Title:
SESSION-FREE ON-LINE TICKET LOTTERY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a method for session-free on-line ticket probability game, where customer ID, ticket ID and encrypted content of the ticket is stored in a database and random number generator is in a limited access area. The randomised content for the ticket is encrypted in the limited access area but the data regarding transactions and ticket content is not stored in the limited access area.



Inventors:
Gudmundsson, Steindor S. (Reykjavik, IS)
Hrafnkelsson, Stefan (Reykjavik, IS)
Application Number:
12/447234
Publication Date:
04/15/2010
Filing Date:
10/25/2007
Assignee:
BETWARE A ISLANDI HF. (Reykjavik, IS)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
463/29
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
COLEMAN, WILLIAM D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Muncy, Geissler, Olds & Lowe, P.C. (4000 Legato Road Suite 310, Fairfax, VA, 22033, US)
Claims:
1. A method for facilitating an electronic ticket lottery game network, the network utilizing at least one player terminal, a gaming platform further comprising a random number generator, a limited access area, data storage means and a cpu means, the method comprising the steps of: requesting a probability game at the player terminal from the gaming platform, obtaining randomised content, displayed as a plurality of features, for a ticket and encrypting the randomised content in the limited access area upon a request from the gaming platform and returning the ticket content to the gaming platform, storing the encrypted content in the database and a confirmation is sent to the player terminal that a game is initiated, wherein in response to one of a plurality of features of randomised content being selected on the ticket, the method further comprises the following steps: a) the gaming platform sends the encrypted content from the gaming platform to the limited access area where the selected randomised content is decoded in the limited access area before it is returned to the gaming platform, b) storing the selected content in the database, and c) transferring the selected content to the gaming terminal, d) repeating steps a-c as many times as the game allows.

2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the request of a probability game from the gaming platform includes sending a game ID and a customer ID to the limited access area.

3. The method according to claim 1, wherein the ticket content comprises several individual and randomised characteristic features.

4. The method according to claim 1, wherein a unique transaction ID is generated by the limited access area before the randomised content for a ticket is returned to the gaming platform.

5. The method according to claim 1, wherein each request from the gaming platform for a specific feature of randomised content includes a specific request ID, as well as the game ID and the customer ID.

6. The method according to claim 4, wherein the unique transaction ID is utilised for grouping the specific requests of the game during auditing.

7. A computer program or suite of computer programs so arranged such that when executed on a processor said program of suite of programs cause(s) said processor to perform the method of claim 1.

8. A computer readable data storage medium storing the computer program or at least one of the suites of computer programs of claim 7.

9. A system for facilitating an electronic ticket lottery game network, the network utilizing at least one player terminal, a gaming platform, a random number generator, a limited access area, data storage means and a cpu means, the system comprising: the player terminal requests a probability game from the gaming platform, the gaming platform request a randomised content for a ticket from the limited access area and the randomised content is encrypted in the limited access area and the ticket content is returned to the gaming platform, the encrypted content is stored in the database and a confirmation is sent to the player terminal that a game is initiated, characterised in the following steps: a) a player selects one of a plurality of features of randomised content being selected on the ticket on the player terminal: b) the gaming platform requests the encrypted content from the data storage means upon the players selection and the encrypted content is sent and decoded in the limited access area before it is returned to the gaming platform, c) the database stores the selected content and the selected content is transferred to the gaming terminal, and d) steps a-c are repeated as many times as the game allows.

10. The system according to claim 9, wherein the request of a probability game from the gaming platform includes sending a game ID and a customer ID to the limited access area.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to a secure system to maintain and audit an on-line ticket lottery.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Modern communication networks such as the Internet, Wide Area Networks (WANs) and Local Area Networks (LANs), have proven to be enormously efficient means of organizing and distributing digital data. This has resulted in a widespread use of these networks for business, entertainment and personal applications. The Internet is now a common network for performing electronic commerce, banking and electronic mail transactions as well as being widely used for academic purposes, providing information and gaming and betting activities.

The traditional gaming and betting systems have been based on direct interaction in a common physical location, such as casinos, bingo halls, sports betting halls and buying physical lottery tickets. The Internet, however, offers a solution for those who cannot visit the physical locations for some reason, such as people living in remote areas far away from traditional gaming and betting facilities, to play anywhere at a time of their choice.

Ticket lottery games are popular sources of revenue for governmental bodies and charitable organizations, being either a scratch-off or pull-tab game with a number of pre-printed tickets. A lottery ticket comprises a printed result indicator, indicating whether or not a particular ticket is a winning ticket and, if so, nature of the winning.

WO 2001/48712 discloses a method for providing real time scratch-off lottery like games over a wireless network system. This system allows the user to play a lottery game electronically on a wireless device, with real-time scratch and win determination. Security of win/loss determination is maintained by the betting service provider using a separate terminal from the wireless system of the mobile user. This system includes user authentication by the betting service, a choice of lottery ticket-like games, selection of one or more “tickets”. Then the game is played on the wireless device, a determination of winning or losing is made by the gaming station as the game is played, Based on winning or loosing, the player can proceed to play another game or quit (Step 110). Thereafter, the user may select another game or quit playing and a potential winning can be credited to the betting service account of the user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a method for session-free on-line ticket probability game, where customer ID, ticket ID and encrypted content of the ticket is stored in a database and random number generator is in a limited access area. The randomised content for the ticket is encrypted in the limited access area but the data regarding transactions and ticket content is not stored in the limited access area, also referred to as the “black box).

The present invention provides a method, a system and a computer program to facilitate an electronic ticket lottery game network in a secure manner, so that the network can not be manipulated by administrators, suppliers, employees or players. The system and the method of the present invention relate to a probability game, such as an on-line (internet) ticket lottery game where a plurality of closed/covered windows are opened or the cover scraped off areas on ticket. Each window or area contains a number or a feature and a predetermined combination of those features determines the prize which can be won. Only a determined portion or number of the windows can be opened and each ticket contains a win if the correct windows are opened (or the cover scraped off). To prevent hackers to view the whole content of the ticket before the game begins, the game/lottery ticket is created by a random number generator in a “Black box”. The whole content is encrypted before it is sent up to a gaming platform, which further sends the ticket to the player terminal. When the player has opened a window/scraped cover of a hidden area, the ticket information is sent back to the “Black box” and the content of the selected area is decrypted and the ticket information is sent back to the gaming platform. The gaming platform then reveals the results to the player and the player selects the next window to be revealed. The same process of decryption in the “Black Box” is repeated for each window selected by the player. When the player has selected the pre-determined number of windows to be revealed to him the game is over and based on the selection of windows it is determined if the player has won or lost. It is also possible according to the present invention that the player selects all the windows he is allowed to select and then the gaming terminal sends the whole ticket content behind all the selected windows/areas to the black box for decryption.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In a first aspect of the present invention a method is provided for facilitating an electronic ticket lottery game network. The network utilizes at least one player terminal, a gaming platform further comprising a random number generator, a limited access area, data storage means and a cpu means. The method comprises a player requesting a probability game at the player terminal from the gaming platform. The gaming platform calls the limited access area to obtain randomised content for a ticket and encrypting the randomised content in the limited access area upon the request from the gaming platform and returning the ticket content to the gaming platform. The randomised content is generated from a random number generator and is displayed as a plurality of features, such as numbers or symbols. Each generated ticket comprises a combination of features selected in such a manner that if a correct selection is made, the ticket comprises a win. The randomised content is hidden behind windows or shaded areas and from the player to select content, he has to scrape of/open windows to reveal what is behind the shaded areas/windows. The encrypted content is stored in the database and a confirmation is sent to the player terminal that a game is initiated by generating a ticket. In response to a player's selection one of a plurality of features of randomised content on the ticket, the gaming platform sends the encrypted content of the selected window/shaded area from the gaming platform to the limited access area where the selected randomised content is decoded in before it is returned to the gaming platform.

The selected content is stored in the database together with other information selected from the list of, but not limited to specific transaction ID, customer ID, game ID etc. The selected and decoded content is then transferred to the gaming terminal for display to the player at the player terminal. The steps of a players selection/scratching windows and the decoding of the selected plurality of features of randomised content is repeated as many times as the game allows. This means that if the ticket has six windows and three windows are to be selected/scratched then these steps are repeated 3 times in response to the players selection. The ticket might also have 15 windows for 6 windows to be selected.

In a second aspect of the present invention a computer program or suite of computer programs is provided, so arranged such that when executed on a processor said program of suite of programs cause(s) said processor to perform the method disclosed above. Furthermore, a computer readable data storage medium storing the computer program or at least one of the suites of computer programs mentioned above is provided.

In a third aspect of the present invention a system is provided for facilitating an electronic ticket lottery game network. The network utilizes at least one player terminal, a gaming platform, a random number generator, a limited access area, data storage means and a cpu means (processing means). The system operates as follows:

A player terminal requests a probability game from the gaming platform and the gaming platform request a randomised content for a ticket from the limited access area and the randomised content is encrypted in the limited access area and the ticket content is returned to the gaming platform.

The encrypted content is stored in the database and a confirmation is sent to the player terminal that a game is initiated. Then the player selects one of a plurality of features of randomised content being selected on the ticket on the player terminal and the gaming platform requests the encrypted content from the data storage means upon the players selection. The encrypted content is sent to the black box and decoded there in before it is returned to the gaming platform.

The database stores the selected content together with other information selected from the list of, but not limited to specific transaction ID, customer ID, game ID etc. The selected and decoded content is then transferred to the gaming terminal for display to the player at the player terminal. The steps of a player's selection/scratching windows and the decoding of the selected plurality of features of randomised content are repeated as many times as the game allows.

In an embodiment of the present invention the ticket content comprises several individual and randomised characteristic features and each request of a probability game from the gaming platform includes sending a game ID and a customer ID to the limited access area. Furthermore, a unique transaction ID can be generated by the limited access area before the randomised content for a ticket is returned to the gaming platform in a decoded form and the unique transaction ID is utilised for grouping the specific requests of the game during auditing. These embodiments relate to all aspects of the present invention

The network comprises the following:

    • at least one player terminal,
    • a gaming platform,
    • a random number generator,
    • a limited access area (Black Box),
    • a data storage means,
    • a cpu means, and
    • a player.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention the security and audit ability are obtained by a closed system, wherein the secure and close system may be a so-called “black box” unit. The “black box” may comprise the following components:

    • A locked box,
    • A random number generator, and
    • Storage means

The “black box” can further be described as an environment hosting data storage means, processors and generators and the “black box” may provide a physical barrier which only authorized administrators and auditors have access to.

The electronic lottery ticket of the present has a plurality of closed windows to be selected or scratched and only a portion of the windows can be opened to reveal what is behind the windows. The ticket content comprises several individual and randomised characteristic features, which represent the actual of the game. Each ticket has a “win” if the correct windows are opened. For example, a ticket having six windows that can be opened or the surface scraped off has an indication of the win behind three windows. The player has the opportunity to open three windows only, so that if all three windows comprising an indication of the win are opened the player wins. This could be a number representing an amount of money in the currency of the country where the game is played.

The term “session-free” in the present context refers to a method of playing a ticket lottery on-line, where the limited access area does not require a database as the content of the probability game is encoded as it is generated in the limited access area and then encrypted as the game is played. This means that the system does not require a large data storage means within the limited access area to store ticket information.

In a preferred embodiment the random number generator is a true random number generator. In the present context the term “true random number generator” refers to a device that generates true random numbers, typically by sampling and processing a source of entropy outside the device. The entropy source can, e.g., be a radioactive source, atmospheric noise from a radio or lava lamps.

The term “limited access” may be interpreted as meaning that only certain persons have access to the storage means. It may, e.g., be a secure enclosed system; a so-called “black box” and/or it may comprise a locked compartment. Furthermore, the random number generator may have limited access. The storage means and the random number generator may be positioned in the same limited access area (e.g. the same “black box” or the same locked compartment) of the system. The limited access area may further comprise a sequence number generator, so that the generation of the random number, the generation of the sequence number, and the storing of the random number—sequence number pair all take place within the limited access area, thereby reducing the risk that any of the numbers may be tampered with, or that a false/unauthentic random number—sequence number pair may be stored in the storage means.

Access to the limited access area(s) may be obtained only by one or more authorised persons, such as by two or more authorised persons. Each of the two or more authorized persons may represent an authority, so that at least two authorities are represented when access to the limited access area(s) is obtained. At least one of the authorised persons may represent an operator, and at least one of the authorised persons may represent an auditor. In this embodiment, at least one person representing the operator, and at least one person representing some kind of auditing authority have to be present in order to gain access to the limited access area(s). The person representing the operator may be a person pointed out by or employed by the entity, which administers the on-line system for management and supervision of the system. The person representing the auditor may be a government official person supervising the operation of the on-line system, e.g. in order to ensure that the system fulfils certain official requirements, e.g. in order to maintain public trust in the system.

In the present context the term “player” refers to a person being logged onto a communication network, like the Internet. The user is connected to the network through a client, preferably a PC, and from there places orders for tickets.

In the present context the term “probability ticket” refers to a lottery ticket that is not pre-created, but rather created upon a request. The instant ticket is created by a “Black Box” when a randomized content is generated in the “Black Box”. The randomized content is distributed onto the ticket and each ticket will always have at least one possible win scenario.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A specific embodiment of the present invention will be described in a drawing with reference text to outline the technical aspect of the invention.

LIST OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a flow diagram of the system and the method of the present invention

FIG. 1 discloses an embodiment of the present invention of a player's requests of a probability game. The steps are the same for a request for a ticket as well as for every selection of a hidden area on the ticket.

When the user or player (client) request a new electronic lottery ticket from the player terminal, the gaming platform is contacted by the client (1) and a request to the “Black Box” for a probability game is made (2).

The gaming platform request randomised content for a ticket from the “Black Box” together with a game ID and a customer ID. Each request from the gaming platform for a specific feature of randomised content includes a specific request ID together with the game ID and the customer ID. The randomised content is encrypted in the “Black Box”. The randomised content comprises a predetermined number of characteristics for the ticket, where a selection of portion of the characteristics is allowed and the correct selection determines if the player wins or looses. The ticket content is then returned to the gaming platform together with a unique transaction ID, which is also generated in the “Black Box”. The unique transaction ID is utilised for grouping the specific requests of the game during auditing. The encrypted content is stored in a database (3) and a confirmation is sent to the player terminal that a game has been initiated and a ticket has been bought (4). A ticket is now created, where the ticket comprises the predetermined number of characteristics, where each characteristic is hidden behind a window or shadow. The player is only allowed to open a portion of the windows, such as three out of six windows. In this case the three out of the six windows will hide the same characteristics, which represent the price to be won. If the player opens all three windows displaying the same characteristics, the player wins.

The player now starts the game by selecting one window. As a response to one of the plurality of features/characteristics of randomised content being selected on the ticket in the form of a request from the client to the gaming platform (1), the gaming platform requests the encrypted content from the “Black Box” (2). The gaming platform requests the encrypted content from the “Black Box” upon the players selection and the encrypted content is decoded/decrypted in the “Black Box” before it is returned to the gaming platform. The database stores the selected content from the Black Box and transfers it to the player terminal (3), where it is displayed to the player (4).

The process of selecting a window and obtaining decoded/decrypted randomised content (characteristics) from the Black Box, storing it in a database and displaying the selected content to the player at the player terminal is repeated as many times as the game allows (in this case 3 times).

FIG. 1 discloses a scheme of how the probability game of the present invention is operated through a client (gaming terminal), Gaming platform, (“Black Box” and a storage means (data base).

By sending the encrypted content back and forth between the gaming platform and the limited access are all state (current status of the game and content of ticket) is reserved in the gaming platform and the Black Box can be positioned anywhere, without compromising the security of the system. This is possible since the content of the ticket cannot be viewed in the gaming platform as it is only in decrypted mode within the gaming platform unless the content under the surface has been specifically requested.