Title:
LOTTERY STYLE GAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method and apparatus for playing a lottery style game. A player is offered electronic gaming tokens that provide a predetermined probability of winning monetary prizes and non-monetary prizes. The player then engages in an arcade style game which is adapted to allow the player to simultaneously play the lottery style game by incorporating the non-monetary prizes into the play of the arcade style game. The probability of winning money in the lottery style game, and the outcome of the arcade style game are independent of each other. The lottery style game and arcade style game may be played on a networked console in a gaming hall, on a personal computer or on any suitable hand held computing device.



Inventors:
Gardner, Gary (Edmonton, Alberta, CA)
Application Number:
11/306131
Publication Date:
07/05/2007
Filing Date:
12/16/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
CHAN, ALLEN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BENNETT JONES LLP (EDMONTON, ALBERTA, AB, CA)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing an electronic lottery style game, the method comprising the steps of: (a) offering a player at least one gaming token at a fixed price per token, each such token providing a predetermined probability of winning a monetary prize, and a predetermined probability of winning a non-monetary prize; and (b) engaging the player in an arcade style game involving the application of physical or mental skill, the arcade style game adapted to allow the player to simultaneously play the lottery style game by incorporating the non-monetary prize into the play of the arcade style game; whereby the probability of winning a monetary prize in the lottery style game and the outcome of success in the arcade style game are independent of each other.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the outcome of the lottery style game is partially revealed to the player upon the player achieving certain milestones in the arcade style game.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein the player is offered additional gaming tokens upon the player achieving certain milestones in the arcade style game.

4. The method of claims 2 or 3 wherein the milestones comprise incremental cumulative amounts of points scored by the player in the arcade style game.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein a fixed number of the gaming tokens are secretly pre-assigned a monetary prize or a non-monetary prize, or both.

6. The method of claim 5 wherein the non-monetary prizes are in the form of bonuses that enhance the player's performance in the arcade style game.

7. The method claim 1 wherein the gaming tokens comprise electronic scratch-and-win lottery cards or electronic pull-tab lottery cards.

8. The method of claim 7 wherein the outcome of at least one electronic scratch-and-win lottery card or electronic pull-tab lottery card is revealed to the player upon the player achieving certain milestones in the arcade style game.

9. The method of claim 1 comprising the further step of providing a display to the player of a summary of the outcome of the lottery style game at the termination of the arcade style game.

10. A method of playing an electronic lottery style game, the method comprising the steps of: (a) offering a player at least one electronic scratch-and-win lottery card or electronic pull-tab lottery card at a fixed price per card, each such card providing a predetermined probability of winning a monetary prize, and a predetermined probability of winning a non-monetary prize; (b) engaging the player in an arcade style game involving the application of physical or mental skill, the arcade style game adapted to allow the player to simultaneously play the lottery style game by incorporating the non-monetary prizes into the play of the arcade style game; (c) partially revealing the outcome of the lottery style game as the player reaches certain milestones in the arcade style game; and (d) displaying a summary of the outcome of the lottery style game at the termination of the arcade style game; whereby the probability of winning a monetary prize in the lottery style game and the outcome of success in the arcade style game are independent of each other.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein the player is offered additional electronic scratch-and-win lottery cards or electronic pull-tab lottery cards upon the player achieving certain milestones in the arcade style game.

12. The method of claim 10 wherein a fixed number of the electronic scratch-and-win lottery cards or electronic pull-tab lottery cards are secretly pre-assigned a monetary prize or a non-monetary prize, or both.

13. The method of claim 12 wherein the non-monetary prizes are in the form of bonuses that will enhance the player's performance in the arcade style game.

14. An apparatus for playing an electronic lottery style game comprising: (a) a gaming token containing data indicating whether the token has been assigned a monetary prize or a non-monetary prize, such data being unrecognizable to the player such that the player does not know whether they have acquired a winning gaming token prior to playing an arcade style game; (b) a processor for receiving and analyzing the data contained in the gaming token and the processor simultaneously generating an arcade style game involving the application of physical or mental skill, the arcade style game being adapted to allow the player to simultaneously play the lottery style game by incorporating the non-monetary prizes into the play of the arcade style game; (c) input means for the player to play the arcade style game; and (d) a display for displaying the arcade style game and the lottery style game; whereby the probability of winning a monetary prize in the lottery style game and the outcome of success in the arcade style game are independent of each other.

15. The apparatus of claim 14 wherein the non-monetary rewards are in the form of bonuses that will enhance the player's performance in the arcade style game.

16. The apparatus of claim 14 wherein the gaming tokens comprise electronic scratch-and-win lottery cards or electronic pull-tab lottery cards.

17. The apparatus of claim 14 wherein the display, processor and input means comprises a computing device.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for playing a lottery style game.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Scratch-and-win style cards and pull-tab style cards have been used extensively in lottery type games in which the purchaser acquires a chance to win a prize, be it monetary or otherwise. The basic premise of such cards is that within any fixed number of cards, there are a certain specified number of winners. In this manner, a purchaser of the cards is guaranteed a certain probability of selecting a winning card. The gaming company can control both the probability of winning and the nature of rewards offered for a winning card. The purchaser randomly selects one or more cards that have the outcome physically concealed in some manner. When selecting the cards, the purchaser has no knowledge which are winning cards, only that there is a certain probability of obtaining a winning card.

With scratch-and-win type cards, the purchaser is generally required to physically remove a coating beneath which are symbols or language indicating whether the card is a winning card or not. With pull-tab cards, the purchaser is generally required to physically break some sort of paper or card barrier, beneath which are symbols or language indicating whether the card is a winning card or not.

Such cards have been produced in a variety of shapes and forms in the attempt to make them more entertaining for the purchaser. One commonly employed strategy involves a requirement that the purchaser reveal portions of the card in a selective or sequential manner, thereby extending the playing process. However, despite such attempts, the purchaser is only provided a few brief moments of excitement. Other problems with the use of physical cards include the limited ability to monitor, track and control the sale and use of the cards, physical wastage created by discarded cards and a limited ability to present purchasers with an interactive and stimulating playing experience.

The advent of computerized gaming presented the opportunity for gaming companies to create virtual electronic pull-tab cards and scratch-and-win cards. As with their physical counterparts, the virtual cards have a fixed probability of winning that can be manipulated by the vendor. Cards are dealt to the purchaser from a virtual deck. Using computer graphics, virtual cards have been created that display the outcome in more visually stimulating and interesting ways. The electronic cards also provide a greater ability to monitor and control sales and usage, and eliminate the problem of physical wastage. However, as with the physical cards, no matter how one configures the cards, the purchaser is only presented with a brief and limited period of excitement and entertainment.

There have been attempts to link arcade style games with virtual lottery cards to try and present a purchaser with a more entertaining experience. In particular, lottery type games have been developed whereby the purchaser acquires a gaming unit which then allows them to play an arcade style game, the outcome of which is dependent on whether the gaming unit is a winning unit or not. The purchaser plays the arcade style game, at the end of which the outcome of success in the lottery game is revealed. However, the arcade style games in such a system have limited entertainment value and provide the user with limited stimulation and interaction. The purchaser's skill at playing the game is largely irrelevant because the outcome is determined not by the player's performance but rather by whether the lottery gaming unit purchased is a winning unit or not. Further, the lottery or gaming component is separate from the arcade game and the purchaser can find out if they have won prior to commencing the game, or alternatively, the purchaser must wait to the end of the game to find out if they have been successful in the lottery game.

What is needed is method and apparatus for playing a lottery game that presents the purchaser with an entertaining and challenging arcade style game, the outcome of which is determined by the purchaser's physical and mental skill, which also simultaneously incorporates and integrates the lottery game.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a method and apparatus for playing a lottery style game.

Accordingly, in one aspect of the invention, the invention comprises a method having the following steps of:

(a) offering a player at least one gaming token at a fixed price per token, each such token providing a predetermined probability of winning a monetary prize, and a predetermined probability of winning a non-monetary prize; and

(b) engaging the player in an arcade style game involving the application of physical or mental skill, the arcade game adapted to allow the player to simultaneously play the lottery style game by incorporating a non-monetary prize into the play of the arcade style game;

wherein the probability of winning a monetary prize in the lottery style game and the outcome of success in the arcade style game are independent of each other.

In one embodiment the outcome of the lottery style game is partially revealed to the player upon the player achieving certain milestones in the arcade style game. In a further embodiment, the player is offered additional gaming tokens upon the player achieving certain milestones in the arcade style game. In an embodiment, the milestones comprise incremental cumulative amounts of points scored by the player in the arcade style game. In one embodiment, a fixed number of the gaming tokens are secretly pre-assigned a monetary prize or a non-monetary prize, or both. In another embodiment, the non-monetary prizes are in the form of bonuses that enhance the player's performance in the arcade style game. In a further embodiment, the gaming tokens may comprise electronic scratch-and-win lottery cards or electronic pull-tab lottery cards. In one embodiment, the outcome of at least one electronic scratch-and-win lottery card or electronic pull-tab lottery card is revealed to the player upon the player achieving certain milestones in the arcade style game. In an embodiment, the method comprises the further step of providing a display to the player of a summary of the outcome of the lottery style game at the termination of the arcade style game.

In another aspect of the invention, the invention comprises a method having the following steps of:

(a) offering a player at least one electronic scratch-and-win lottery card or electronic pull-tab lottery card at a fixed price per card, each such card providing a predetermined probability of winning a monetary prize, and a predetermined probability of winning a non-monetary prize;

(b) engaging the player in an arcade style game involving the application of physical or mental skill, the arcade style game adapted to allow the player to simultaneously play the lottery style game by incorporating the non-monetary prizes into the play of the arcade style game;

(c) partially revealing the outcome of the lottery style game as the player reaches certain milestones in the arcade style game; and

(d) displaying a summary of the outcome of the lottery style game at the termination of the arcade style game;

wherein the probability of winning a monetary prize in the lottery style game and the outcome of success in the arcade style game are independent of each other.

In one aspect of the present invention, the invention comprises an apparatus for playing an electronic lottery style game comprising:

(a) a gaming token containing data indicating whether the token has been assigned a monetary prize or a non-monetary prize, such data being unrecognizable to the player such that the player does not know whether they have acquired a winning gaming token prior to playing an arcade style game;

(b) a processor for receiving and analyzing the data contained in the gaming token and the processor simultaneously generating an arcade style game involving the application of physical or mental skill, the arcade style game being adapted to allow the player to simultaneously play the lottery style game by incorporating the non-monetary prizes into the play of the arcade style game;

(c) input means for the player to play the arcade style game; and

(d) a display for displaying the arcade style game and the lottery style game. wherein the probability of winning a monetary prize in the lottery style game and the outcome of success in the arcade style game are independent of each other.

In one embodiment, the display, processor and input means comprises a computing device.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described by way of an exemplary embodiment with reference to the accompanying simplified, diagrammatic, not to scale drawings. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a screen shot of one embodiment of the present invention

FIG. 2 is a screen shot of one embodiment of the present invention

FIG. 3 is a screen shot of one embodiment of the present invention

FIG. 4 is a block diagram showing a method of the present invention

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Definitions

For the purpose of this patent application, the following words shall have the defined meanings set forth below:

1. An “arcade game style game” shall mean an electronic game requiring some physical or mental skill that is similar in nature to the games played upon personal computing devices, or upon coin-operated entertainment machines, typically installed in businesses such as restaurants, bars, and video arcades. Examples of well-known arcade style games include video games or pinball machines.

2. A “lottery style game” shall mean a game of chance in which the goal of the player is to win monetary prizes whereby tokens are distributed or sold, with the winning token or tokens being secretly predetermined.

Description

The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for playing a lottery style game. The method may be practiced using any electronic device having processing and display means including consoles in a gaming hall, stand-alone electronic consoles (in locations such as hotel lobbies or bars), or on personal computing devices. The method can be practiced using locally, or remotely, networked processing and display systems, and can be practiced utilizing a connection to the Internet with a personal computing device. The method and apparatus will be described in the context of a console in a gaming hall, however it should be understood that the following description would have application to the playing in the other environments described above.

As shown in FIG. 4 the player first sets up an account. This can be achieved by requiring the player to a physically visit a cashier, or alternatively the player can establish an account electronically through any type of appropriate secure interactive information input process as is commonly utilized in electronic commerce. Data about the player may also be collected at this point which can be later used to generate user statistics and marketing information. Upon establishing an account, the player is assigned a player number and is assigned a password. The player then attends at a console that comprises a displays means and an input means. The player enters the assigned player number and password. The display means can be any suitable form of electronic display such as computer monitors. The console may have its own processor, or alternatively it may be connected to a server that is connected to a central processor. The input means can be in any suitable form commonly used in the art such as a keys or an interactive touch screen. The player is then prompted to initiate game play. Upon selecting the game play option; the display presents the player with three further selection choices. These can be presented to the player as icons on the display as shown in FIG. 1.

One option is to ‘exit’, thereby ending game play and exiting out of the game play mode. After exiting, the player can cash out any credit in their account, or can leave any credit in their account for future use.

Another selection choice is a ‘help’ option. Selection of this option provides the player with a display of instructions about the arcade style game and the lottery style game. The player is free to exit out of the help display option at any time by making the appropriate selection. Upon exiting from the help display, the player will be returned to the display providing the original three selection options.

The final selection choice is the ‘play’ option to play the arcade style game. Upon making this selection, the player is offered the opportunity to purchase access to an arcade style game and the purchaser is also offered the opportunity to purchase at least one gaming token for the lottery style game for a fixed amount as depicted in FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 1, a display allows the player to track purchases by showing the balance of credit in their electronic account. A fixed number of the gaming tokens that are available for purchase by the player are pre-assigned monetary prizes or non-monetary prizes. Thus, the player has a predetermined probability of succeeding in the lottery style game. The number of gaming tokens that the player may purchase at any time can be controlled by the vendor. The vendor will also predetermine how many gaming tokens are winners, thereby fixing the probability of winning. The probability of winning money can be communicated to the player if desired. Each gaming token contains data indicating whether it has been assigned a monetary prize, a non-monetary prize, both, or neither. The player is unable to decipher such information and is not able to find out if they have acquired winning or losing tokens until they engage in game play. It should be understood that the gaming tokens described herein may comprise electronic units containing the requisite data that may be deciphered by a processor, not necessarily physical tokens. To prevent fraud and for other security reasons, the data contained in the gaming tokens may be encrypted, coded, password protected or secured using such other suitable means as would be used by one skilled in the art.

The gaming tokens may be displayed to the player in any suitable and visually stimulating form commonly used in the electronic lottery and gaming industry. Types of displays will include electronic scratch-and-win lottery cards, and electronic pull-tab lottery cards. As with paper scratch-and-win lottery cards and paper pull-tab cards, the player is able to see the concealed electronic scratch-and-win cards and the electronic pull tab cards however, the player has no indication as to whether they are they are winning cards until the relevant portion is revealed. As will be discussed in more detail below, the outcome of the electronic cards is gradually revealed to the player as they progress with the playing of the arcade game.

After purchasing game tokens, the player then commences play of the arcade style game. Although the types of arcade style game may vary, in each case the player will accumulate points for completing the tasks presented in the arcade style game. The tasks require the application of physical or mental skill. If the player accumulates enough points within the fixed time period, they advance a level whereby they are afforded more time to play the arcade style game and are presented with differing tasks, or the same tasks at an increased level of difficulty. Upon advancing a level, the player can also be offered the opportunity to acquire additional gaming tokens. If the player has not accumulated enough points within a predetermined time period then the game will terminate. As shown in FIG. 2, in one embodiment the arcade style game will comprise a game in which the player must arrange a linear set of three or more symbols of the same colour in vertical, horizontal or diagonal lines. Points are awarded to the player upon completion of the desired arrangements and upon the accumulation of a certain number of points, the player advances to the next level of play, as shown in FIG. 3.

It can be understood that a skilled player will be able to advance to greater levels in the arcade style game than an unskilled player, and may experience greater playing time if additional game time is awarded for reaching subsequent levels. However, no matter how skilled the player is, the arcade style game will be designed so that eventually time will run out and the arcade style game will end. At this point the player is offered the option of paying to continue the play of the arcade style game from the point where the game ended, or they can elect to start a new game from the beginning. In either case, the player will be offered the opportunity to purchase more gaming tokens. As shown in FIG. 3, the display provides the player with the ability to track how much money they are spending, thereby allowing them to monitor the credit level in their account. Alternatively, at the end of the arcade style game, the player can elect to exit the game mode and can cash out any credit in their electronic account if they wish to.

It is also possible that the player will be able to purchase additional gaming tokens at any point during the playing of the arcade style game.

During the playing of the arcade style game, upon the achievement of certain milestones, the outcome of the lottery style game will be partially revealed to the player. The milestones can include; accumulating a certain number of points, completing certain tasks presented in the arcade style game, or completing tasks in a particular sequence. For example, if prior to commencing the arcade style game, the player has purchased nine electronic scratch-and-win cards, one possibility would be to reveal the cards in sets of three. As the first milestone is reached the first three cards are randomly selected and are virtually revealed to the player thereby allowing the player to see whether they are winning cards or not. The same process is repeated as second and third milestones are reached. The number and types of milestones can be varied to account for the number of gaming tokens purchased, and to account for the skill level of the player. Further, the manner in which the outcome of the lottery game is revealed to the player can be adjusted or varied to maximize excitement. It is desirable to maximize player interest by having the outcome of all gaming tokens revealed prior to the termination of the arcade style game, however a player could also bank gaming tokens for use in subsequent arcade style games if they have not all been revealed during the arcade style game. The player can also be presented with the option of revealing any left over gaming tokens at the conclusion of the arcade style game. In this manner, the outcome of success in the arcade style game will affect the playing of the lottery style game however, the probability of winning in the lottery style game will not be affected by the outcome of success in the arcade style game. For example, a good arcade style game player may reach the milestones faster, thereby resulting in the faster disclosure of the outcome of the lottery style game. However, the probability of winning in the lottery style game remains unchanged.

Winning game tokens will correspond with varying monetary prizes, however non-monetary prizes will also be assigned to a certain number of gaming tokens. If a gaming token is a monetary winning token, the value of the prize will be displayed to the player and the monetary prize amount will be directly credited to the player's electronic account. At the end of the arcade game the player will be advised of the current balance in their account, and how much was won during the playing of the arcade type game. Game tokens having non-monetary prizes will reward the player with arcade game bonuses to enhance the player's performance in the arcade game. Such bonuses will include; additional time to play the arcade game, additional lives, additional points, or features that make the tasks presented in the arcade game easier for the player. In this manner, the non-monetary prizes will affect the playing of the arcade style game, however the outcome of success at winning money in the lottery style game has no bearing whatsoever on the outcome of the arcade style game. For example, a player could perform extremely well in the arcade style game yet win little or no money in the lottery, and conversely, a player could win lots of money in the lottery style game, yet perform very poorly in the arcade style game. More simply stated, a player could win monetarily at the lottery style game whilst losing at the arcade style game, and vice versa. The independent outcomes arise from the fact that the identity of the winning gaming tokens are predetermined. A purchaser that acquires games tokens and that plays the arcade style game has a certain probability of succeeding in the lottery style game regardless of how they perform in the arcade style game.

As will be apparent to those skilled in the art, various modifications, adaptations and variations of the foregoing specific disclosure can be made without departing from the scope of the invention claimed herein. The various features and elements of the described invention may be combined in a manner different from the combinations described or claimed herein, without departing from the scope of the invention.