Title:
Lottery system and method of running a lottery system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lottery system or game and method of running a lottery system are disclosed. The lottery system combines merchandise prizes with cash to provide a “turnkey” lottery system for a lottery operator wherein cash prizes are paid by the lottery operator and merchandise prizes are distributed by the merchandise supplier or manufacturer. The lottery operator has reduced costs because the merchandise supplier pays a sponsorship allowance, and the merchandise supplier receives an advertising benefit. The merchandise prizes may include sporting goods, and the prize may be a single item to a full system, such as a round of golf with golf clubs and golf balls.



Inventors:
Several, Edward G. (Simsbury, CT, US)
Application Number:
09/850552
Publication Date:
11/07/2002
Filing Date:
05/07/2001
Assignee:
SPALDING SPORTS WORLDWIDE, INC.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/06; G06Q30/02; G07F17/32; (IPC1-7): A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
CAPRON, AARON J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE TOP-FLITE GOLF COMPANY, A WHOLLY OWNED (CARLSBAD, CA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed:



1. A method for running a lottery system comprising: providing lottery tickets wherein the tickets may have hidden indicia entitling the purchaser to prizes including cash, merchandise, and combinations thereof; selling the lottery tickets to purchasers; redeeming tickets having winning indicia for cash, merchandise, and combinations thereof when the winning ticket is properly presented to a lottery official or merchandise supplier or both.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the lottery ticket is an instant winner lottery ticket.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the lottery ticket is a scratch ticket.

4. The method of claim 2, wherein the lottery ticket is a ticket wherein symbols are revealed by a method other than scratching.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the merchandise prizes are sporting goods items.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein the merchandise prizes are golf equipment, golf related items, or a combination thereof.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the golf equipment includes golf clubs, golf balls, golf bags, golf umbrellas, golf apparel, rounds of golf at select golf courses and combinations thereof.

8. The method of claim 5, wherein the merchandise is basketball equipment, football equipment, volley ball equipment, soccer equipment or combinations thereof.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the merchandise is distributed to the lottery winner without involvement of the lottery system operator.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein the merchandise supplier pays a sponsorship allowance to the lottery system operator.

11. The method of claim 1, wherein the lottery ticket has a printed advertisement of the merchandise supplier.

12. A lottery system, wherein lottery tickets having hidden indicia entitling the purchaser to prizes including cash, merchandise, and combinations thereof are provided, and tickets having winning indicia are redeemed for cash, merchandise, and combinations thereof when the winning ticket is properly presented to a lottery official, whereby the merchandise is distributed to the winner by the merchandise supplier.

13. The lottery system of claim 12, wherein the lottery ticket is an instant winner lottery ticket.

14. The lottery system of claim 12, wherein the merchandise prizes are sporting goods items.

15. The lottery system of claim 14, wherein the sporting goods items are golf equipment.

16. The lottery system of claim 15, wherein the golf equipment includes golf clubs, golf balls, golf bags, golf umbrellas, golf apparel, rounds of golf at select golf courses and combinations thereof.

17. The lottery system of claim 14, wherein the sporting goods items are basketball equipment, football equipment, volley ball equipment, soccer equipment or combinations thereof.

18. The lottery system of claim 12, wherein the merchandise is distributed to the lottery winner without involvement of the lottery game operator.

19. The method of claim 12, wherein the merchandise supplier pays a sponsorship allowance to the lottery game operator.

20. The lottery system of claim 12, wherein the lottery ticket has a printed advertisement of the merchandise supplier.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention is directed to a lottery game, more preferably, to a state lottery game where individuals may purchase a ticket and instantly win cash, prizes or both. The prizes available consist of merchandise prizes, such as sporting goods items. Examples of sporting goods items include, but are not limited to, golf related items, such as golf balls, golf bags, golf clubs, rounds of golf, and the like.

[0002] Traditional lottery games or lottery systems have lottery tickets where purchasers choose various numbers and combinations of numbers for different games. Customers can also purchase computer generated selections, sometimes known as “quick pick” tickets, where the computer randomly selects the number or combination of numbers. Winning numbers are then drawn at a specified time, and purchasers holding winning combinations can collect their winnings.

[0003] Other lottery games are known which consist of preprinted tickets wherein a purchaser scratches off the printed symbols to reveal numbers or symbols. If the purchaser reveals a winning combination, the purchaser wins a cash prize. These preprinted, or “scratch” or “instant” tickets are available in many game types and denominations, such as one dollar tickets, two dollar tickets, five dollar tickets, ten dollar tickets, etc.

[0004] Other games exist where merchandise items are prizes. Generally, these game pieces are available with purchase of a specific item, or through the mail (with no purchase necessary). An example of this type of game is a game operated by fast food chains such as McDonald's, wherein customers receive a game piece when purchasing a selected food item or items such as French fries.

[0005] A need exists for a “turnkey” system that combines cash and specific merchandise prizes that may be easily awarded to winning purchasers. A lottery system of this type will reduce the operating cost of the system for the lottery operator because the company supplying prizes in exchange for advertisement on the lottery tickets pays a sponsorship allowance. The merchandise supplier benefits by increased advertisement due to the logo and/or trademark on the lottery tickets.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The lottery system of the present invention fulfills this need by combining cash and merchandise prizes wherein the merchandise prizes are easily obtained by the winners of the prizes. The lottery operator provides lottery tickets bearing advertising and/or logos of the merchandise supplier, and each ticket has concealed indicia such as numbers, symbols, or a combination thereof, some of which indicate a prize or prizes. When the indicia indicating a prize is found, the ticket holder is entitled to receive that prize. The prizes may be cash, merchandise or both.

[0007] Another object of the invention is to provide a method of running a lottery system wherein cash and merchandise prizes are awarded for winning tickets. The tickets may represent a specific theme, such that a specific type of merchandise is awarded as prizes (i.e., golf related items), or they may contain multiple types of merchandise.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] FIG. 1 is a lottery ticket of the present invention wherein the potential winning numbers and prizes are scratched off;

[0009] FIG. 2 is a lottery ticket of the present invention wherein the potential winning numbers and prizes are peeled off or tabs are pulled back to reveal the numbers and/or prizes;

[0010] FIG. 3 is a detailed drawing of the bonus spot of FIG. 2 with the pull tab to reveal the potential prize; and

[0011] FIG. 4 is a detailed drawing of a prize spot of FIG. 2 with the pull tab to reveal the potential prize.

[0012] The figures are for purposes of illustrating the enclosed invention, and not to be construed as limiting the invention described herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0013] The present invention is based on the discovery by the inventor that combining merchandise prizes with cash prizes in a lottery system provides a “turnkey” lottery system for a lottery operator wherein cash prizes are paid by the lottery operator and merchandise prizes are distributed by the merchandise supplier or manufacturer. As used herein, “turnkey” means that the lottery operator has an effective lottery system to sell lottery tickets, and the merchandise supplier handles the distribution of merchandise prizes, from a single item to a full system, such as a round of golf with golf clubs and golf balls. The lottery operator also has reduced operating costs since the merchandise supplier pays an allowance to the lottery operator. In return, the merchandise supplier benefits due to increased advertising through lottery ticket sales. The lottery system operator is not involved in merchandise prize distribution.

[0014] FIGS. 1 and 2 show examples of the lottery tickets used in the lottery system of the present invention. FIG. 1 represents a lottery ticket 10 of the present invention wherein the potential winning numbers are hidden under a surface to be scratched off, and the purchaser of the ticket scratches off the prize spots. FIG. 2 represents a lottery ticket 110 of the present invention wherein the potential winning numbers are hidden under tabs, and the purchaser of the ticket reveals prizes by pulling back a tab on the ticket. FIGS. 3 and 4 show detailed drawings of the prize spots 114 and the bonus spot 120 of FIG. 2.

[0015] In one preferred form of a present invention lottery system, in accordance with FIGS. 1 and 2, there is a lottery system wherein cash, merchandise prizes, and combinations thereof are provided to customers having winning tickets. The lottery system is preferably an instant ticket lottery system, such as a scratch ticket (FIG. 1) or a pull tab ticket (FIG. 2), although any other lottery system, such as a computer system or other type of preprinted ticket, is also applicable.

[0016] Lottery tickets are provided by the lottery operator, and each ticket has concealed indicia such as numbers, symbols, or a combination thereof, some of which indicate a prize or prizes. Referring to FIG. 1, the winning numbers 12 are scratched off to reveal numbers to be matched, and the purchaser's numbers 14 are then scratched to see if there is a match. The prize spot 16 is also scratched to determine the amount won if a number is matched. There is a bonus spot 20 for the purchaser to potentially win merchandise prizes, which are supplied by the merchandise supplier. When the indicia indicating a prize is found, the ticket holder is entitled to receive that prize, either cash or merchandise. A purchaser can win both cash and merchandise prizes on a single ticket. Instructions for redeeming the ticket for a prize are provided on the ticket, at the place of purchase, or both. When a prize is cash, the lottery operator pays the winner. When a prize is merchandise, the winner collects the prize or prizes directly from the merchandise supplier.

[0017] In a preferred embodiment, the lottery tickets have an advertisement or logo of the merchandise supplier printed on the ticket. An example of this, the trademark 22 of the merchandise supplier in FIG. 1. The logo or trademark of the merchandise supplier will indicate to purchasers who the merchandise supplier is, and what types of merchandise prizes may be available. For example, Applicant's trademark, Top-Flite®, which is well known in the golf industry, is used on one embodiment of the lottery tickets of the present invention. The logo or name of the lottery operator 24 may also be printed on the ticket, as well as the name of the game 26. FIGS. 1 and 2 show a picture of a golf ball in the name of the game 26, with the merchandise supplier's trademark. Other items, such as the cost of the ticket 28 and a control number 18 may also be printed on the ticket.

[0018] FIG. 2 represents another embodiment of the ticket of the present invention. The reference numerals represent the same items as in FIG. 1, except that they are “100” series numbers. For example, the lottery ticket in FIG. 2 is 110, the trademark or logo is 122, the bonus spot is 120, and the like.

[0019] In one embodiment according to the present invention, the merchandise prizes include sporting goods merchandise such as, but not limited to, golf equipment, basketball equipment, football equipment, volley ball equipment, soccer equipment and the like. In a preferred embodiment, the sporting goods merchandise includes golf equipment, such as golf balls, golf bags, golf clubs, golf umbrellas, golf apparel, rounds of golf, combinations of golf equipment, and the like. The merchandise is delivered to the winner by the merchandise manufacturer or distributor, or a designated supplier. The operator of the lottery, such as the state, does not have to become involved in the distribution of merchandise prizes. Additionally, the lottery operator has reduced costs due to the sponsorship allowance paid by the merchandise supplier.

[0020] The foregoing description is, at present, considered to be the preferred embodiments of the present invention. However, it is contemplated that various changes and modifications apparent to those skilled in the art, may be made without departing from the present invention. Therefore, the foregoing description is intended to cover all such changes and modifications encompassed within the spirit and scope of the present invention, including all equivalent aspects.