Title:
LOTTERY SYSTEM BASED ON SPORTING EVENTS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of conducting a lottery using sporting events as a basis of defining a winning condition for the lottery, comprising the steps of: identifying a group of scheduled sporting events 11, associating the group of sporting events with single lottery competition 12, defining a plurality of parameters comprising predictions to be made by a lottery participant with respect to the win/loss outcomes of the group of sporting events 13, charging a fee to participate in the lottery competition 14, providing a prediction request to the participant to enable reporting of predictions made by the participant regarding win/loss outcomes of the sporting events 15, and assigning cash award amounts to participants that are at least partially successful in predicting a majority of sporting event outcomes 16, said amounts being based on a total of fees paid by the participants in the lottery competition.



Inventors:
Saffron, Jack (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
11/628067
Publication Date:
01/08/2009
Filing Date:
05/27/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24; A63F13/00; G07F17/32
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
ROWLAND, STEVE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THORPE NORTH & WESTERN, LLP. (SANDY, UT, US)
Claims:
1. A method of conducting a lottery using sporting events as a basis of defining winning conditions for the lottery, said method comprising the steps of: a) identifying a group of scheduled sporting events; b) associating the group of sporting events with a lottery competition; c) defining a plurality of parameters comprising predictions to be made by a lottery participant with respect to the win/loss outcomes of the group of sporting events; d) charging a fee to participate in the lottery competition; e) providing a prediction request to the participant to enable reporting of the predictions made by the participant regarding will/loss outcomes of the sporting events; f) assigning award amounts to the participants that are at least partially successful in predicting a majority of sporting event outcomes, said amounts being based on a total of fees paid by the participants in the lottery competition; and g) carrying awards over to a next game if no participant fulfills the winning conditions.

2. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the events are approximately coincident in time of play.

3. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the events are spread over a period of several days.

4. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the events are selected from a group consisting of football, basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, softball, hockey, skiing, snowboarding, skating, bicycle racing, horse racing, vehicle racing, gymnastics, swimming, boxing, extreme sports, and track and field.

5. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the events are selected from a single sport.

6. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the events are selected from a group of events in at least two or more sports.

7. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the win/loss outcome includes a difference of two team's final scores (point spread).

8. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the win/loss outcome includes a tie game status for events in which a tie outcome is allowed.

9. A method as defined 8, wherein the tie condition can occur by an event winner prevailing by exactly a given point spread.

10. A method as defined 1, wherein the win/loss outcome includes a score outcome to be either over a given point total or under a given point total.

11. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the win/loss outcome includes a ranking order of competitors in the event.

12. A method as defined 11, wherein only a segment of the order is predicted.

13. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the participant's predictions are a combination of outcome possibilities.

14. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the participant may predict multiple outcomes of the same event.

15. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein predictions are made on alternate events in an instance of a cancellation of the original event.

16. A program storage device readable by a machine, tangibly embodying a program of instructions executable by the machine to perform method steps for processing a lotter event, said method steps comprising: a) generating a list of scheduled sporting events; b) creating prediction requests for lottery participants based on the list; c) recording predictions by the participants of win/loss outcome(s) for the event(s); d) collecting an entry fee along with the prediction requests from the participants; e) placing the predictions in a lottery; f) comparing predicted results from each of the participants with actual outcome(s) of the sporting events; g) awarding specified prizes to the participants that are at least partially successful in predicting a majority of the win/loss outcomes, said prizes being based on a total of fees paid by all of the participants in the lottery; and h) carrying the awards over to later lotteries in the case that no participant is partially successful in predicting the outcomes.

17. A method as defined in claim 16, wherein the events are approximately coincident in time of play.

18. A method as defined in claim 16, wherein the events are spread over a period of several days.

19. A method as defined in claim 16, wherein the events are selected from a group consisting of football, basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, softball, hockey, skiing, snowboarding, skating, bicycle racing, horse racing, vehicle racing, gymnastics, swimming, boxing, extreme sports, and track and field.

20. A method as defined in claim 16, wherein the events are selected from a single sport.

21. A method as defined in claim 16, wherein the events are selected from a group of events in at least two sports.

22. A method as defined in claim 16, wherein the win/loss outcome includes a difference of two team's final scores (point spread).

23. A method as defined in claim 16, wherein the win/loss outcome includes a tie game status for events in which a tie outcome is allowed.

24. A method as defined 23, wherein the tie condition can occur by an event winner prevailing by exactly a given point spread.

25. A method as defined 16, wherein the win/loss outcome includes a score outcome to be either over a given point total or under a given point total.

26. A method as defined in claim 16, wherein the win/loss outcome includes a ranking order of competitors in the event.

27. A method as defined 26, wherein only a segment of the order is predicted.

28. A method as defined in claim 16, wherein the participant's predictions are a combination of outcome possibilities.

29. A method as defined in claim 16, wherein the participant may predict multiple outcomes of the same event.

30. A method as defined in claim 16, wherein predictions are made on alternate events in an instance of a cancellation of the event.

31. A computer program product comprising: a computer usable medium having a computer readable code means embodied in said medium for processing a lottery event, the computer readable program code in said article of manufacture comprising: a computer readable program code means for causing the computer to generate a list of scheduled sporting events; a computer readable program code means for causing the computer to create prediction requests for lottery participants based on the list; a computer readable program code means for causing the computer to record predictions by the participants of win/loss outcome(s) for the event(s); a computer readable program code means for causing the computer to collect an entry fee along with the prediction requests from the participants; a computer readable program code means for causing the computer to place the predictions in a lottery; a computer readable program code means for causing the computer to compare predicted results from each of the participants with actual outcome(s) of the sporting events; a computer readable program code means for causing the computer to award specified prizes to the participants that are at least partially successful in predicting a majority of the win/loss outcomes, said prizes being based on a total of fees paid by all of the participants in the lottery; and a computer readable program code means for causing the computer to carry the awards over to later lotteries in the case that no participant is partially successful in predicting the outcomes.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to a lottery in which a number of participants select a series of numbers within a given range with the winner(s) being the one whose numbers correspond to a randomly generated series of numbers. More particularly, the present invention relates to a lottery in which the participants select from possible win/loss outcomes of sporting events instead of numbers.

2. Related Art

There are many varieties and techniques for the administration of lottery games. The majority of these games have a participant select a series of numbers as part of the lottery competition. The administrator then randomly generates another series of numbers, which defines the winning combination. Typical problems associated with the lottery industry include: (i) the remote chance of winning due to the millions of permutations for the outcomes of the numbers, (ii) the lack of meaningful participation and control of the game due the nominal skill needed to simply guess numbers, and (iii) possible uncertainty as to whether the administrator of the lottery is generating truly random numbers.

Some attempts have been made at remedying these problems using various methods that combine the use of sporting events with the functions of a lottery. WO9926204 derives lottery numbers from an algorithm using verifiable sources such as sporting events, stock market closing values, etc. This method mirrors other methods by still requiring the participant to simply guess numbers. Accordingly meaningful participation in this game is limited.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,518,239 discloses a method where random numbers are generated and assigned to the participant. Groups of sporting events are given pre-determined numbers corresponding to different possible outcomes. The winner is the one who possesses a matching set of numbers. In this case the participant does not even select his/her own numbers. Hence this method could almost completely deprive the participant of a sense of being involved.

WO9919841 depicts a method where the participant attempts to predict a series of total final scores for a group of sporting events. The participant is given a lottery card that is split into two columns. The left column contains a list of sporting events. The right column contains multiple cells corresponding to a number, or range of numbers. The participant selects the cell which contains the number that he/she feels will reflect the sum total of both teams' scores. There are still serious limitations to meaningful participation in this case. For example, to predict that the final total score in a professional soccer game will be 3 does not really take a great deal of knowledge because these events have characteristically low scoring. Indeed the thought process does not even involve selecting which team won the game. The alternative scores of 2 to 1, 1 to 2, or 3 to 0 all have the same total of 3. Furthermore, the participant is still merely guessing at a series of numbers. For this and other reasons this lottery method is unattractive.

It is therefore desirable to have a lottery where the participant can have a higher degree of participation by allowing them to do more than simply guess at numbers.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It has been recognized that it would be advantageous to develop a lottery wherein the participant can have a higher level of meaningful participation. This invention creates this higher level by allowing the participant to apply their skills in predicting various win/loss outcomes of events instead of only numbers.

Specifically, one embodiment of the present invention outlines a method of conducting a lottery using sporting events. The said method includes the steps of identifying a group of scheduled sporting events, and associating the group of sporting events with single lottery competition. Parameters are then defined comprising predictions to be made by a participant with respect to the win/loss outcomes of the events. The participant pays a fee and is provided a prediction request form, thereby enabling reporting of win/loss predictions of the sporting events. Cash awards and/or prizes are given to participants that are at least partially successful in predicting a majority of sporting event outcomes.

In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, this method provides for the scheduled sporting events to be played in either close time proximity, or spanned over longer periods. This method also allows for multiple events across multiple categories of sports to be entities in the lottery. The participant may predict various win/loss outcomes including, but not limited to, the actual game winner, whether the game stayed within a given point spread, and whether the final scores add to be over or under a specified amount. Also, participants may predict final rankings as win/loss parameters for the case of an event wherein rank is the main outcome factor.

Additional features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the detailed description which follows, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which together illustrate, by way of example, features of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 presents a graphic flowchart representing the present invention method.

FIG. 2 presents a graphic flowchart representing an alternative embodiment to this invention

FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of this invention wherein the lottery is played in conjunction with football events.

FIG. 4 illustrates an embodiment of this invention wherein the lottery is played in conjunction with baseball events.

FIG. 5 illustrates an embodiment of this invention wherein the lottery is played in conjunction with basketball events.

FIG. 6 illustrates an embodiment of this invention wherein the lottery is played in conjunction with soccer events.

FIG. 7 illustrates an embodiment of this invention wherein the lottery is played in conjunction with a horseracing event.

FIG. 8 illustrates an embodiment of this invention wherein the lottery is played in conjunction with multiple types of sporting events.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference will now be made to the exemplary embodiments illustrated in the drawings, and specific language will be used herein to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended. Alterations and further modifications of the inventive features illustrated herein, and additional applications of the principles of the inventions as illustrated herein, which would occur to one skilled in the relevant art and having possession of this disclosure, are to be considered within the scope of the invention.

FIGS. 1 and 2 schematically depict possible steps for method embodiments of the present invention for processing these cards as part of a lottery. Not every step depicted is performed for a given embodiment. Similarly, the order of the steps shown is not intended to be limiting, and it is to be understood that variations in the order are to be considered within the scope of the present invention.

As illustrated in FIG. 1 the present invention may be embodied as a method 10 to conduct a lottery using sporting events as a basis of defining winning conditions. The method comprises the steps of identifying a group of scheduled sporting events 11, associating the group of sporting events with a single lottery competition 12, defining parameters comprising predictions to be made with respect to the win/loss outcomes of the group of sporting events 13, charging a fee to participate in the lottery competition 14, providing a prediction request to the participant to enable reporting predictions of win/loss outcomes 15, assigning award amounts to participants that are at least partially successful in predicting a majority of event outcomes 16, and carrying awards over to the next game in the case that no participant fulfilled the winning conditions 17.

The step of identifying a group of scheduled sporting events 11 may include a group of like events such as ten football games being played on a given day, or a seven game playoff series in basketball. The group may also comprise a mixture of various events to be played such as three baseball games, three soccer games, and two football games. These events may be played in close proximity, or spanned out over a long period of time. Each of these parameters will be determined by the lottery administrator while associating the events together to form the competition 12.

Defined parameters made with respect to the win/loss outcomes 13 may include, but are not limited to, the actual winner of the event, winning or losing by a point spread, and whether the final scores are over or under a specified amount. In the case of a racing event win/loss parameters could be defined as a ranking order or segment of the order, and/or over or under a specified time limit. It should be noted that a variety of win/loss parameters are currently used in the field of sports gambling, many of which could easily be integrated into the present invention.

The four steps of (i) charging a fee to participate in the lottery competition 14, (ii) providing a prediction request to the participant to enable reporting of predictions 15, (iii) awarding successful participants 16, and (iv) carrying awards over in case no participant wins 17 may be done by any means known to one skilled in the art. Fees and awards are generally determined based on overhead costs, the number of participants playing, and other common factors. There are numerous techniques in the administration of lotteries that could be integrated into the present invention. These processes can be performed manually or incorporated into a fully automated system using computers and user terminals.

FIG. 2 outlines an alternate method 20 for conducting the lottery for this invention. This method comprises the steps of generating a list of scheduled sporting events 21, creating prediction requests for lottery participants based on the list 22, recording predictions by the participants of win/loss outcome(s) for event(s) 23, collecting an entry fee along with the prediction requests from the participants 24, placing the said predictions in a lottery 25, comparing predicted results from each of the participants with the actual outcome(s) of the sporting events 26, awarding specified prizes to the participants that are at least partially successful in predicting a majority of sporting event outcomes 27, or carrying the awards over to later lotteries 28 in the instance that no participant is partially successful in predicting the outcomes.

Representations of embodiments of the present invention are seen in the lottery cards illustrated in FIGS. 3-6. The said cards 30, 40, 50, and 60 may be split into three columns. The left column 31, 41, 51, 61 indicates a group of scheduled sporting events as chosen by a lottery administrator. The events are separated into the particular team match ups as shown in 34, 44, 54, and 64. The right column 33, 43, 53, 63 indicates the date and time in which the sporting events are to take place. The center columns 32, 42, 52, and 62 contain, in part, the parameters comprising predictions to be made by the participant with respect to the win/loss outcomes. These parameters include selecting the winner 35, 45, 55, 65, selecting either (i) a win by more than the point spread 37, 47, 57, 67, or (ii) a tie of the point spread 38, 48, 58, 68. The point spread is denoted by a number in quotes 36, 46, 56, 66, wherein a negative number denotes a team is favored to win by that amount, and a positive number denotes that a team is picked to lose by that amount. Other parameters in this embodiment include whether the game will be over (39, 49, 59, 69) or under (310, 410, 510, 610) the given point total.

A fee is charged to the participant to enter and the lottery form shows verification by assigning a unique index number on each ticket 311, 411, 511, and 611. Participants then fill in their prediction request by selecting the desired field that denotes their win/loss predictions. Upon completion of the outlined sporting events, cash awards and/or prizes are assigned to participants that are at least partially successful in predicting a majority of sporting event outcomes. In the event that no participant wins the lottery, the awards accumulate and go toward the next lottery contest. The lottery contests will have varying length that is indicated on the card 312, 412, 512, 612.

It should be noted that in the above embodiments the groups of events are made up of the same sport, i.e. football in FIG. 3. FIG. 8 illustrates an embodiment comprising multiple types of sporting events.

FIG. 7 is an example of an embodiment in which the win/loss parameters are predicting the player's final ranking. More particularly this sporting event is a horse race and the lottery participant is to select only the winner. The lottery card 70 contains a number of races that represents the group of scheduled events. A single race is denoted by 71. Common horseracing abbreviations for the distance of the race, type of racing surface, type of purse, value of the race, and types of horses running are seen in 72. The odds of each horse wining 73 are given for each horse, on each race. The participant is to predict a winner in each race as seen by 74, which is the only win/loss outcome prediction in this embodiment. As on other embodiments, a fee is charged to the participant to enter and the lottery form shows verification by assigning a unique index number on each ticket 75. The award process is similar to the examples above, and the lottery contests have varying lengths that are indicated on the card 76.

It is to be understood that the above-referenced arrangements are only illustrative of the application for the principles of the present invention. Numerous modifications and alternative arrangements can be devised without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. For example, winning conditions could include selecting only the winner of the football games. For the horse race, winning conditions could include not only selecting the horse that will take first place, but also selecting a partial or entire order of completion. While the present invention has been shown in the drawings and fully described above with particularity and detail in connection with what is presently deemed to be the most practical and preferred embodiment(s) of the invention, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications can be made without departing from the principles and concepts of the invention as set forth herein.