Title:
Lottery game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lottery game using tickets in which the tickets bear concealed numbers that may be exposed by the player after purchase to determine the winning number of that lottery ticket and after the player selects the numbers upon which the player is betting to win. In one embodiment the concealed numbers comprise the winning number for that ticket to be matched by those selected by the player.



Inventors:
Cummings, Edith (Marshfield, MA, US)
Cummings, Richard David (Marshfield, MA, US)
Application Number:
11/899362
Publication Date:
04/16/2009
Filing Date:
09/05/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HENRY, THOMAS HAYNES
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WOLF GREENFIELD & SACKS, P.C. (BOSTON, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a lottery game involving the sale of tickets bearing at least one set of numbers selected by a player and a second set including at least a portion of said second set comprising winning numbers, said second set all initially covered with a removable coating, which when removed on the side portion discloses and comprises the winning number, the steps comprising partially creating a lottery ticket bearing a set of winning numbers and covered by said opaque removable cover, thereafter printing on the ticket at least one set of numbers selected by a player holding the ticket, before delivery to the player, and thereafter allowing the player to at least partially remove the cover to determine whether or not the set of numbers selected by the player and pre-printed on the ticket is coincident with the numbers visible from the removed cover.

2. A method of playing a lottery game as set forth in claim 1, wherein the lottery ticket is printed with a plurality of sets of numbers selected by the player prior to removal of any portion of the removable cover.

3. A method of playing a lottery game as set forth in claim 1, wherein prize identification indicia are printed at the time of printing the winning number, with the indicia also covered by an opaque removable cover; and the cover for the prize identification indicia are removed by the player.

4. A lottery ticket for use in a lottery game involving sale of lottery tickets to a group of players, comprising a ticket bearing at least one set of spaced numbers and a second larger group of spaced numbers at least including the spaced numbers in the first set on the ticket, already covered at the time of sale with an opaque removable cover.

5. A lottery game using a lottery ticket set forth in claim 4, comprising selling a plurality of lottery tickets to a plurality of players with the tickets each bearing the one set of spaced numbers being selected by the player and printed on the ticket before the ticket is given to the player, and thereafter allowing the player to remove opaque covers from spaced numbers in the second larger group up to the same quantity of spaced numbers selected by the player, and thereafter comparing the set of spaced numbers selected by the player with the exposed set of spaced numbers to determine a winner.

6. A lottery ticket as set forth in claim 4 having an additional printed indicia identifying a potential additional prize with the indicia initially covered by a removable opaque cover.

7. A lottery ticket as set forth in claim 6 wherein the indicia is exposed when the numbers in the second group are exposed.

8. A lottery ticket as set forth in claim 4 having an additional component including at least one set of numbers selected by a player and a second set of numbers pre-selected as winning numbers covered by an opaque removable cover when delivered to the player.

9. A lottery game using a lottery ticket set forth in claim 4, comprising selling a plurality of lottery tickets to a plurality of players with each ticket each bearing the one set of spaced numbers selected by the player purchasing the ticket before the ticket is given to the player, and thereafter allowing the player to remove the opaque covers from spaced numbers in the second larger group up to the quantity of numbers selected by the player, and thereafter comparing the set of numbers selected by the player with the exposed set in the second group to determine a winner.

10. A lottery game as set forth in claim 5 wherein a player selecting at least some, but fewer than all of the numbers corresponding to those identified in the first set is a winner of a smaller reward than the player selecting all of the numbers corresponding to those in the first set.

11. A lottery ticket as set forth in claim 4 wherein the one set and the second group of numbers are both covered at the time of sale with an opaque removable cover.

12. A lottery ticket as set forth in claim 11 wherein the one set comprises a plurality of rows of a defined quantity of numbers.

13. A lottery ticket as set forth in claim 12 wherein a ticket is defined as a winning ticket if the uncovered numbers on any row match the uncovered numbers in the second group and the quantity of numbers in the second group that are uncovered do not exceed the total quantity of numbers in a row.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/846,715, entitled “Combination of Daily Lottery and Instant Win Scratch Ticket Games That Can Be Played Any Day or Night as Many Times as the Player Wants,” filed on Sep. 22, 2006, and Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/842,578, entitled “Combination of Daily Lottery and Instant Win Scratch Ticket Games That Can Be Played Any Day or Night as Many Times as the Player Wants,” filed Sep. 6, 2006 which are herein incorporated by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

State lotteries are a response to the need for revenue. In 2005, for example, the Massachusetts State Lottery netted more than $936 million with $736 million returned to cities and towns to support fire, police, and schools. The growing dependency on lotteries for funding generates the need for a portfolio of games that people want to play and that can be won.

Over the years, a variety of lottery games have been introduced. For example, since its first lottery, “The Game,” in 1971, Massachusetts has greatly expanded its offering of games, often in innovative ways. In May of 1974, it introduced the “Instant Game”—the first scratch ticket in the industry. Today, the Massachusetts Lottery offers nine types of games: Mega Millions (twelve states participate), Cash Winfall, Megabucks, Mass Cash, The Numbers Game (all lotteries), instant tickets, Keno, Pull Tabs, and Charitable Gaming (Bingo). Excluding Mega Millions, instant tickets and the lottery generated more than $3 billion in total gross sales for FY05.

Tickets sold in the twenty-seven new instant games in FY05 sold for $1, $2, $5 and $10 per ticket, offering payouts from 69% to 80%. Only the games having more expensive tickets have large payouts. Substantial wins on the $1 and $2 priced tickets are limited. In these games, the player controls the choice of what ticket to buy but has no role in selecting the winning number.

In Massachusetts, one lottery game is played each day of the week with the exception of Tuesday and Friday, when two are played.

MondayCash Winfall
TuesdayMegaMillions, Mass Cash
WednesdayMegabucks
ThursdayCash Winfall
FridayMegaMillions, Mass Cash
SaturdayMegabucks
SundayNumbers Game

If a player buys a Cash Winfall ticket on Thursday, they have to wait until 11:20 p.m. to find out if that ticket has won. If Cash Winfall is the favorite game, a player can buy as many combinations of numbers as they choose, but there are only two games drawn each week. There is no daily play and win. The players pick their own numbers but there is a psychological disconnect as winning numbers are generated randomly by a lottery machine housed at Lottery headquarters. As with scratch tickets, the player has no sense of influence, no sense of control over the winning numbers. A further drawback to present-day instant games is the generally small amounts won. Only the games with expensive tickets are big winners.

In an Indiana lottery game, a preprinted ticket is provided with a sequence of numbers randomly selected by the lottery in one section that represents the winning number. A second section of one or more sequences of pre-selected numbers selected by the lottery are also provided. Both sections are sold to a customer with all the sequences covered with a removable opaque cover. The second section represents the player's numbers which the lottery predetermines. The customer may then remove the opaque cover from the first section to determine the winning combination, and then remove the cover from the sequences in the second section to see if any one of the sequences in the second section match the numbers in the first section. If there is a match the player is a winner.

2. Objective of Invention

The present invention provides a game that combines the instant gratification and daily play of a scratch ticket with the big wins of a lottery. It further provides a game that gives the player a sense of influence or control over a jack pot prize by allowing the player to participate in choosing the winning game number and be in close, physical proximity to the source of the winning numbers without the delay of time.

The invention also adds the big jackpot of a lottery that can grow larger with rollovers. The invention also gives the player the perception of greater control because the player does not just passively scratch, they make active choices.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

On one embodiment, a lottery ticket is printed with a large group of numbers, as for example 56, provided by a random sequence generator. These numbers are all concealed by an opaque removable cover. One or more sets of numbers selected by a player are also printed on the ticket at the time it is sold. The player determines whether the sets of numbers selected is a winner by removing the cover from the same number of digits in the large group as comprise each set of numbers. If the uncovered numbers and the numbers in a set are the same, the ticket is a winner.

In a still further embodiment of the invention, a large group of numbers, e.g. 56, selected by a random sequence number generator are printed and covered at one end of a lottery ticket. In addition, one or more sets of smaller groups of numbers, e.g. five or six, are also printed on the lottery card and are also covered by a scratchable, removable cover, with these one or more sets each representing a winning number. A player is a winner if the player removes the same number of covers from the large group as are provided in a set, and the numbers match.

The present invention relates to a lottery game characterized in another embodiment by a lottery ticket having a preprinted group of randomly selected winning numbers concealed by an opaque, removable cover. At least one set of numbers, selected by the player are printed on the ticket at the time it is sold, thereby permitting the player to remove the cover and immediately determine if the selected group of numbers are the same as the concealed one, and therefore, a winner.

In the systems currently described, it is important to incorporate means to preclude cheating and fraud. Such efforts to cheat are varied and diverse, from decoding the relation between the serial number on the ticket and the lottery number, candling or shining a bright light on the ticket, wicking or using solvents to remove an opaque cover, and other techniques.

The industry has found ways to solve these issues. In the first case, a specific algorithm is used to randomize the relationship between serial and lottery numbers. In the other cases, the coating is the key. Layers of opaque coverings with confusion patterns of random design and dyes responsive to solvents are commonly used. Scientific Games has technology in their inks that prevent delaminating. This last point is particularly critical to probability games.

Various techniques to prevent such fraud have already been developed and are commonly used in current commercial games may be used. These techniques do not form part of this invention. They include, however, requirements that the ticket vendor follow established regulations regarding the sale, inspection, and handling of the tickets. One company uses an ink technology that prevents delamination. Others use sophisticated scanners.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings are not intended to be drawn to scale. In the drawings, each identical or nearly identical component that is illustrated in various figures is represented by a like numeral. For purposes of clarity, not every component may be labeled in every drawing. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a representation of a lottery ticket embodying features of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a representation of lottery ticket of another embodiment;

FIG. 3 is a representation of another lottery ticket;

FIG. 4 is a representation of another lottery ticket together with a form used to determine payouts of winning lottery tickets;

FIG. 5 is a representation of a lottery ticket of a still further embodiment; and

FIG. 6 is a representation of a lottery ticket of a still further embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

This invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or of being carried out in various ways. Also, the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The use of “including,” “comprising,” or “having,” “containing,” “involving,” and variations thereof herein, is meant to encompass the items listed thereafter and equivalents thereof as well as additional items.

In general, the systems and methods feature a lottery game that combines the instant gratification and interest of a conventional instant scratch ticket game with the reasonable likelihood of a large jackpot weekly payoff.

FIG. 1 illustrates a preferred embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment, the ticket 10, may have the title CA$H FLOW. Below it, the words “WINNING NUMBER$” are printed to identify an array of numbers 14. These printed numbers comprise a random arrangement of a sequence of numbers such as the numbers one to thirty-five. These numbers are pre-printed on the ticket in a random order in a rectangular array. Preferably, each ticket is individually randomized. After they are printed, the numbers are all covered with an opaque scratchable paint, in a manner known in the art. In the preferred embodiment thirty-five numbers are printed, but fewer or more numbers may be used, depending on the odds preferred in designing the ticket. In the illustration the covers for each number may take any form. Here each number is covered with a scratchable removable star, and therefore the numbers are not visible in the drawing.

Up to five sets 12 of numbers to be picked by the player are printed on the ticket 10, preferably below the numbers 14. These sets appear as rows marked A, B, C, D, and E. Each set comprises five picked numbers previously picked by the player and given to the vendor for printing on the ticket. The five picked numbers may be given to the vendor orally, or preferably on a suitable form which is used by the vendor to print on the otherwise prepared ticket. The ticket bearing the player selected numbers 12, and the thirty-five numbers covered with the opaque, removable film is then delivered to and paid for by the player. To avoid fraud the printer will not print numbers on the ticket if any portion of the removable film has been removed.

To determine if the ticket is a winner a set of five numbers must be scratched by the player from the array of numbers 14. If the five scratched and uncovered numbers 14 in the set match all of the numbers in any of the series of numbers in rows A to E, selected by the player, the player has a winning ticket.

To provide the player with a sense of familiarity, the process and appearance of the lottery ticket such as CA$H FLOW will be as similar as possible to the state lottery in which it appears. For purposes of illustration, the Massachusetts State Lottery will be used as an example. In this weekly lottery game, the player has two options for choosing numbers. One is called “Quik Pik.” Here, the player pays $1 for each set to be played and instructs the vendor to have a computer select five random numbers for each set. The player can choose to play up to five sets for a maximum cost of $5.00.

A second option for picking numbers by the player utilizes a form. Here, the daily lottery forms have the name of that particular game at the top. The form is preferably designed to allow the player to select numbers for multiple sets of numbers and also to indicate how many times each set of numbers are to be played. Once the form is completed by the player, it is given to the vendor along with the appropriate sum of money and the vendor prints a complete ticket bearing the winning numbers covered with a scratchable removable opaque paint or resin as well as the visible numbers selected by the player.

When the ticket shown in FIG. 1 is sold to the customer, the customer may immediately determine if it is a winning ticket by scratching five of the coated numbers at the top. If those five, or smaller components of them, match any one of the selected sets A-E previously picked by the player, the player is a winner with the winning amount determined by the scratchable winning numbers previously picked by the player. A lesser amount may be won if some predetermined amount of numbers coincide with numbers exposed on the top portion of the card. Obviously if the player scratches more than five numbers from the selection of thirty-five on the card, the card is void and no prizes are awarded. This system allows the player to instantly determine the winning numbers, as well as previously selecting them, and has the further advantage of allowing the player to have a feeling of controlling his destiny by determining the time of drawing of the winning number. The number of winning numbers may vary, but typically there are six in each of these cases.

Referring to FIG. 2, there is illustrated a lottery ticket 3. The lottery ticket is partially preprinted as illustrated with a suitable title such as “MEGABUCKS.” Beneath the ticket name, MEGABUCKS, may be printed the term “WINNING NUMBERS” with instructions 4 on how many boxes should be scratched. Beneath this term are six rows of up to seven numbers 5. These numbers 5 (not all shown) are printed on the ticket 3 before the ticket is sold, with these numbers covered by conventional means comprising an opaque layer of paint, resin or other material forming covers that may be scratched off to reveal the printed numbers 35 such as 2, 8, 10, etc. The numbers 35 are randomly selected for each ticket using a random number generator and printer in a manner well known in the art.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, there are six rows of seven numbers totaling 42 numbers. Further, in this embodiment, the opaque layer has been removed from six boxes to reveal the randomly selected numbers 7.

Beneath the above may be printed “YOUR NUMBER$.”

Beneath the title is printed the legend “YOUR NUMBER$.” This legend 8 identifies those numbers previously selected by the player. The lottery ticket permits multiple number selection. In this case, the player may select up to five sets identified by the letters A to E in Section 15 of six numbers each. Other combinations are possible. The player selects the number of sets he wishes to play and provides these numbers, ordinarily in writing, to the vendor, who then prints those numbers on ticket 3 in an appropriate line A to E in section 15 The numbers selected by the player should be the same number of digits 5 in the rows.

At the bottom of FIG. 2 and slightly spaced from the ticket 3 is a schedule 30 that may be displayed at the point of sale to identify the potential winnings of a player in the embodiment illustrated. A player selecting six numbers wins a jackpot. One who selects five wins $1,500. One who selects four wins $75, and one who selects three numbers wins $1.00.

Turning now to the embodiment of FIG. 3, there is illustrated a further embodiment of the invention which is characterized by the name MegaMillions. In this embodiment, there is provided an upper section 40, a middle section 41, and a lower section 42. The upper section 40 comprises a plurality of scratchable boxes in which a sequence of randomly applied numbers (not shown) appear. In this embodiment, the upper section 40 may comprise fifty-six boxes, each containing a number from 1 to 56 that are randomly applied by a conventional, random number generator. The numbers are covered in conventional fashion by a scratchable, opaque cover. The player is instructed to scratch only five of these boxes as illustrated by the instruction 43. In the middle section 41, there is provided another group of forty-six scratchable boxes, each containing randomly selected numbers from 1 to 46. This middle section represents what has commonly been characterized as the “powerball” number.

The lower section has provisions for multiple rows of numbers selected by the player at the time of purchase. As illustrated, there are provided in this embodiment five lines identified by the letters A through E. A player selects six numbers which are then printed on the ticket by the vendor. The player may select up to five lines of six numbers each and pay separately for each line. If, for example, the game calls for a purchase payment of $1.00, the player playing all five lines would pay a total of $5.00. After the numbers have been printed and the ticket paid for, the player may then determine whether or not any one of the lines in the lower section 42 is a winner by scratching five numbers from the upper section 40. Additionally, a player scratches a single number from the middle section 41 representing the powerball. The total of these numbers, five scratched in the upper section and one in the middle section, must then match the numbers selected by the player in any one of the lines A through E and section 42 to be a winner. As shown in FIG. 3, there may also be a separate display 50 for purposes of advertising and promotion which illustrate to the player the potential odds for winning. In this display, there are three columns. The first indicates the number selected in the upper group 40 from five to zero. In the center column, the numbers represent the selection of the powerball number from group 41 and the third column indicates the prize winning for making the selections shown laterally in the first two columns. Thus, for example, if a player picks all five numbers in section 40 and the powerball, the player wins the jackpot. If the player picks all five numbers in section 40 but misses the powerball, the player will win $250,000, etc. The winning dollar amounts are illustrative only and will ordinarily be keyed to the total number of tickets sold, as is conventional.

Turning now to FIG. 4 as illustrated in the embodiment of the invention designed specifically for Keno play. In this embodiment, the ticket 60 is appropriately labeled with the Keno mark 61 and is similar to some of the others with the price of the card shown at 62. In this game, however, the amount bet by the player is determined by the number of spot games and the amount of the wager selected by the player. In this illustration, the ticket's price is uncertain because the player has not yet selected how many spot games to play or how much to bet. The card is priced at $5.00 because the ticket will be sold to a player selecting five series of numbers. In this ticket 60, there is provided another box 65 comprising ten rows of eight boxes each. Each of these boxes contains one of a randomly selected series of numbers from 1 to 80. As illustrated, each of the boxes is covered with a scratchable opaque covering concealing the number beneath it.

A lower section 66 of the ticket 60 is provided with five rows (A through E) of numbers selected by the player at the time the player purchases the ticket. The player selects up to twelve numbers for each line A through E inclusive in this ticket. After the numbers have been selected and the ticket sold to the player, the player may then scratch up to twenty boxes in the upper section 65. If more than twenty boxes are selected, the ticket is voided. However, if a player selects up to twenty boxes and some of the boxes selected are common with numbers pre-selected in lines A through E by the player, the player may be a winner. In the schedule shown at 70, an illustrative set of potential winnings of a player are illustrated. In this illustration, when the player plays twelve numbers and selects all twelve, the player will have won $1,000,000 as indicated at 71. The player may, however, select to play fewer than twelve numbers. Thus, for example, if the player elects to play only one number and selects only a single number in each of lines A through E and one of those single numbers coincides with one of the twenty selected by the player in section 65, the player is a winner of $2.50 as illustrated at 72. Similarly, the other payouts are illustrated from one selection successively through twelve.

The system as herein described may be played using essentially conventional equipment.

The equipment necessary for use in dispensing these lottery tickets include conventional equipment. The equipment will require a reader to read the input from the player's scanned form, as well as an override to allow the operator to insert numbers manually. The system contemplates a storage system for retaining a supply of tickets, as well as dispensing mechanisms for the tickets, and a random number generator. Printing equipment to print numbers as may be required will also be provided. An appropriate coating systems for coating previously printed numbers will ordinarily be maintained by the central lottery facility who will provide the supply of tickets with partially printed numbers that will ordinarily be coated prior to delivery to the lottery sales site. Obviously these systems may be partially prepared using other equipment for efficiency. Accordingly, the vendor may simply have a system at his or her locus together with a supply of pre-prepared cards having pre-prepared coated numbers. The vendor then will print the player's selected numbers onto a ticket. Other ancillary equipment would also be necessary, such as a reader and a system for recording the transactions in a manner well known in the art. This system is also designed for a selection of whichever form the player wants to use. Proper scanning systems to detect fraud must be put in place.

FIG. 5 illustrates a still further embodiment of the invention in the form of a lottery ticket having a blank section 90 onto which one or more number series selected by the player may be printed. The number of series selected by the player is limited by the space provided on the ticket. The numbers may be printed by a simple printer commonly referred to as a quick pick machine. The player may choose how much to bet, the type of spot game to play for Keno and how many quick picks he wants to purchase. He cannot pick his own numbers.

The other end of the ticket is provided with multiple pre-selected boxes each imprinted with randomly selected numbers. Each of the numbers are covered with a removable opaque covering. A decoration, such as a star 89 may be printed on the surface of the covering. The decoration may also serve as a fraud inhibitor making it more difficult to remove and replace the opaque cover undetected. In the embodiment shown, five rows of seven numbers are provided.

In play, the player purchases a blank ticket, then selects the winning number by scratching the requisite number of boxes to identify the winning number. The ticket with the winning number is then returned to the vendor who prints the randomly selected numbers of series of numbers paid by the player. The quick pick machine may be designed to print numbers only on tickets in which numbers had already been scratched. However, since the player draws the winning number first, there are no numbers to match until the machine prints the randomly selected numbers. This virtually eliminates all security risks.

The tickets may be conventionally named such as “Cash-Flow” indicated at 88

Having thus described several aspects of at least one embodiment of this invention, it is to be appreciated various alterations, modifications, and improvements will readily occur to those skilled in the art. Such alterations, modifications, and improvements are intended to be part of this disclosure, and are intended to be within the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the foregoing description and drawings are by way of example only.

FIG. 6 illustrates a still further embodiment of the invention. In the Figure, only the upper face of the ticket is illustrated. The ticket should have a brand identification 80, such as “CASH FLOW,” together with a set of instructions 81 on how to play. These instructions may also include an indication of the jackpot sum.

A group of spaced or discrete numbers each concealed by a removable opaque cover 83 is printed on the upper end of the card. In this embodiment there are five rows of spaced numbers randomly selected and randomly printed on the card in these rows. Each number is covered by an opaque scratchable removable cover 83, in the form of a star. Other shaped covers are possible. Thus the card may have numbers 1 to 35 randomly arranged and concealed by the “stars” scratchable removable covers 83. It is from this group of numbers that the winning numbers to be matched are selected. Fewer or more rows and columns of these numbers may be printed.

A second group of numbers identified as “Your Numbers” 84 are arranged in rows 85. The number of rows 85 may vary, but in this embodiment there are five rows of five numbers 86. These numbers 86 are each covered by a scratchable removable cover also illustrated by the star.

This lottery ticket may be sold directly without any machine preparation to a player. The player will pay a sum determined by the number of rows 85 printed on the card. Thus, in this ticket there are five rows 85. If each play costs $1, the player will pay $5 for the ticket.

In play, the player will remove the covers for up to five numbers in the upper or winning number section. Those selected numbers then comprise the winning numbers to be matched by the players numbers below in the “your numbers” section. The player then removes the cover from each of the rows of your numbers to see if any row contains numbers that match the numbers the player selected. If there is a match of all the numbers, the player wins the jackpot, but lesser awards may be available for fewer matches. One advantage of this lottery ticket is that it does not require any machine or the vendor to print any numbers, but it still provides a game of chance that will test the luck of the player in the player's initial selection of the winning numbers. In addition, since the game requires a match, it is irrelevant as to whether the player uncovers his numbers or the winning numbers first.