Title:
Cumulative seal card game system and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cumulative game system includes a case set of play tickets having a plurality of deal sets of play tickets. Each of the plurality of deal sets of tickets contribute to a cumulative prize pool board. Each of the plurality of deal sets of tickets includes a plurality of play tickets. The play tickets include deal identifier indicia imprinted on the play ticket to identify a deal set of which the play ticket is a member. Each play ticket is a member of only one deal set. The play tickets include at least one concealed game symbol imprinted on the play ticket. A predetermined number of play tickets in each of the deal sets of tickets has at least one concealed winning game symbol that wins or is eligible to win at least one of an instant award, a first award, and a cumulative award. A cumulative award is awarded from the cumulative prize pool board.



Inventors:
Sells, Mark (Lancaster, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/413108
Publication Date:
11/01/2007
Filing Date:
04/28/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/139
International Classes:
A63B71/00; A63F1/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BALDORI, JOSEPH B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BAKER & HOSTETLER LLP (WASHINGTON SQUARE, SUITE 1100, 1050 CONNECTICUT AVE. N.W., WASHINGTON, DC, 20036-5304, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A seal card game system providing cumulative play, the system comprising: a case set of tickets comprising a plurality of deal sets of tickets and each of the plurality of deal sets of tickets comprising a plurality of play tickets; each of the plurality of play tickets including: deal identifier indicia imprinted on the plurality of play tickets to identify a deal set of which the plurality of play tickets is a member, each of the plurality of play tickets being a member of only one deal set; and at least one concealed game symbol imprinted on the plurality of play tickets; a predetermined number of the plurality of play tickets in each of the plurality of deal sets of tickets having at least one concealed winning game symbol that earns at least one of an instant award, a first award, and a cumulative award; wherein each of the plurality of deal sets of tickets contribute to a cumulative prize pool board; wherein the cumulative award is awarded from the cumulative prize pool board.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the deal identifier indicia is a selected color imprinted on the plurality of play tickets.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein the at least one concealed game symbol and the at least one concealed winning game symbol are concealed by at least one of a pull tab and a scratch-off material that are at least partially removable.

4. The system of claim 1, further comprising at least one concealed first award identifier.

5. The system of claim 4, wherein the at least one concealed first award identifier is imprinted on at least one first award identifying mechanism.

6. The system of claim 5, wherein the first award identifying mechanism comprises a seal card.

7. The system of claim 4, wherein the at least one concealed first award identifier is concealed by at least one of a pull tab and a scratch-off material that are at least partially removable.

8. The system of claim 1, further comprising at least one concealed cumulative award identifier.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein the at least one concealed cumulative award identifier is imprinted on a master cumulative award identifying mechanism.

10. The system of claim 1, wherein the deal identifier indicia comprises a predetermined color imprinted on the plurality of play tickets.

11. The system of claim 1, wherein the at least one concealed game symbol and the at least one concealed winning game symbol comprise at least one of a number, graphic, and text.

12. The system of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of deal sets of tickets comprise one-thousand-eight-hundred-forty (1840) play tickets.

13. The system of claim 1, wherein each case set of tickets comprises three (3) of the deal sets of tickets.

14. A method of playing a cumulative seal card game system comprising: providing a case set of tickets comprising a plurality of deal sets of tickets and each of the plurality of deal sets of tickets comprising a plurality of play tickets; each of the plurality of play tickets including: deal identifier indicia imprinted on the plurality of play tickets to identify a deal set of which the plurality of play tickets is a member, each of the plurality of play tickets being a member of only one deal set; and at least one concealed game symbol imprinted on the plurality of play tickets; providing a predetermined number of the plurality of play tickets in each of the plurality of deal sets of tickets having at least one concealed winning game symbol that earns at least one of an instant award, a first award, and a cumulative award; wherein at least one of the predetermined number of the plurality of play tickets is eligible for a cumulative award; wherein the at least one concealed winning game symbol is revealed to identify at least one of an instant award, a first award, and a cumulative award; wherein when the at least one concealed winning game symbol matches at least one of a concealed first award identifier and a concealed cumulative award identifier, at least one of the first award and the cumulative award is earned.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the deal identifier indicia is a selected color imprinted on the plurality of play tickets.

16. The method of claim 14, wherein the at least one concealed game symbol and the at least one concealed winning game symbol are concealed by at least one of a pull tab and a scratch-off material that are at least partially removable.

17. The method of claim 14, wherein the concealed cumulative award identifier is imprinted on a master cumulative award identifying mechanism.

18. The method of claim 14, wherein the at least one concealed cumulative award identifier is concealed by at least one of a pull tab and a scratch-off material that are at least partially removable.

19. The method of claim 14, wherein the at least one concealed first award identifier is imprinted on at least one first award identifying mechanism.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the at least one first award identifying mechanism comprises a seal card.

21. The method of claim 14, wherein the deal identifier indicia comprises a predetermined color imprinted on the plurality of play tickets.

22. The method of claim 14, wherein the at least one concealed game symbol and the at least one concealed winning game symbol comprises at least one of a number, graphic, and text.

23. The method of claim 14, wherein each of the plurality of deal sets of tickets comprise one-thousand-eight-hundred-forty (1840) play tickets.

24. The method of claim 14, wherein each case set of tickets comprises three (3) of the deal sets of tickets.

25. A seal card game system comprising: a deal set of tickets comprising a plurality of play tickets, wherein a first side of the plurality of play tickets comprises a description of the seal card game system, the plurality of play tickets including at least one concealed game symbol imprinted on the plurality of play tickets, wherein the at least one concealed game symbol is concealed by a partially removable pull-tab and provided on a second side of the plurality of play tickets; a predetermined number of the plurality of play tickets having at least one concealed winning game symbol that earns at least one of an instant award, a first award, and a second award; wherein the at least one concealed winning game symbol that earns the instant award comprises a numeric symbol; wherein the predetermined number of the plurality of play tickets that earn at least one of the first award and the second award are eligible for a bonus award.

26. The system of claim 25, further comprising at least one concealed first award identifier.

27. The system of claim 26, wherein the at least one concealed first award identifier is imprinted on an award identifying card.

28. The system of claim 27, wherein the award identifying card further comprises at least one concealed second award identifier.

29. The system of claim 27, wherein the award identifying card further comprises at least one concealed bonus award identifier.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates generally to gaming systems. More particularly, the invention relates to a seal card game system that provides a cumulative winner.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Games of chance continue to be popular. Certain games of chance, such as instant ticket games or pull tab tickets games, have gained popularity with social, fraternal, or church organizations and state or provincial lotteries seeking to raise funds. Commercial bingo halls also feature similar games of chance. Game operators in these facilities have a multitude of game systems from which to choose. Some new game systems enjoy success, while others fail to be commercially viable. The ability of a game system to generate player excitement and prolonged interest determines commercial success of the game system.

Some known games feature a deal set of pull tab play tickets, for example, one hundred (100) individual tickets that include a deal set, that are individually sold to players for a fee. Each player breaks open one or more pull tabs of the ticket to reveal game symbols imprinted on the ticket. Some game systems feature instant winnings based on the imprinted game symbol or symbols while others feature qualifying symbols, identifying eligibility to compete in an award level associated with a particular deal set. After all tickets in the deal set are sold, players holding a ticket eligible for the deal set award are recorded on a deal seal card. A game operator opens a pull tab on the deal seal card to reveal a deal set winner. A deal set winner may receive cash, prizes, or additional tickets.

Some known game systems feature a case award in addition to a deal award. In this type of game system, a case set of tickets are sold by an operator. The case set includes a plurality of deal sets of tickets, for example, ten (10) deal sets in one case with each deal set having a predetermined number of tickets, for example, one hundred (100) tickets. After all tickets in the case are sold and each of the deal set winners is determined, some or all of the deal winners further compete for higher level awards, for example, a case award. This is commonly referred to as a progressive scheme or progressive game system. That is, tickets qualifying for a case award must first have been deal set award winners. Progressive game systems of this type typically retain the interest of individual deal set winners but often at the expense of players not holding deal set winning tickets.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,390,916 to Brown discloses a seal card game system providing multiple levels of non-progressive play. The game system awards a master case award to a winning ticket not among the population of individual deal winning tickets. A winning ticket of each deal set does not qualify for the master case award level. The game features segregated deal sets, each set containing pull tab tickets. Each deal set is segregated by deal identifier indicia. A deal identifier indicia may be a selected color that is imprinted on each of the playing tickets comprising a deal set. The play tickets may be serialized by deal or by case for security. A seal card may include a serialization of each ticket associated with the case. The non-progression scheme benefits a game operator by retaining interest and participation of a higher population of players throughout the multiple deal play.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,046,737 to Fienberg discloses a game system with multi-level playing. One embodiment of the game features play tickets representing a first level of play. Play tickets with numbers ending in “13” represent a second level of play. A winning ticket from the second level of play is eligible to play in a third level for additional winnings in a “Bonus Section.” A second embodiment features a fourth playing level called a “Jackpot Section.”

U.S. Pat. No. 5,743,524 to Nannicola discloses an instant ticket game system utilizing a master game seal card. Players with hold tickets ending in “13” qualify for play in a three-level modified progression scheme. To initiate play at an advanced level, a seal window is opened to reveal a winner. A winning player competes to reach a concluding “Mountain Climber” level of the game. When a winning participant fails, a second hold card player becomes eligible to compete.

These and other known game systems have various drawbacks. For example, none of the above game systems or other known game systems dedicate a predetermined prize amount to a cumulative prize pool board from a plurality of deals wherein a cumulative award is awarded from the cumulative prize pool board. Some winners of known game systems are eliminated from further awards. This causes players to lose interest after a particular point in a game or in the game entirely.

These and other drawbacks exist.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one embodiment of the invention, a seal card game system and method are provided that enable cumulative winners. The seal card game system provides at least one cumulative winner because the game system is played with a plurality of deals and each of the plurality of deals contributes a predetermined prize amount to a cumulative prize pool board. Cumulative awards are awarded from the cumulative prize pool board. The game system increases player interest and enthusiasm by providing tickets that may contain multiple cumulative winners.

The game system includes a case set of play tickets having a plurality of deal sets of play tickets. Each of the plurality of deal sets of tickets includes a plurality of play tickets. According to one embodiment of the invention, the case set of tickets includes three (3) deal sets of tickets and each deal set of tickets includes one-thousand-eight-hundred-forty (1840) play tickets, although it is to be understood that any number of deal sets of tickets and play tickets may be used. Each play ticket includes deal identifier indicia imprinted on the play ticket to identify a deal set of which the play ticket is a member. Each play ticket is a member of only one deal set. The play tickets may also include case identifier indicia that identifies a case set of which the play ticket is a member. Each play ticket also includes at least one concealed game symbol imprinted on the play ticket. A predetermined number of play tickets in each of the deal sets of tickets has at least one concealed winning game symbol that earns at least one of an instant award, a first award, and a cumulative award. The cumulative award is awarded from the predetermined cumulative prize pool board. First award and cumulative award identifiers may be provided on at least one first award identifying mechanism and a master cumulative award identifying mechanism, respectively. Preferably, each deal set of tickets includes a first award identifying mechanism and each case set of tickets includes a master cumulative award identifying mechanism.

For each deal set, at least one concealed first award identifier identifies the winning game symbol that may win a first award and at least one concealed cumulative award identifier identifies the winning game symbol that wins a cumulative award. Play tickets having a winning game symbol may earn one or more of an instant award, a first award, and a cumulative award. A plurality of play tickets from a plurality of deals may win a cumulative award. Thus, there may be multiple cumulative winners.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, certain embodiments of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof herein may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional embodiments of the invention that will be described below and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of embodiments in addition to those described and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein, as well as the abstract, are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which this disclosure is based may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of a play ticket according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a rear elevation view of the play ticket shown in FIG. 1 according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a rear elevation view of a second play ticket according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a rear elevation view of a second play ticket according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a front elevation view of a master cumulative award identifying mechanism according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a front elevation view of a first award identifying mechanism according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a block diagram of a method of playing the game system according to one embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1. illustrates a play ticket 10 according to one embodiment of the invention. The play ticket 10 may include instant winner indicia 12, first award indicia 14, cumulative award indicia 16, and other indicia 18. The instant winner indicia 12 may include identifiers or other game symbols that identify instant winning play tickets. For example, the instant winner indicia 12 may identify one or more combinations of game symbols that earn instant awards, state that all play tickets ending in, for example, fifty-five (55) or seventy-seven (77) and that are imprinted in a particular color earn instant awards, identify prizes associated with particular instant awards, and a number of winners for each type of instant award.

For example, a play ticket 10 with instant winner indicia 12 may indicate that a combination of two (2) diamond symbols and a cherry symbol earn a one dollar ($1.00) prize and that there are one-hundred (100) such play tickets. Instant winner indicia 12 may also indicate that all play tickets ending in seventy-seven (77) and imprinted in pink earn a five dollar ($5.00) prize and that there are eight (8) such play tickets. The instant winner indicia 12 may also indicate that all play tickets ending in fifty-five (55) and imprinted in pink earn a ten dollar ($10.00) prize and that there are two (2) such winning play tickets.

The first award indicia 14 may identify how a first award may be won. The first award indicia 14 may identify one or more game symbols or register/hold play tickets that earn one or more first awards. The first award indicia 14 may indicate register/hold tickets or a number of game symbols that earn the first award, prizes that are awarded for the first award, for example, dollar amounts, tickets won, etc., and a number of winning play tickets 10 that are associated with each first award. For example, the first award indicia 14 may indicate that play tickets having bank symbols labeled one (1) through twenty-four (24) and register/hold tickets ending in 13 that are imprinted in pink may win the first award. The first award may be, for example, cash, one or more play tickets, a combination thereof or other prize.

The cumulative award indicia 16 may identify how a cumulative award may be won. The cumulative award indicia 16 may indicate that there are eight (8) bank symbols labeled one (1) through twenty-four (24) and that these eight (8) bank symbols win instantly. Additionally, the cumulative award indicia 14 may indicate that bank symbols labeled one (1) through twenty-four (24) may earn $500, $99, $50, $49, and $20, and that there is one (1) winning play ticket 10 for each of the $500, $99, $50, $49 awards and four (4) winning play tickets 10 for the $20 award. The bank symbols that identify which award has been won for a particular bank symbol may be provided on a master cumulative award identifying mechanism described in detail below.

Other indicia 18 may be any other desired indicia. For example, the other indicia may be a name of a game system, a price of purchase for the game system, copyright information or any other desired information.

According to one embodiment of the invention, cumulative award winners and first award winners may also be eligible for a bonus award. The bonus award may be in addition to an earned cumulative award or an earned first award. The bonus award may be identified on an award identifier described in detail below.

FIG. 2 illustrates a rear or bottom view of the play ticket 10 illustrated in FIG. 1. A rear (or bottom) of a play ticket 10 includes one or more game symbol areas 20a-20e. The game symbol areas 20a-20e include concealed game symbols. Each game area 20a-20e may include one or more game symbols. The game symbols may be concealed using, for example, a pull tab, scratch-off material or other mechanism. Preferably, the pull tabs are perforated along three (3) sides such that when the tab is pulled, the tab remains attached to the play ticket 10, although other embodiments may also be used.

FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate play tickets 10 according to one embodiment of the invention. Each of the game areas 20a-20e illustrate revealed game symbols 22a-22e. In FIG. 3, game symbols 22a, 22c, and 22e illustrate game symbols 1800, 293, and 1560, respectively, and in FIG. 4, game symbols 22a-22c illustrate game symbols 1800, 482, and 293, respectively. All of these game symbols are imprinted in black. These illustrate non-winning game symbols. In FIG. 3, game symbol 22b is the game symbol 1013 imprinted in a predetermined color. Game symbol 22d identifies play ticket 10 as being a hold ticket. In FIG. 4, game symbol 22e illustrates a bank symbol labeled with a number one (1). Game symbol 22d identifies play ticket 10 as being an instant winner.

Using the above example, the play ticket 10 illustrated in FIG. 3 may win the first award because game symbol 22b ends in thirteen (13) and is imprinted in the predetermined color. To determine whether play ticket 10 has won the first award, a first award identifier is used to determine whether a game symbol imprinted on the first award identifier matches the game symbol 22b on the play ticket 10. This is described in further detail below.

The play ticket 10 illustrated in FIG. 4 may win one of the five (5) cumulative awards because bank number one (1) is one of the banks labeled one (1) through twenty-four (24). To determine which cumulative award play ticket 10 shown in FIG. 4 has won, a cumulative award identifier is used. A matching bank symbol provided on the cumulative award identifier is removed to reveal a prize associated with that bank symbol. This is described in further detail below.

FIG. 5 illustrates a cumulative award identifier 50 according to one embodiment of the invention. According to one embodiment of the invention, the cumulative award identifier 50 is a master game board as is known in the art. The cumulative award identifier 50 may include any number of a plurality of game symbols 52a-52n. The game symbols 52a-52n conceal an indication of whether a cumulative award has been won. The game symbols 52a-52n preferably are imprinted on a perforated tab that may be pulled to reveal the indication of whether a cumulative award has been won although other forms of concealment may also be used.

Each game symbol 52a-52n is associated with a corresponding game symbol on one of a plurality of play tickets. A player of a play ticket having one or more game symbols that correspond to one or more of game symbols 52a-52n removes the associated game symbol 52a-52n from the cumulative award identifier to reveal the cumulative award won. The indication may be, for example, a dollar amount, a number of play tickets or other prize.

The cumulative award identifier 50 may also include other indicia 54. The other indicia 54 may be, for example, a name of a game system, instructions on how to play the game system, prizes that may be awarded or any other desired information.

FIG. 6 illustrates a first award identifying mechanism 60 according to on embodiment of the invention. According to one embodiment of the invention, the first award identifier is a seal card as is known in the art. The first award identifying mechanism 60 may include first award indicia 62a, cumulative award indicia 62b, and instant award indicia 62c, that identifies which play tickets and/or game symbols may win the instant, first, and cumulative awards. For example, the first award indicia 62a may indicate that register/hold tickets ending in thirteen (13) and imprinted in a predetermined color may win the first award. The cumulative award indicia 62b may indicate that eight (8) bank symbols numbered between one (1) and twenty-four (24) may win at least one of the first award and the cumulative award. The instant award indicia 62c may indicate that a combination of two (2) diamond symbols and a cherry symbol earn a one dollar ($1.00) prize and that there are one-hundred (100) such play tickets, all play tickets ending in seventy-seven (77) and imprinted in pink earn a five dollar ($5.00) prize and that there are eight (8) such play tickets, and that all play tickets ending in fifty-five (55) and imprinted in pink earn a ten dollar ($10.00) prize and that there are two (2) such winning play tickets.

The first award identifying mechanism 60 may also include a prize indicator 64 that indicates a prize that may be awarded as the first award. A concealing mechanism 66 may also be provided on the first award identifying mechanism 60. The concealing mechanism 66 conceals a game symbol that identifies a play ticket that has won the first award. It is to be understood that a game symbol may be a number, graphic, text or any combination thereof. The concealing mechanism 66 preferably is a pull tab, however, other concealing mechanisms such as, for example, scratch-off material may also be used. Other indicia 68 may also be provided on the first award identifier 60. The other indicia 68 may be, for example, a name of a game system, instructions on how to play the game system, prizes that may be awarded or any other desired information.

FIG. 7 illustrates a method of playing a seal card game system from a player's perspective in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. First, a player obtains one or more play tickets, step 70. A player may obtain play tickets by, for example, purchasing the play tickets at a charity event, convenience store or other location. A purchase price for each play ticket may be, for example, one dollar ($1.00). The player reveals the game symbols imprinted on a bottom or rear portion of the play ticket, step 72. The player may reveal the game symbols by, for example, opening a pull tab, removing scratch-off material or other method. The player determines whether any of the game symbols revealed are winning game symbols, step 74. The winning game symbols are preferably identified on a top or front portion of the play ticket as discussed above. A determination is also made regarding whether the winning game symbols earn an instant award, cumulative award, and/or are eligible for a first award, step 76.

Preferably, after all or a predetermined number of play tickets in a deal set of tickets have been distributed, sold or otherwise dispensed, the cumulative awards are ascertained, step 78. This may include removing one or more game symbols imprinted on a cumulative award identifier or master game board to reveal a cumulative prize. As discussed above, the prizes are cumulative because each of the deal sets of tickets contributed to a cumulative prize pool board from which the cumulative prizes are awarded. Players with play tickets having a game symbol corresponding to one or more of the game symbols on the master game board win the prize revealed by that game symbol.

Preferably, after all of the play tickets in each deal set of tickets have been distributed, a winning game symbol for the first award may be ascertained, step 80. This may be performed by revealing a game symbol imprinted on a first award identifier. The winning game symbol may be revealed by, for example, opening a pull tab, removing scratch-off material or other method. A determination is then made regarding whether the winning game symbol on the play ticket matches the winning game symbol on the first award identifier or the cumulative award identifier, step 82. If the winning game symbols match, then the player wins the first award. The first award may be earned in addition to the cumulative award.

The many features and advantages of the invention are apparent from the detailed specification, and thus, it is intended by the appended claims to cover all such features and advantages of the invention which fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and variations will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation illustrated and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.