the fan's seat assignment. Further still, the present invention may be applied to any desired sporting event, whether a “team” event (e.g., baseball, football, soccer, hockey, basketball, doubles tennis) or a “non-team” event (e.g., singles tennis, boxing, wresting). Further still, the present invention may be applied to any desired league (e.g., MLB, NFL, NBA, WNBA). Further still, the present invention may be applied to any desired level of proficiency/ranking (e.g., professional, major league, minor league, amateur, Olympic, college, high-school). Further still, the present invention may be utilized in connection with any desired event (e.g., a non-sporting event). Further still, the present invention may include a “no purchase necessary option”. In this regard, the present invention may provide people the opportunity to receive money without making a purchase (e.g., such as by contacting the party sponsoring the payout of money for a gamepiece and/or requesting entry in a drawing). Further still, the present invention may be utilized in the context of any desired cable, satellite, and/or broadcast television channels/radio stations. Further still, any steps described herein may be carried out in any desired order (and any desired steps may be added and/or deleted).