Title:
Lottery game card having a Sudoku-themed game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lottery game card for playing a Sudoku-themed game is disclosed. The lottery game card includes a plurality of squares arranged in rows and columns, each square having a symbol. Selected squares are covered with a removable material. The lottery game card also includes a plurality of prize indicators, each prize indicator being associated with a predefined pattern of squares. Upon removing of covered squares by a player, if symbols in the plurality of squares match a predefined pattern, the player wins a prize associated with the predefined pattern.



Inventors:
Dures, Paul (York, GB)
Griffin, Kevin (Bristol, GB)
Laws, Keith (West Yorkshire, GB)
Bedford, Jonathan Charles (West Yorkshire, GB)
Green, Diane (Bradford, GB)
Lee, Graham (Halifax, GB)
Delahaye, Mark (West Yorkshire, GB)
Naylor, Andy (Leeds, GB)
Fisher, Anthea (Huddersfield, GB)
Application Number:
11/605835
Publication Date:
08/16/2007
Filing Date:
11/29/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B71/00
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Primary Examiner:
STANCZAK, MATTHEW BRIAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dority & Manning, P.A. and Scientific Games (Greenville, SC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A scratch-off lottery game card comprising: a plurality of squares distributed in a M×N matrix comprising columns and rows, wherein each square containing a symbol to thereby create a Sudoku-style puzzle within the matrix, a subset of squares being covered by a removable material; and a plurality of prize indicators, wherein each prize indicator being associated with a predefined pattern of symbols within the matrix.

2. The scratch-off lottery game card of claim 1, further comprising a bonus indicator placed in one of the plurality of squares.

3. The scratch-off lottery game card of claim 1, wherein a prize indicator is associated with each column.

4. The scratch-off lottery game card of claim 1, wherein a prize indicator is associated with each row.

5. The scratch-off lottery game card of claim 1, wherein a prize indicator is associated a sub-matrix.

6. The scratch-off lottery game card of claim 1, wherein the symbol being a numeric digit.

7. A method for playing a scratch-off lottery game in which a scratch-off game card with a plurality of squares arranged in a matrix format is provided to a player, selected squares of the plurality of squares being filed with numbers, the scratch-off game card further having a plurality of prize indicators, each prize indicator being associated with a sub-group of squares, each prize indicator further having a plurality of game indicia that are covered by a removable material, the method comprising the steps of: removing the removable material from the plurality of prize indicators; and if game indicia from at least one prize indicator and numbers in at least one sub-group of square indicated by the prize indicator form a predefined pattern, awarding a prize associated with the at least one prize indicator to the player.

8. A scratch-off lottery game card comprising: a first plurality of squares arranged in a matrix format with selected squares in the first plurality of squares being populated with symbols; and a second plurality of prize indicators, each prize indicator being associated with a selected set of squares defined by a predefined pattern, each prize indicator listing a third plurality of symbols that are covered by a removable material.

9. The scratch-off lottery game card of claim 8, wherein the predefined pattern being a group of squares arranged in equal number of rows and columns.

10. The scratch-off lottery game card of claim 8, wherein the selected set of squares comprises 9 squares and only 6 squares are populated with symbols.

11. The scratch-off lottery game card of claim 8, wherein each prize indicator listing 3 symbols.

12. The scratch-off lottery game card of claim 8, wherein the symbols being numeric digits.

13. The scratch-off lottery game card of claim 8, wherein the symbols being mathematical symbols.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of the U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/740,392, “Sudoku-Style Scratch Ticket Games,” filed on Nov. 29, 2005, the specification of which is incorporated herein by this reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a lottery game and, more specifically, relates to a scratch-off lottery game ticket having a Sudoku-theme and method of play.

2. Description of Related Art

In a typical scratch-off lottery game, a player purchases a pre-printed scratch-off lottery game card with some spots covered by a removable material and scratches off the removable material from few selected spots. If these spots reveal some desired pattern or numbers, the player wins one or more prizes. The player does not face any challenge from the simple scratching to reveal a pattern or numbers, and as consequence, it is hard to keep the player's interest on the game.

Therefore, it is desired to have a lottery game method that maintains player's interest by offering some challenge to players, and it is to such method the present application is primarily directed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one embodiment, there is provided a scratch-off lottery game card for a lottery game. The scratch-off lottery game card includes a first plurality of squares in an N×M matrix distributed in a first number of adjacent columns, a second plurality of squares being covered by a removable material, and a plurality of prize indicators. The first plurality of squares is arranged in a second number of adjacent rows and each square contains a digit. The second plurality of is smaller in number than the first plurality of squares, and each prize indicator is associated with a predefined pattern of the first plurality of squares. The digits in the matrix created a Sudoku-themed game. In one embodiment, a correct Sudoku row yields a winning row or column

In another embodiment, there is provided a method for playing a scratch-off lottery game in which a scratch-off game card with a plurality of squares is provided to a player and selected squares of the plurality of squares are filed with numbers. The scratch-off game card further has a plurality of prize indicators and each prize indicator is associated with a sub-group of squares and has a plurality of game indicia that are covered by a removable material. The method includes removing the removable material from the plurality of prize indicators, and if game indicia from at least one prize indicator and numbers in at least one sub-group of square indicated by the prize indicator form a predefined pattern, then awarding a prize associated with the at least one prize indicator to the player.

In yet another embodiment there is provided a scratch-off game card that includes a first plurality of squares arranged in a matrix format and a second plurality of prize indicators. Selected squares in the first plurality of squares are populated with digits. Each prize indicator is associated with a selected set of squares defined by a predefined pattern, and each prize indicator also lists a third plurality of digits that are covered by a removable material.

Other advantages and features of the present invention will become apparent after review of the hereinafter set forth Brief Description of the Drawings, Detailed Description of the Invention, and the Claims.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a first scratch-off Sudoku-themed game card according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates the first scratch-off Sudoku-themed game card with spots revealed.

FIG. 3 illustrates a second scratch-off Sudoku-themed game card according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates the second scratch-off Sudoku-themed game card with spots revealed.

FIG. 5 illustrates a third scratch-off Sudoku-themed game card according to an alternative embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 illustrates the third scratch-off Sudoku-themed game card with spots revealed

FIG. 7 illustrates a fourth scratch-off Sudoku-themed game card according to yet another alternative embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 8 illustrates the fourth scratch-off Sudoku game card with spots revealed

FIG. 9 illustrates a fifth scratch-off Sudoku game card according to yet another alternative embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 10 illustrates the fifth scratch-off Sudoku game card with spots revealed

FIG. 11 is a flow chart for a game process.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Briefly described, in one embodiment the invention is a lottery game card in which a plurality of squares is distributed in a matrix form, wherein each square containing a digit and some of the squares are covered by a removable material. The lottery game card also includes some prize indicators, wherein each prize indicator is associated with a predefined pattern of squares. A player wins a prize indicated by a prize indicator if, after removing the removable material, the digits in the plurality of squares reveal a predefined pattern. FIG. 1 illustrates a lottery game card 100 for a Sudoku-themed game according to one embodiment of the invention. The lottery game card 100 includes 91 squares arranged in a 9×9 matrix, each square being populated with a digit ranging from 1 to 9. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that other size of matrix and the digit range other than 1 to 9 may be employed. Some of the squares are covered by a removable material, such as latex or other scratch-off material. The lottery game card also includes a plurality of prize indicators 104, each prize indicator being associated with either one column or one row of squares. A bonus indicator 106 may also be placed in one of the squares. After purchasing the lottery game card 100, a player removes the removable material from the covered squares. Once all the squares are uncovered, the player is presented with a challenge of identifying which column or row contains a predefined pattern of digits.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of the game card 200 with all the squares revealed and the numbers that are revealed by removing the scratch-off material are marked with underline and in italics. For a predefined pattern of a row or a column containing 9 digits from 1 to 9 without any repeated digit, the game card 200 has one row and one column that contain this predefined pattern. The row is identified by the prize of $50 and the column is identified by the prize of $1,000. The game card 200 has also a bonus indicator. Therefore, the game card 200 entitles a player to win a total prize of $1,060.

As illustrated by FIG. 2, the player does not need to have a winning Sudoku game to win a prize. The player needs not to have a lottery game card with all the squares filled with digits that comply to Sudoku game rules, where every row and every column must contain non repeating digits. The player is entitled to prizes when some row or column matches the predefined patterns, which can be row and column without repeated digits. The digits for the games may be replaced by predefined symbols and the player will win a prize if certain row or column contains non repeated symbols.

The visualization of a predefined pattern may be challenging and difficult, however, this visualization may be assisted by a lottery game machine equipped with a scanner equipped with an optical recognition function. The player may scan the lottery ticket at a lottery game retailer's site and the lottery game machine will be able to scan and identify the winning rows and columns if any. After scanning the lottery game card and identifying the winning patterns, the lottery game machine can display the total wining to the player.

The winning patterns need not to be limited to rows and columns; the winning patterns may also be a sub-matrix or a diagonal line. FIG. 3 illustrates a lottery game card 300 and FIG. 4 is an illustration of the lottery game card of FIG. 3 with all the squares revealed. The game card 400 of FIG. 4 contains a 3×3 sub-matrix located at the rightmost bottom rows and it is marked with “X” across the sub-matrix. A special prize may be set for matching special patterns such as sub-matrix or diagonal lines.

In an alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 5, the game card 500 has all the squares in the matrix covered by a removable material. FIG. 6 illustrates the game card 500 with all the squares revealed. The game card 500 matches two predefined patterns: one row identified by the first $5 prize and one sub-matrix on the rightmost bottom rows.

FIG. 7 shows yet another alternative embodiment. The game card 700 includes a plurality of squares arranged in a plurality of sub-matrices, wherein each matrix is identified individually as a grid. Each grid has a plurality of squares and some of the squares are populated with digits. For each grid, there is a set of game indicia 702, which is initially covered by a removable material. The game card 700 also includes a list of prizes 704. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, the prize is determined by the number of sub-matrices that match a predefined pattern. Those skilled in the art will appreciate other criteria may also be adopted.

FIG. 8 depicts the game card 700 of FIG. 7 with game indicia revealed. The player may then place the game indicia in vacant squares of the corresponding sub-matrix. For example, for grid C, the game indicia revealed are 7, 8, and 9. The grid C has 3 vacant squares and it does matter how the game indicia are placed into the vacant squares since the predefined pattern is based on the sub-matrix. As long as the sub-matrix contains no repeating digits, the sub-matrix is a winning sub-matrix. Alternatively, the game card 700 may have all the squares populated with digits and some of digits being covered by a removable material. The lottery game card 700 shown in FIG. 8 has 3 sub-matrices that contain the predefined patterns, thus the player wins $20.

FIG. 9 illustrates yet another embodiment of the invention. The game card 900 of FIG. 9 includes three missing sub-matrices and eight numbered grids. Each numbered grid has same number of squares as the missing sub-matrices. Each numbered grid has also a prize associated with it. FIG. 10 illustrates the game card 900 with the numbered grids revealed. If any of the numbered grids can be placed in any of missing sub-matrices to form a predefined pattern, the player wins the prize associated with that grid.

FIG. 11 illustrates a user process 1100. A player buys a lottery game card and receives the game card, step 1102. After receiving the game card, the player removes the removable material to reveal the hidden game indicia, step 1104. After learning the game indicia, the player can place the game indicia in the squares on the game card. If the game indicia can be placed in the squares and forming some predefined patterns, step 1106, the player can redeem the game card and receive a prize, step 1108.

Although preferred embodiments of the invention have been disclosed in the foregoing specification, it is understood by those skilled in the art that many modifications and other embodiments of the invention will come to mind to which the invention pertains, having the benefit of the teaching presented in the foregoing description and associated drawings. Moreover, although specific terms are employed herein, as well as in the claims, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only, and not for the purposes of limiting the described invention, nor the claims that follow below.

It should be appreciated that other symbols can be used, to include alpha-numeric symbols and other graphic symbols, emotions, etc., within the matrix. Such symbols may or may not have mathematical connotation in conjunction with the Sudoku theme.