Title:
BINGO OVERLAY GAMES SYSTEM AND METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
There is disclosed a system and method for playing Bingo on a data processing system. At least one Bingo overlay game is configured to be playable on top of an underlying Bingo game, and the outcome of the at least one Bingo overlay game is linked to numbers called in the underlying Bingo game. In an embodiment, the current status of the at least one Bingo overlay game is displayed substantially in real-time, in dependence upon the numbers called in the underlying Bingo game.



Inventors:
Malone, Perry (Oakville, CA)
Schwartz, Trent (Burlington, CA)
Branscombe, Andrew (Oakville, CA)
Application Number:
12/017579
Publication Date:
07/31/2008
Filing Date:
01/22/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
RENWICK, REGINALD A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FASKEN MARTINEAU DUMOULIN LLP (333 Bay Street, Suite 2400 Bay Adelalde Centre, Box 20, TORONTO, ON, M5H 2T6, CA)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing Bingo on a data processing system, comprising: providing at least one Bingo overlay game configured to be playable on top of an underlying Bingo game; and linking the outcome of the at least one Bingo overlay game to numbers called in the underlying Bingo game.

2. The method of claim 1, further comprising displaying a current status of the at least one Bingo overlay game.

3. The method of claim 2, further comprising displaying the current status of the at least one Bingo overlay game substantially in real-time, in dependence upon the numbers called in the underlying Bingo game.

4. The method of claim 2, further comprising: indicating the current status of the at least one Bingo overlay game utilizing a graphic icon; and indicating a change in the current status of the at least one Bingo overlay game with a change in the graphic icon.

5. The method of claim 4, further comprising summarizing all of the Bingo overlay games being played in a Bingo overlay games summary screen.

6. The method of claim 5, further comprising displaying the Bingo overlay games summary screen in conjunction with at least one screen relating to the underlying Bingo game.

7. The method of claim 1, further comprising linking the outcome of the at least one Bingo overlay game to a plurality of numbers called before the last number called in the underlying Bingo game.

8. The method of claim 7, further comprising defining the length of the plurality of numbers called before the last number called in the underlying Bingo game to between two and twelve.

9. The method of claim 8, further comprising cancelling the at least one Bingo overlay game if the underlying Bingo game ends before the defined length of the plurality of numbers is reached.

10. A system for playing Bingo on a data processing system, comprising: means for providing at least one Bingo overlay game configured to be playable on top of an underlying Bingo game; means for linking the outcome of the at least one Bingo overlay game to numbers called in the underlying Bingo game.

11. The system of claim 10, further comprising means for displaying a current status of the at least one Bingo overlay game.

12. The system of claim 11, further comprising means for displaying the current status of the at least one Bingo overlay game substantially in real-time, in dependence upon the numbers called in the underlying Bingo game.

13. The system of claim 11, further comprising means for indicating the current status of the at least one Bingo overlay game utilizing a graphic icon, and indicating a change in the current status of the at least one Bingo overlay game with a change in the graphic icon.

14. The system of claim 13, further comprising means for summarizing all of the Bingo overlay games being played in a Bingo overlay games summary screen.

15. The system of claim 14, further comprising means for displaying the Bingo overlay games summary screen in conjunction with at least one screen relating to the underlying Bingo game.

16. The system of claim 10, further comprising means for linking the outcome of the at least one Bingo overlay game to a plurality of numbers called before the last number called in the underlying Bingo game.

17. The system of claim 16, further comprising means for defining the length of the plurality of numbers called before the last number called in the underlying Bingo game to between two and twelve.

18. The system of claim 17, further comprising means for cancelling the at least one Bingo overlay game if the underlying Bingo game ends before the defined length of the plurality of numbers is reached.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/885,965, filed Jan. 22, 2007, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to systems and methods for playing Bingo overlay games.

BACKGROUND

In a conventional 75-number format Bingo game, game cards are issued having numbers and optional free spaces randomly positioned in columns and rows under the letters B-I-N-G-O. Bingo balls are randomly drawn and called in sequence so that players may try to match the called numbers to one or more patterns on their game cards. Electronic versions of Bingo games played on computers connected to local area or wide area networks may automate one or more aspects of play, such as the issuing of game cards to players, the random number draw, and even the matching of called numbers to one or more game cards and identification of the winner. A sequence of calls, such as “B-12”, “G-40”, “I-10”, etc. continues until a player has matched a certain predetermined winning game pattern, such as a column, a row, a diagonal, or a special shape on one or more of the player's game cards. In such conventional Bingo play, the chance of winning correlates to the total number of game cards issued, and the number of winning game patterns being played, and players may have no control over increasing their chances of winning a Bingo game other than to increase the number of Bingo game cards purchased.

Even if a player has purchased a number of game cards to play in a game, if there are many players playing, the chances of holding a winning game card may be small. For example, there may be only one or two winners out of hundreds of players playing the same Bingo game. If winning becomes too difficult, players may get discouraged from continuing to play the game. Also, if players have automated all settings in electronic versions of Bingo games, there may be very little for the player to do.

What is needed is a system and method of playing Bingo which may increase the chance to win, and which may increase player interaction during Bingo game play.

SUMMARY

The present invention relates to systems and methods for playing Bingo overlay games.

In an aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of playing Bingo on a data processing system, comprising: providing at least one Bingo overlay game configured to be playable on top of an underlying Bingo game; and linking the outcome of the at least one Bingo overlay game to numbers called in the underlying Bingo game.

In an embodiment, the method further comprises displaying a current status of the at least one Bingo overlay game.

In another embodiment, the method further comprises displaying the current status of the at least one Bingo overlay game substantially in real-time, in dependence upon the numbers called in the underlying Bingo game.

In another embodiment, the method further comprises indicating the current status of the at least one Bingo overlay game utilizing a graphic icon; and indicating a change in the current status of the at least one Bingo overlay game with a change in the graphic icon.

In another embodiment, the method further comprises summarizing all of the Bingo overlay games being played in a Bingo overlay games summary screen.

In another embodiment, the method further comprises displaying the Bingo overlay games summary screen in conjunction with at least one screen relating to the underlying Bingo game.

In another embodiment, the method further comprises linking the outcome of the at least one Bingo overlay game to a plurality of numbers called before the last number called in the underlying Bingo game.

In another embodiment, the method further comprises defining the length of the plurality of numbers called before the last number called in the underlying Bingo game to between two and twelve.

In another embodiment, the method further comprises cancelling the at least one Bingo overlay game if the underlying Bingo game ends before the defined length of the plurality of numbers is reached.

In another aspect of the invention, there is provided a system for playing Bingo on a data processing system, comprising: means for providing at least one Bingo overlay game configured to be playable on top of an underlying Bingo game; means for linking the outcome of the at least one Bingo overlay game to numbers called in the underlying Bingo game.

In an embodiment, the system further comprises means for displaying a current status of the at least one Bingo overlay game.

In another embodiment, the system further comprises means for displaying the current status of the at least one Bingo overlay game substantially in real-time, in dependence upon the numbers called in the underlying Bingo game.

In another embodiment, the system further comprises means for indicating the current status of the at least one Bingo overlay game utilizing a graphic icon, and indicating a change in the current status of the at least one Bingo overlay game with a change in the graphic icon.

In another embodiment, the system further comprises means for summarizing all of the Bingo overlay games being played in a Bingo overlay games summary screen.

In another embodiment, the system further comprises means for displaying the Bingo overlay games summary screen in conjunction with at least one screen relating to the underlying Bingo game.

In another embodiment, the system further comprises means for linking the outcome of the at least one Bingo overlay game to a plurality of numbers called before the last number called in the underlying Bingo game.

In another embodiment, the system further comprises means for defining the length of the plurality of numbers called before the last number called in the underlying Bingo game to between two and twelve.

In another embodiment, the system further comprises means for cancelling the at least one Bingo overlay game if the underlying Bingo game ends before the defined length of the plurality of numbers is reached.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the figures which illustrate exemplary embodiments:

FIG. 1 is an illustrative data processing system that may provide a suitable operating environment;

FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of an illustrative Bingo game system playable over a network;

FIG. 3 is an illustrative Bingo overlay games user interface in accordance with an embodiment;

FIGS. 4A-4D are illustrative Bingo overlay games user interfaces for wagering in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 5 is an illustrative Bingo overlay games details user interface in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 6 is an illustrative Bingo overlay games summary display in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 7 is an illustrative Bingo game screen with a Bingo overlay games summary display in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 8 is an illustrative Bingo game screen with a Bingo overlay games summary display with game status fields in operation in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 9 is an illustrative Bingo overlay games summary display with game status fields in operation in accordance with an embodiment; and

FIG. 10 is a flow chart of an illustrative method in accordance with an embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As noted above, the present invention relates to a system and method for playing Bingo, and more particularly, for playing Bingo overlay games in conjunction with an underlying Bingo game.

The invention may be practiced in various embodiments. A suitably configured data processing system, and associated communications networks, devices, software and firmware may provide a platform for enabling one or more of these systems and methods. By way of example, FIG. 1 shows a generic data processing system 100 that may include a central processing unit (“CPU”) 102 connected to a storage unit 104 and to a random access memory 106. The CPU 102 may process an operating system 101, application program 103, and data 123. The operating system 101, application program 103, and data 123 may be stored in storage unit 104 and loaded into memory 106, as may be required. An operator 107 may interact with the data processing system 100 using a video display 108 connected by a video interface 105, and various input/output devices such as a keyboard 110, mouse 112, and disk drive 114 connected by an I/O interface 109. In known manner, the mouse 112 may be configured to control movement of a cursor in the video display 108, and to operate various graphical user interface (“GUI”) controls appearing in the video display 108 with a mouse button. The disk drive 114 may be configured to accept data processing system readable media 116. The data processing system 100 may form part of a network via a network interface 111, allowing the data processing system 100 to communicate with other suitably configured data processing systems (not shown). The particular configurations shown by way of example in this specification are not meant to be limiting.

Now referring to FIG. 2, shown is an illustrative network 200 to which one or more data processing systems 100 may be suitably configured and connected as Bingo game clients 100a-100d, or as a Bingo game server 210. With the networked configuration shown in FIG. 2, it will be appreciated that the Bingo game may be played between players at Bingo game clients 100a-100d located at various geographic locations. Details on how such a Bingo network may operate are provided, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,585,590 issued to Malone, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

As will now be described, “Bingo overlay games” as the term is used in the present disclosure, refers to any games that may be overlaid on top of, and played in conjunction with, an underlying Bingo game. For example, Bingo overlay games may include different types of bets that a user may place on a sequence of numbers called for the underlying Bingo game. As an example, the bets may be fixed-odds bets that pay out a certain amount of winnings based on a predetermined payout ratio calculated from the probabilities of winning the overlay game. The Bingo overlay games may use a sequence of numbers called for an underlying Bingo game, but are otherwise independent of the underlying Bingo game. That is, the ability for a player to win one or more Bingo overlay games is not determined by the Bingo game cards purchased by the player for the main underlying Bingo game. A player may thus have significant flexibility in deciding whether or not to play the Bingo overlay games, and when to play the Bingo overlay games. In addition, the player may have significant flexibility in determining the different types of overlay games to play, and the total number of overlay games to play simultaneously. Illustrative examples will now be provided with reference to FIGS. 3 to 8.

Referring to FIG. 3, shown is an illustrative GUI screen 300 for Bingo overlay games in accordance with an embodiment. As illustrated, the “Bingo Bets” games offered may include a plurality of different types of Bingo overlay games 310. Using screen 300, players may select one or more Bingo overlay games to play, and make bets for each one. Upon confirmation by the player, the bet for each overlay game may be placed for an upcoming Bingo game, and appropriate funds may be debited from the player's account.

Each of the available overlay games may be explained in more detail upon a player selecting the “?” button 312 on screen 300. For example, the player may be provided with the following descriptions for the different types of “Bingo Bets”:

1) Bingo War: Will the last number of the Bingo overlay draw be higher or lower than the first?

2) Oddly Enough: Will there be mostly odd or even numbers in the Bingo overlay draw?

3) Totally Odd: Will the total of all six numbers in the Bingo overlay draw be odd or even?

4) Hot or Not: Will the total of all six numbers in the Bingo overlay draw be Hot or Not?

5) Row Range: Will one row have more numbers in the Bingo overlay draw than any other?

6) Lucky Number: Will your lucky number appear in the Bingo overlay draw?

7) Bingo Cocktail: Will the Bingo overlay draw contain a number from each row of the flashboard?

8) Tiny Total: What will the sum of the digits in the Bingo overlay draw total equal?

9) Better Bettor: How many consecutively higher numbers will appear in the Bingo overlay draw?

In addition to the above illustrative examples of “Bingo Bets” Bingo overlay games, it will be appreciated that virtually any type and virtually any number of other Bingo overlay games may be devised to be played in a similar manner to the above nine illustrative Bingo overlay games, as will now be described.

The Bingo overlay games may be suitably configured to be compatible with any common Bingo game formats, such as 75-, 80- 90-number formats, with or without the use of free spaces. Also, rather than basing the Bingo overlay games on an independent draw of numbers, the Bingo overlay games may be played based on a sequence of numbers called during the course of the underlying Bingo game. As will be appreciated, many variations are possible, such as using a fixed length sequence of numbers called, a variable length sequence of numbers called, skipping certain values in the sequence of numbers called, using different mathematical operations on the sequence of numbers called, etc.

In an embodiment, if the type of underlying Bingo game being played may affect the playability, or fairness of one or more of the Bingo overlay games, one or more of the affected Bingo overlay games may be temporarily disabled for that particular game. For example, in 75-number Bingo, there may be some patterns on the Bingo cards that do not require any numbers from one or more rows of the fashboard. For such odd patterns, the numbers from these rows are traditionally not called. For example, the “fixed postage stamp” pattern does not require any B-, I- or N- numbers to be marked, so all B-, I- and N-numbers may be excluded from the draw. In this case, it may not make sense to play one or more of the Bingo overlay games, and therefore the Bingo overlay games may be temporarily disabled for play, or may not be selectable by a user for a given Bingo game.

In an embodiment, the winners of the Bingo overlay games may be determined by when the underlying Bingo game ends. For example, the Bingo overlay games may be based on the last few numbers (e.g. last six numbers) drawn before the last number drawn for the game. This will be explained in more detail further below. It will be appreciated, however, that other variations may be used to determine the winners of the Bingo overlay games.

In operation, the Bingo overlay games may be configured such that a player may open a Bingo overlay games screen (such as screen 300 shown in FIG. 3), and select one or more of the Bingo overlay games to wager on. Referring now to FIGS. 4A to 4D, shown in FIG. 4A is an illustrative screen 400A for wagering on the “Bingo War” game 410. As shown, screen 400A may include controls 412, 416 selectable by the player to indicate whether the player thinks the last number of the Bingo overlay games draw will be higher or lower than the first. Screen 400A may also show the payout 414, 418 depending the player's selection. In this illustrative example, wagering that the last number will be higher or lower than the first pays out the same x1.90.

FIG. 4B shows illustrative screen 400B in which the player has indicated that he thinks the last number will be lower than the first, using control 416. This is indicated in display area 420. As noted earlier, the payout for this wager is x1.90 in this illustrative example.

FIG. 4C now shows illustrative screen 400C in which the player has picked the last number to be lower than the first, and allows the player to place a wager 424 for a specific amount, using wager controls 426, 428. The player may also select the number of games 430 to play the “Bingo War” game, using number of games controls 432, 434.

Finally, FIG. 4D shows illustrative screen 400D in which confirmation of the player's bet is shown, including the amount of the wager 424, the payout 425, and the number of games 430 for which to play the “Bingo War” game. The player may continue with the wagering by selecting the “Bet Again” button 440, which may bring the player back to screen 300 shown in FIG. 3.

After the player has selected a number of games to play, the information may be summarized in chart form. As an illustrative example, FIG. 5 shows a detailed screen 500 (e.g. selectable by clicking tab 502) showing a number of Bingo overlay games 512, 514a, 514b, 516, 518 that the player has selected to play. For example, Bingo overlay games 514a, 514b, entitled “Lucky Number”, may include a bet by a player that the last six numbers called before the final number is one of the lucky numbers “42” and “29” selected by the user, as indicated in column 520.

In an embodiment, detailed screen 500 may also be used to show the progress of the games the player has selected to play. For example, as indicated by the “X” in status column 530, neither lucky number “42” nor lucky number “29” has come up, or perhaps has come up and is no longer one of the last six numbers called. For these two bets, the player has selected a wager of “2.00” as shown in column 540, in whichever currency may be applicable. As shown in column 550, the “Lucky Number” bets may be configured to have a payout of “24.00”, should the player win the wager.

In another embodiment, detailed screen 500 may also show the number of times each game is to be played, as selected by the player. For example, the player may select a predefined maximum number of future games for which the bets may be placed (see FIG. 4D, for example).

In an illustrative embodiment, future bets may remain pending, and may be “placed” and debited one game in advance. Also, players may be permitted to cancel future bets that are pending, but have not yet been placed in a game. As an illustrative example, a player may choose to place wagers on “Bingo War” and “Oddly Enough”, and play each Bingo overlay game for the next 20 Bingo game sessions. If the bet was to be played for the next 20 Bingo game sessions, such information could be included in the detailed screen 500 shown in FIG. 5 in column 560, for example.

In an alternative embodiment, the same Bingo overlay games may be replayed indefinitely for every Bingo game, until a player decides to stop playing the overlay games. Whether or not a player can cancel may also be determined based on whether or not funds have already been debited from their account.

As noted earlier, in an embodiment, the Bingo overlay games may be played using the last few numbers called for the underlying Bingo game. Significantly, by basing the Bingo overlay games on numbers that will constantly change until the underlying Bingo game is concluded, the player's attention may be drawn to the Bingo overlay games, as well as the underlying Bingo games, until at or near the very end. Should the player not be a winner of the underlying Bingo game, the player may nevertheless be a winner of one or more of the Bingo overlay games, increasing the excitement for the player in comparison to conventional Bingo games. In the event that the underlying Bingo game ends before a defined length of the last few numbers is reached, then the Bingo overlay games may be cancelled until the next round of the underlying Bingo game.

In an embodiment, the last number called may be excluded from the Bingo overlay games draw in order to improve the likelihood that numbers will have the same probabilities of being called, no matter which Bingo pattern is played. By definition, the winning call number in a Bingo game always has to be a marked number, whereas any other number in a Bingo game doesn't necessarily have to be marked. For example, in a hypothetical 75-number format Bingo game that has no free space, it is just as likely for the last number called to be from any column B, I, N, G or O. Once a free space is introduced (which is standard in North America), it's slightly less likely that the last number called will be an N. This is because there are only 4 spaces that may be daubed under N while there are 5 spaces that may be daubed under B, I, G or O. The result may be very pronounced in a game such as a T pattern where the pattern consists of 4 spaces under the N column and 1 space under the other columns. If the last number is eliminated from consideration, then all other numbers in the game has the same probability.

While it is possible to use numbers other than the last few numbers before the end of the game, if for example the results were based on the first “X” numbers of the underlying Bingo game, then the results of the Bingo overlay games would be decided well before the end of the underlying Bingo game, and the additional excitement that may be provided is not prolonged until the end of the game.

In an embodiment, the excitement of the Bingo overlay games may be enhanced by providing the user with a Bingo overlay games summary screen with “real-time” status of all of the Bingo overlay games being played. As shown by way of illustration in FIG. 6, the Bingo overlay games summary screen 600 may be presented graphically, such that it illustrates the number and status of the Bingo overlay games being played and the status of those games in an efficient, easily readable manner.

In FIG. 6, the Bingo overlay games include “Bingo War” 602, “Row Range” 604, “Oddly Enough” 606, “Tiny Total” 608, “Hot or Not” 610, and “Better Bettor” 612, and the text and graphics used for each of these games may be suitably chosen such that these games are readily distinguishable.

Beside each of these games, status fields 602s, 604s, 606s, 608s, 610s, 612s may be provided which may show what the present status is for each of these games. However, before a Bingo game begins, the status fields 602s, 604s, 606s, 608s, 610s, 612s may remain empty, and the six individual bets have “?” indicators to show that there is no result to display.

In another embodiment, the player may access a larger Bingo game screen view 700 which shows not only the Bingo overlay games summary screen 600, but various bits of information relating to the underlying Bingo game. For example, as shown in FIG. 7, Bingo cards 702, 704 to be played in the next game are shown. As well, a Bingo overlay draw field 710 shown near the bottom left of the screen may show the numbers being called in the current Bingo game. As shown in FIG. 7, the called numbers “13”, “56”, and “12” have been placed in the Bingo overlay draw field 710.

In FIG. 8, the Bingo overlay draw field 710 continues to fill up with additional called numbers “37”, “1” and “18”. As shown, this called number display field 710 holds six balls, but does not include the current (or last) number called in the underlying Bingo game. The status indicator fields 602s-612s do not display any information until the Bingo overlay draw chamber is filled with six numbers. However, upon filling up with six numbers as shown in FIG. 8, the status indicator fields 602s-612s begin to display status information.

With each successive number called, a new number (the second-to-last number called) enters the Bingo overlay draw field 710, and the oldest number (the eighth-to-last number called) exits Bingo overlay draw field 710. As each new number is called the status indicator for each bet updates to show what the outcome of that bet would be if Bingo was to be claimed on the current call.

As an illustrative example, the “Bingo War” Bingo overlay game is dependent on whether the last number in the Bingo overlay draw field 710 is higher or lower than the first number in the Bingo overlay draw field 710. Call 15 in the game might be #48 and at that time, the Bingo overlay draw might contain the following numbers: “11”, “39”, “9”, “57”, “20”, “4” (not shown in the drawings). On Call 15 then, the status indicator for Bingo War would be a down arrow since the last number “4” in the Bingo overlay draw is lower than the first number “11”. On call 16, however, the number “29” that was drawn on call 15 may enter the Bingo overlay draw field 710 and push out the first number “11” in the chamber. The new Bingo overlay draw now contains: “39”, “9”, “57”, “20”, “4”, and “48”, and the status icon would then change to an up arrow, since the last number “48” is higher than the first number “39”. If Bingo is claimed on call 16, any bets on Bingo War that wagered the last number would be higher than the first number would be paid.

Similarly, the status fields 602s-612s for each of the Bingo overlay games may change as the called numbers in the Bingo overlay draw field 710 change. As will be appreciated, the constantly changing status fields 602s-612s in the Bingo overlay games summary screen 600 may enhance the appeal of the Bingo game as it progresses. The visual appeal of the Bingo overlay games may be further enhanced by using graphic symbols or icons to visually indicate at a glance whether or not the player may win one or more of the overlay games if the next number drawn is the last number for the underlying Bingo game. The use of graphic symbols or icons to display the current status of the Bingo overlay games may permit the player to more easily keep track of the Bingo overlay game results.

Now referring to FIG. 9, at the end of a Bingo game (and thus the Bingo overlay games), if a player has winning bets in one or more of the Bingo overlay games, the winning bets may be identified by the use of the icons shown in the status fields 602s-612s. Optionally, the winning games may be highlighted in some fashion using, for example, bolder colours, animated icons, flashing lights, etc. This may also be accompanied by suitable sound effects alerting the player that he is a winner of one or more Bingo overlay games.

Now referring to FIG. 10, shown is a schematic flowchart of a method in accordance with an embodiment. As shown, method 1000 begins at block 1002, where method 1000 may prompt a player to select one or more Bingo overlay games to play. Next, at block 1004, method 1000 may prompt the player to place an appropriate wager on each of the Bingo overlay games. This step may be completed before the start of the next underlying Bingo game.

Upon selection of and wagering on one or more Bingo overlay games by a player, method 1000 may proceed to block 1006, where method 1000 may display to the user a list of Bingo overlay games being played. Method 1000 then proceeds to block 1008, where method 1000 receives the results of a number called from the underlying Bingo game. Method 1000 may then proceed to decision block 1010, where method 1000 determines if a sufficient number of calls has been made to start displaying status information for each of the Bingo overlay games. If no, method 1000 returns to block 1008. If yes, method 1000 proceeds to block 1012.

At block 1012, method 1000 may display status information for each Bingo overlay game the player is playing, based on the current numbers drawn for the Bingo overlay games (e.g. as illustrated for example on screen 800 of FIG. 8 described earlier). Method 1000 may then proceed to decision block 1014, where method 1000 determines if the underlying Bingo game has ended.

If no, method 1000 proceeds to block 1016, where method 1000 receives another number called in the underlying Bingo game. At block 1018, method 1000 places the new called number into the Bingo overlay draw, and pushes out the earliest drawn number from the Bingo overlay draw. Method 1000 then returns to block 1012 to display the status information for each Bingo overlay game.

If yes, method 1000 proceeds to block 1020, where method 1000 displays the final status of the Bingo overlay games. Method 1000 may then proceed to block 1022 to calculate and display the winnings to the player. Method 1000 then ends.

While illustrative embodiments have been described above, it will be appreciated that various changes and modifications may be made. More generally, the scope of the invention is defined by the following claims.