Title:
Method and apparatus to enhance lottery participation
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method and apparatus designed to enhance player participation in lotteries includes a redesigned incentive-based lottery play slip with features designed to increase the chances of all players winning at least some prize, thus providing a real incentive to play and increasing revenue from play slip sales. The inventive play slip preferably comprises a permanent card, reusable for an extended period of time, easily marked and accurately read by optical mark readers and then easily cleaned for the next use, and ultimately recyclable. Alternatively, a traditional disposable play slip may be used still incorporating the inventive features of this invention. The inventive play slip bears one or more of am imprinted serial number (12) which belongs only to the purchaser of the card; a large space for advertising (IS); one or more extra playing fields over and above the standard number of fields and a series number (14).



Inventors:
Miller, Christopher (Apopka, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/920023
Publication Date:
03/12/2009
Filing Date:
05/08/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B71/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DENNIS, MICHAEL DAVID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Larry, Johnson D. (P.O. BOX 470277, CELEBRATION, FL, 34747, US)
Claims:
What is claimed as invention is:

1. An improved lottery play slip, the play slip having a plurality of playing fields for selection of lottery numbers to be played, said improved lottery play slip comprising: a serial number imprinted on the play slip used to give away a set number of prizes per drawing.

2. The improved lottery play slip of claim 1 further including an imprinted series character representing a group of play slips, and used to benefit a set number of play slip owners in the form of a bonus associated with the lesser prizes of the game.

3. The improved lottery play slip of claim 1 further including an additional playing field over and above the standard number of fields, used to play a free game.

4. The improved lottery play slip of claim 1 further including an advertisement/sponsor space to offset costs and render a fee for the right of a sponsor to advertise on the play slips.

5. A method to enhance player participation in a lottery, said method comprising the steps of: providing an incentive-based lottery play slip with features designed to increase the chances of all players winning at least some prize; providing an imprinted serial number on the play slip which belongs only to the purchaser of the card; and awarding a set number of prizes per drawing based on the serial number.

6. The method to enhance player participation in a lottery of claim 5 further including the step of: providing a space for advertising on the play slip to offset costs and render a fee for the right of a sponsor to advertise on the play slips.

7. The method to enhance player participation in a lottery of claim 5 further including the step of: providing one or more extra playing panels or fields over and above the standard number of fields for a free game.

8. The method to enhance player participation in a lottery of claim 5 further including the step of: providing a series character on the play slip representing a group of play slips, and providing bonus associated with the lesser prizes of the game.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The present invention relates generally to lotteries and associated games of chance, and more particularly to an improved method and apparatus designed to enhance player participation in lotteries.

2. Background Art

U.S. Pat. No. 5,273,281 to Lovell discloses a game card and associated playing method. The game card is used for playing a number game of chance in which players guess a sequence of a sub-group of said randomly generated numbers. The game card and associated playing method comprises a game card printed with a series of numbers divided into groups of numbers each group being associated with a group designator. The player indicates her guess by selecting the group designator which either matches her guess or is associated with the group which contains her guess. The game cards are marked so as to allow scoring by an optical scanner. The player which correctly guesses the identity and sequence of a sub-group of randomly generated numbers, such as are randomly generated during a bingo or keno game or during a lottery, is the winner.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,762,339 to Olson describes reusable bingo cards. A game sheet, for example for the game of bingo is a flexible PVC sheet reverse printed with a set of bingo cards. The front surface of the sheet has an anti-glare finish that accepts solvent-based marks and will also allow the marks to be erased so that the sheet may be reused. The sheets are supplied in books of sheets for multiple games.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,213,664 to Kondo teaches a card marking device in the form of a marking instrument comprising a tubular holder having its lower end capped by an ink containing pad of a predetermined geometrical shape and disposed at an acute angle relative to the tubular axis. The pad may be removable from the tubular holder for replacement by another pad of the same or different geometrical configuration. The tubular holder may contain a quantity of erasable marking ink which may be released to flow to the pad by the valve means.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,478,676 to Dayan discloses a method of playing a game and hardware configuration therefor. The method of playing a game includes a first part and a second part. There are a number of suits and unique identifiers therefor. A player chooses at least one identifier from a suit for a first part and a game controller also chooses one identifier from a suit. The player wins the first part if the at least one identifier elected corresponds to the identifier chosen by the game controller. At the end of the first part, a second part is played by the player electing one identifier for the second part and the game controller choosing an identifier from all identifiers remaining. The player then wins relative to the game controller if the identifier elected corresponds to the identifier chosen by the game controller for the second part. The game lends itself to lottery type game playing including computer game play including game play via the Internet.

United States Patent Application No. 20040145115 by Marshall describes a system and method for charting numbers games. A play slip chart for a lottery game, for example, includes at least one board having a plurality of numbers. The numbers are divided into a plurality of groups of numbers called positions and further divided into a plurality zones. Each zone is defined by one or more landmark lines. The play slip chart further includes a game number recording section and a correct digit recording section.

United States Patent Application No. 20040254007 by Reep teaches a lottery scan tag or card to be used in conjunction with a lottery system. It can be simply described as a “scan tag” to be placed on a key chain or “scan card”. The tag or card would have a bar code, metallic strip or other encryption to be scanned by a reading device. The encrypted bar code or strip would contain a series of playing numbers; or one serial number (or code of any type) linked to playing numbers and/or player information to be read by said device. Once scanned, a valid lottery ticket (s) will be printed. The ticket (s) will contain a set (s) of numbers assigned to the scan tag or card by the lottery player in conjunction with the lottery agency. A player's personal information (name, address, phone) may also be included in the encryption on the scan tag/card for tracking purposes, but only as an option.

United States Patent Application No. 20050064930 by Jubinville discloses a lottery system with method for paying multiple progressive jackpots. In one aspect, the invention is directed to a method for awarding at least a portion of a jackpot amount in a lottery game for a plurality of players. The method may include accepting an entry from each of the plurality of players for an occurrence of the lottery game, wherein each entry may include a first subset of numbers selected from a predetermined range of numbers, and determining an outcome for the occurrence of the lottery game, wherein the outcome for the occurrence of the lottery game may include a second subset of numbers selected from the predetermined range of numbers. The method may also include comparing the first subset of numbers for each of the entries to the second subset of numbers for the outcome of the lottery game, and determining the number of matched numbers for each entry between the first subset of numbers for the entry and the second subset of numbers. Still further, the method may include determining that none of the entries for the occurrence of the lottery game match every number in the first subset of numbers for the entry to a corresponding one of the numbers in the second subset of numbers, and awarding a share of the at least a portion of the jackpot amount to at least a portion of the entries for the occurrence of the lottery game wherein none of the numbers of the first subset of numbers of the entry match any of the numbers in the second subset of numbers for the outcome of the lottery game.

The foregoing patents reflect the current state of the art of which the present inventor is aware. Reference to, and discussion of, these patents is intended to aid in discharging Applicant's acknowledged duty of candor in disclosing information that may be relevant to the examination of claims to the present invention. However, it is respectfully submitted that none of the above-indicated patents disclose, teach, suggest, show, or otherwise render obvious, either singly or when considered in combination, the invention described and claimed herein.

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

The present invention provides an improved method and apparatus designed to enhance player participation in lotteries. The invention includes a redesigned incentive-based lottery play slip with features designed to increase the chances of all players winning at least some prize, thus providing a real incentive to play and increasing revenue from play slip sales. The inventive play slip preferably comprises a permanent card, reuseable for an extended period of time (e.g., one year), easily marked and accurately read by single or dual optical mark readers and then easily cleaned for the next use, and ultimately recyclable. Alternatively, a traditional disposable play slip may be used still incorporating the inventive features of this invention. The inventive play slip bears one or more of: an imprinted serial number which belongs only to the purchaser of the card; a large space for advertising (preferably on the obverse of the card, but alternatively on the front) which would defray the cost for the production of the card; one or more extra playing panels or fields over and above the standard number of fields; and a series number. Additional incentives and/or games (and sub-games) may be added to the play slip over time.

This redesigned play slip will generate more revenue than the current lottery play slip method by increasing more player's chances of winning more money. The inventive method is not designed to increase any player's chances of winning the lottery as such but, rather, to give more players more chances to win something substantial enough to want to play.

The inventive concept may also be extended to incorporate electronic devices, video lottery machines, internet-based games, or any other device or medium which uses the basic principles of play slip games, or other associated and inventive games.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved lottery play slip.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved method of playing the lottery.

A further object or feature of the present invention is a new and improved method to increase lottery participation.

An even further object of the present invention is to provide a novel means for increasing more player's chances of winning more money in the lottery.

Other novel features which are characteristic of the invention, as to organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof will be better understood from the following description considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which preferred embodiments of the invention are illustrated by way of example. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for illustration and description only and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention. The various features of novelty which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming part of this disclosure. The invention resides not in any one of these features taken alone, but rather in the particular combination of all of its structures for the functions specified.

There has thus been broadly outlined the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form additional subject matter of the claims appended hereto. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which this disclosure is based readily may 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.

Further, the purpose of the Abstract is to enable the international, regional, and national patent office(s) and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The Abstract is neither intended to define the invention of this application, which is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.

Certain terminology and derivations thereof may be used in the following description for convenience in reference only, and will not be limiting. For example, words such as “upward,” “downward,” “left,” and “right” would refer to directions in the drawings to which reference is made unless otherwise stated. Similarly, words such as “inward” and “outward” would refer to directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center of a device or area and designated parts thereof. References in the singular tense include the plural, and vice versa, unless otherwise noted.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be better understood and objects other than those set forth above will become apparent when consideration is given to the following detailed description thereof. Such description makes reference to the annexed drawings wherein:

FIG. 1A is a plan view of the front and FIG. 1B is a schematic plan view of the back of an improved lottery play slip of this invention; and

FIG. 2 is a plan view of an alternate embodiment of the back of an improved lottery play slip of this invention, illustrating the serial number indicia, advertisement space, extra playing field space, and series number indicia.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 2, wherein like reference numerals refer to like components in the various views, FIG. 1A is a plan view of the front and FIG. 1B is a schematic plan view of the back of an improved lottery play slip 10 of this invention, while FIG. 2 is a plan view of an alternate embodiment of the back of an improved lottery play slip 10 of this invention.

The inventive play slip 10 preferably comprises a permanent card, reuseable for an extended period of time (e.g., one year), easily marked and accurately read by optical mark readers and then easily cleaned for the next use, and ultimately recyclable. The inventive play slip 10 bears one or more features, including but not limited to the following:

The imprinted bonus or serial number 12, which belongs only to the purchaser of the card, is used to give away a set number of prizes (with a set value) per drawing, and/or can be used as an internet account number, as a separate game, or as a tracking system.

The imprinted bonus code or series characters 14 (numbers, letters, or other symbols) represent a group (a set number) of play slips, and are used to benefit a set number of play slip owners in the form of a bonus associated with the lesser prizes of the game.

The additional bonus “F” or “free” panel 16 is one or more playing field over and above the standard number of fields (e.g., it can be used as a sixth panel of a five panel basic game), or a separate game not associated with the main game, and will be free.

The advertisement/sponsor feature 18 is space for an advertisement (preferably on the obverse of the card, but alternatively on the front) which offsets costs and renders a fee for the right of a sponsor to advertise on play slips, etc.

The double lesser prize feature could be a play slip unto itself, or an added basic feature which doubles lesser prizes of the game.

The lesser prize plus bonus feature is similar to the double lesser prize feature except that the bonus would come in the fashion of a set value or percentage of lesser prize (percentage or flat rate).

The signature/collectors play slips offer the buyer of the play slip a keepsake.

The extended length feature is designed to accommodate lottery information and/or sponsors, where desired.

The foldable feature is a play slip which can be folded, then placed in a wallet, purse, or pocket, and then unfolded and used, and could be included with one or all of the other features.

Security and anti-fraud measures to protect against counterfeiting and fraudulent claims can be accomplished through printing measures and special coding 20.

Additional incentives and/or games (sub-games) may be added over time.

The play slips themselves can be produced using various materials such as special papers, sheet laminates, liquid laminates, and various poly-formulas (plastics). The marking systems may vary form pencils to pens to markers to crayons, depending upon the materials used.

Accordingly, the invention may be characterized as an improved lottery play slip, the play slip having a plurality of playing fields for selection of lottery numbers to be played, the improved lottery play slip comprising a serial number imprinted on the play slip used to give away a set number of prizes per drawing. Additional features include an imprinted series character representing a group of play slips, and used to benefit a set number of play slip owners in the form of a bonus associated with the lesser prizes of the game; an additional playing field over and above the standard number of fields, used to play a free game; and an advertisement/sponsor space to offset costs and render a fee for the right of a sponsor to advertise on the play slips.

Alternatively, the invention may be characterized as a method to enhance player participation in a lottery, the method comprising the steps of providing an incentive-based lottery play slip with features designed to increase the chances of all players winning at least some prize; providing an imprinted serial number on the play slip which belongs only to the purchaser of the card; and awarding a set number of prizes per drawing based on the serial number. Additional inventive steps may include providing a space for advertising on the play slip to offset costs and render a fee for the right of a sponsor to advertise on the play slips; providing one or more extra playing panels or fields over and above the standard number of fields for a free game; and providing a series character on the play slip representing a group of play slips, and providing bonus associated with the lesser prizes of the game.

The foregoing disclosure is sufficient to enable one having skill in the art to practice the invention without undue experimentation, and provides the best mode of practicing the invention presently contemplated by the inventor. While there is provided herein a full and complete disclosure of the preferred embodiments of this invention, it is not intended to limit the invention to the exact construction, dimensional relationships, and operation shown and described. Various modifications, alternative constructions, changes and equivalents will readily occur to those skilled in the art and may be employed, as suitable, without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention. Such changes might involve alternative materials, components, structural arrangements, sizes, shapes, forms, functions, operational features or the like.

Accordingly, the proper scope of the present invention should be determined only by the broadest interpretation of the appended claims so as to encompass all such modifications as well as all relationships equivalent to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification.