Title:

Kind
Code:

A1

Abstract:

A system is provided. The system includes a lottery ticket printer that prints a plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets. Further, the system includes a lottery ticket distribution module that provides the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets to a plurality of players. The system also includes an allocation module that allocates a predetermined percentage of lottery ticket sales from the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets to each prize distribution in each price category. Further, the system includes a random selection module that randomly selects a set of winning lottery numbers.

Inventors:

Frick, Michael D. (Crawfordville, FL, US)

Wright, Robert J. (Palm Beach Gardens, FL, US)

Wright, Robert J. (Palm Beach Gardens, FL, US)

Application Number:

12/332314

Publication Date:

08/06/2009

Filing Date:

12/10/2008

Export Citation:

Primary Class:

International Classes:

View Patent Images:

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Primary Examiner:

PIERCE, DAMON JOSEPH

Attorney, Agent or Firm:

PATENT INGENUITY, P.C. (Beverly Hills, CA, US)

Claims:

We claim:

1. A system comprising: a price category module that provides a first price category in which a plurality of first price category lottery tickets can be purchased for a pari-mutuel lottery base game, a second price category in which a plurality of second price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and a pari-mutuel lottery add-on game, a third price category in which a plurality of third price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and the pari-mutuel lottery add-on game, each of the first price category lottery tickets indicating a set of base game numbers, the first price category indicating a first price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a first price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a partial match, each of the second price category lottery tickets indicating the set of base game numbers and a first set of bonus play numbers, the second price category indicating a second price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a second price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers or the first set of bonus play numbers as a partial match, the second price category partial match prize distribution being a second price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution, each of the third price category lottery tickets indicating the set of base game numbers, the first set of bonus play numbers, and a second set of bonus play numbers, the third price category indicating a third price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a third price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers, the first set of bonus play numbers, or the second set of bonus play numbers as a partial match, the third price category partial match prize distribution being a third price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution, the third price category predetermined multiple being greater than the second price category predetermined multiple; a lottery ticket printer that prints the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets; a lottery ticket distribution module that provides the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets to a plurality of players; an allocation module that allocates a predetermined percentage of lottery ticket sales from the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets to each prize distribution in each price category; a random selection module that randomly selects a set of winning lottery numbers; and a prize distribution module that provides a prize distribution to a lottery player based on a price category from which a lottery ticket was purchased and a type of match.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the second price category predetermined multiple equals a multiple of the second price category in comparison with the first price category.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein the third price category predetermined multiple equals a multiple of the third price category in comparison with the third price category.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the second price category full match prize distribution equals the first price category full match prize distribution in addition to a second price category additional distribution.

5. The system of claim 4, wherein the second price category also indicates a second price category full match bonus play prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of bonus play game numbers as a full match.

6. The system of claim 1, wherein the third price category full match prize distribution equals the third price category full match prize distribution in addition to a third price category additional distribution.

7. The system of claim 6, wherein the third price category also indicates a third price category full match bonus play prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of bonus play game numbers as a full match.

8. A system comprising: a price category module that provides a first price category in which a plurality of first price category lottery tickets can be purchased for a pari-mutuel lottery base game and a second price category in which a plurality of second price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and a pari-mutuel lottery add-on game, each of the first price category lottery tickets indicating a set of base game numbers, the first price category indicating a first price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a first price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a partial match, each of the second price category lottery tickets indicating the set of base game numbers and a first set of bonus play numbers, the second price category indicating a second price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a second price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers or the first set of bonus play numbers as a partial match, the second price category partial match prize distribution being a second price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution; a lottery ticket printer that prints the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets; a lottery ticket distribution module that provides the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets to a plurality of players; an allocation module that allocates a predetermined percentage of lottery ticket sales from the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets to each prize distribution in each price category; a random selection module that randomly selects a set of winning lottery numbers; and a prize distribution module that provides a prize distribution to a lottery player based on a price category from which a lottery ticket was purchased and a type of match.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein the second price category predetermined multiple equals a multiple of the second price category in comparison with the first price category.

10. The system of claim 8, wherein the second price category full match prize distribution equals the first price category full match prize distribution in addition to a second price category additional distribution.

11. The system of claim 10, wherein the second price category also indicates a second price category full match bonus play prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of bonus play game numbers as a full match.

12. The system of claim 8, further comprising a first price category partial match prize estimation module that provides an estimate of the first price category partial match prize distribution prior to the lottery ticket printer printing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets.

13. The system of claim 8, further comprising a second price category partial match prize estimation module that provides an estimate of the second price category partial match prize distribution prior to the lottery ticket printer printing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets.

14. A method comprising: providing a first price category in which a plurality of first price category lottery tickets can be purchased for a pari-mutuel lottery base game, each of the first price category lottery tickets indicating a set of base game numbers, the first price category indicating a first price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a first price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a partial match; providing a second price category in which a plurality of second price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and a pari-mutuel lottery add-on game, each of the second price category lottery tickets indicating the set of base game numbers and a first set of bonus play numbers, the second price category indicating a second price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a second price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers or the first set of bonus play numbers as a partial match, the second price category partial match prize distribution being a second price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution; providing a third price category in which a plurality of third price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and the pari-mutuel lottery add-on game, each of the third price category lottery tickets indicating the set of base game numbers, the first set of bonus play numbers, and a second set of bonus play numbers, the third price category indicating a third price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a third price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers, the first set of bonus play numbers, or the second set of bonus play numbers as a partial match, the third price category partial match prize distribution being a third price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution, the third price category predetermined multiple being greater than the second price category predetermined multiple; printing, with a printer, the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets; providing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets to a plurality of players; allocating a predetermined percentage of lottery ticket sales from the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets to each prize distribution in each price category; randomly selecting, with a random selection apparatus, a set of winning lottery numbers; and providing a prize distribution to a lottery player based on a price category from which a lottery ticket was purchased and a type of match.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the second price category predetermined multiple equals a multiple of the second price category in comparison with the first price category.

16. The method of claim 14, wherein the third price category predetermined multiple equals a multiple of the third price category in comparison with the third price category.

17. The method of claim 14, wherein the second price category full match prize distribution equals the first price category full match prize distribution in addition to a second price category additional distribution.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein the second price category also indicates a second price category full match bonus play prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of bonus play game numbers as a full match.

19. The method of claim 14, wherein the third price category full match prize distribution equals the third price category full match prize distribution in addition to a third price category additional distribution.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the third price category also indicates a third price category full match bonus play prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of bonus play game numbers as a full match.

21. The method of claim 14, further comprising providing an estimate of the first price category partial match prize distribution prior to the lottery ticket printer printing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets.

22. The method of claim 14, further comprising providing an estimate of the second price category partial match prize distribution prior to the lottery ticket printer printing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets.

23. The method of claim 14, further comprising providing an estimate of the third price category partial match prize distribution prior to the lottery ticket printer printing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets.

24. A method comprising: providing a first price category in which a plurality of first price category lottery tickets can be purchased for a pari-mutuel lottery base game, each of the first price category lottery tickets indicating a set of base game numbers, the first price category indicating a first price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a first price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a partial match; providing a second price category in which a plurality of second price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and a pari-mutuel lottery add-on game, each of the second price category lottery tickets indicating the set of base game numbers and a first set of bonus play numbers, the second price category indicating a second price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a second price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers or the first set of bonus play numbers as a partial match, the second price category partial match prize distribution being a second price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution; printing, with a printer, the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets; providing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets; allocating a predetermined percentage of lottery ticket sales from the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets; randomly selecting, with a random selection apparatus, a set of winning lottery numbers; and providing a prize distribution to a lottery player based on a price category from which a lottery ticket was purchased and a type of match.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein the second price category predetermined multiple equals a multiple of the second price category in comparison with the first price category.

26. The method of claim 24, wherein the second price category full match prize distribution equals the first price category full match prize distribution in addition to a second price category additional distribution.

27. The method of claim 26, wherein the second price category also indicates a second price category full match bonus play prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of bonus play game numbers as a full match.

28. The method of claim 24, further comprising providing an estimate of the first price category partial match prize distribution prior to the lottery ticket printer printing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets.

29. The method of claim 24, further comprising providing an estimate of the second price category partial match prize distribution prior to the lottery ticket printer printing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets.

1. A system comprising: a price category module that provides a first price category in which a plurality of first price category lottery tickets can be purchased for a pari-mutuel lottery base game, a second price category in which a plurality of second price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and a pari-mutuel lottery add-on game, a third price category in which a plurality of third price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and the pari-mutuel lottery add-on game, each of the first price category lottery tickets indicating a set of base game numbers, the first price category indicating a first price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a first price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a partial match, each of the second price category lottery tickets indicating the set of base game numbers and a first set of bonus play numbers, the second price category indicating a second price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a second price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers or the first set of bonus play numbers as a partial match, the second price category partial match prize distribution being a second price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution, each of the third price category lottery tickets indicating the set of base game numbers, the first set of bonus play numbers, and a second set of bonus play numbers, the third price category indicating a third price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a third price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers, the first set of bonus play numbers, or the second set of bonus play numbers as a partial match, the third price category partial match prize distribution being a third price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution, the third price category predetermined multiple being greater than the second price category predetermined multiple; a lottery ticket printer that prints the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets; a lottery ticket distribution module that provides the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets to a plurality of players; an allocation module that allocates a predetermined percentage of lottery ticket sales from the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets to each prize distribution in each price category; a random selection module that randomly selects a set of winning lottery numbers; and a prize distribution module that provides a prize distribution to a lottery player based on a price category from which a lottery ticket was purchased and a type of match.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the second price category predetermined multiple equals a multiple of the second price category in comparison with the first price category.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein the third price category predetermined multiple equals a multiple of the third price category in comparison with the third price category.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the second price category full match prize distribution equals the first price category full match prize distribution in addition to a second price category additional distribution.

5. The system of claim 4, wherein the second price category also indicates a second price category full match bonus play prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of bonus play game numbers as a full match.

6. The system of claim 1, wherein the third price category full match prize distribution equals the third price category full match prize distribution in addition to a third price category additional distribution.

7. The system of claim 6, wherein the third price category also indicates a third price category full match bonus play prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of bonus play game numbers as a full match.

8. A system comprising: a price category module that provides a first price category in which a plurality of first price category lottery tickets can be purchased for a pari-mutuel lottery base game and a second price category in which a plurality of second price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and a pari-mutuel lottery add-on game, each of the first price category lottery tickets indicating a set of base game numbers, the first price category indicating a first price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a first price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a partial match, each of the second price category lottery tickets indicating the set of base game numbers and a first set of bonus play numbers, the second price category indicating a second price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a second price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers or the first set of bonus play numbers as a partial match, the second price category partial match prize distribution being a second price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution; a lottery ticket printer that prints the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets; a lottery ticket distribution module that provides the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets to a plurality of players; an allocation module that allocates a predetermined percentage of lottery ticket sales from the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets to each prize distribution in each price category; a random selection module that randomly selects a set of winning lottery numbers; and a prize distribution module that provides a prize distribution to a lottery player based on a price category from which a lottery ticket was purchased and a type of match.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein the second price category predetermined multiple equals a multiple of the second price category in comparison with the first price category.

10. The system of claim 8, wherein the second price category full match prize distribution equals the first price category full match prize distribution in addition to a second price category additional distribution.

11. The system of claim 10, wherein the second price category also indicates a second price category full match bonus play prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of bonus play game numbers as a full match.

12. The system of claim 8, further comprising a first price category partial match prize estimation module that provides an estimate of the first price category partial match prize distribution prior to the lottery ticket printer printing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets.

13. The system of claim 8, further comprising a second price category partial match prize estimation module that provides an estimate of the second price category partial match prize distribution prior to the lottery ticket printer printing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets.

14. A method comprising: providing a first price category in which a plurality of first price category lottery tickets can be purchased for a pari-mutuel lottery base game, each of the first price category lottery tickets indicating a set of base game numbers, the first price category indicating a first price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a first price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a partial match; providing a second price category in which a plurality of second price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and a pari-mutuel lottery add-on game, each of the second price category lottery tickets indicating the set of base game numbers and a first set of bonus play numbers, the second price category indicating a second price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a second price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers or the first set of bonus play numbers as a partial match, the second price category partial match prize distribution being a second price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution; providing a third price category in which a plurality of third price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and the pari-mutuel lottery add-on game, each of the third price category lottery tickets indicating the set of base game numbers, the first set of bonus play numbers, and a second set of bonus play numbers, the third price category indicating a third price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a third price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers, the first set of bonus play numbers, or the second set of bonus play numbers as a partial match, the third price category partial match prize distribution being a third price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution, the third price category predetermined multiple being greater than the second price category predetermined multiple; printing, with a printer, the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets; providing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets to a plurality of players; allocating a predetermined percentage of lottery ticket sales from the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets to each prize distribution in each price category; randomly selecting, with a random selection apparatus, a set of winning lottery numbers; and providing a prize distribution to a lottery player based on a price category from which a lottery ticket was purchased and a type of match.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the second price category predetermined multiple equals a multiple of the second price category in comparison with the first price category.

16. The method of claim 14, wherein the third price category predetermined multiple equals a multiple of the third price category in comparison with the third price category.

17. The method of claim 14, wherein the second price category full match prize distribution equals the first price category full match prize distribution in addition to a second price category additional distribution.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein the second price category also indicates a second price category full match bonus play prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of bonus play game numbers as a full match.

19. The method of claim 14, wherein the third price category full match prize distribution equals the third price category full match prize distribution in addition to a third price category additional distribution.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the third price category also indicates a third price category full match bonus play prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of bonus play game numbers as a full match.

21. The method of claim 14, further comprising providing an estimate of the first price category partial match prize distribution prior to the lottery ticket printer printing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets.

22. The method of claim 14, further comprising providing an estimate of the second price category partial match prize distribution prior to the lottery ticket printer printing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets.

23. The method of claim 14, further comprising providing an estimate of the third price category partial match prize distribution prior to the lottery ticket printer printing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets.

24. A method comprising: providing a first price category in which a plurality of first price category lottery tickets can be purchased for a pari-mutuel lottery base game, each of the first price category lottery tickets indicating a set of base game numbers, the first price category indicating a first price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a first price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a partial match; providing a second price category in which a plurality of second price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and a pari-mutuel lottery add-on game, each of the second price category lottery tickets indicating the set of base game numbers and a first set of bonus play numbers, the second price category indicating a second price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a second price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers or the first set of bonus play numbers as a partial match, the second price category partial match prize distribution being a second price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution; printing, with a printer, the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets; providing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets; allocating a predetermined percentage of lottery ticket sales from the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets; randomly selecting, with a random selection apparatus, a set of winning lottery numbers; and providing a prize distribution to a lottery player based on a price category from which a lottery ticket was purchased and a type of match.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein the second price category predetermined multiple equals a multiple of the second price category in comparison with the first price category.

26. The method of claim 24, wherein the second price category full match prize distribution equals the first price category full match prize distribution in addition to a second price category additional distribution.

27. The method of claim 26, wherein the second price category also indicates a second price category full match bonus play prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of bonus play game numbers as a full match.

28. The method of claim 24, further comprising providing an estimate of the first price category partial match prize distribution prior to the lottery ticket printer printing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets.

29. The method of claim 24, further comprising providing an estimate of the second price category partial match prize distribution prior to the lottery ticket printer printing the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets.

Description:

This application is a Continuation-In-Part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/945,262, filed on Nov. 26, 2007, entitled METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PROVIDING MULTIPLE LEVELS OF PARTICIPATION IN A LOTTERY by Robert J. Wright, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/044,427, filed on Jan. 26, 2005, entitled MULTIPLE LEVELS OF PARTICIPATION IN A LOTTERY JACKPOT by Robert J. Wright, which is a Continuation-In-Part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/987,474, filed on Nov. 12, 2004, entitled VIRTUAL LOTTERY by Robert J. Wright, which is a Continuation-In-Part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/879,939, filed on Jun. 28, 2004, entitled LOTTERY TICKET DISPENSING MACHINE FOR MULTIPLE PRICED TICKETS BASED ON VARIABLE RATIOS by Robert J. Wright, which is a Continuation-In-Part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/876,390, filed on Jun. 25, 2004, entitled MULTIPLE PRICING IN A LOTTERY BASED ON VARIABLE RATIOS by Robert J. Wright, which is a Continuation-In-Part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/766,676, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,935,948, filed on Jan. 27, 2004, entitled MULTIPLE PRICING SHARED SINGLE JACKPOT IN A LOTTERY by Robert J. Wright; and all of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties. This application is also a Continuation-In-Part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/766,656, filed on Jan. 27, 2004, entitled A SYSTEM AND METHOD OF PROVIDING A GUARANTEE IN A LOTTERY by Robert J. Wright, and which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

1. Field

A system and method are disclosed which generally relate to gaming, and more specifically to lotteries.

2. General Background

A lottery is generally a distribution of tokens such that a subset of the distributed tokens may win a prize. The token can be in the form of a ticket. One of the most popular forms of lottery involves the distribution of lottery tickets. Each lottery ticket includes a lottery number. After the lottery tickets have been distributed to the lottery ticket holders, the winning number is chosen. The usual method of selecting the winning number involves a random selection of the winning number. A random number generator can be used to randomly select the winning number. Some lottery systems require the ticket to have the entire number that is randomly selected while other lottery systems require the ticket to have a superset of an ordered sequence of numbers that are randomly selected.

Lotteries as normally used by jurisdictions reflect a pari-mutuel model in which the prize is funded by a portion of the ticket sales. One potential problem with the pari-mutuel model is that a sufficient number of tickets need to be sold in order to provide a reasonable lottery prize. However, interest in purchasing lottery tickets is generally stimulated only when the prize becomes substantial. For instance, a large number of lottery tickets are purchased in a $10 million dollar lottery, but a disproportionately large number of lottery tickets are purchased in a $50 million dollar lottery.

In addition, traditional lotteries sell tickets for one price. If there are multiple winners of a jackpot, the winners split the jackpot prize.

In one aspect of the disclosure, a system is provided. The system includes a price category module that provides a first price category in which a plurality of first price category lottery tickets can be purchased for a pari-mutuel lottery base game, a second price category in which a plurality of second price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and a pari-mutuel lottery add-on game, a third price category in which a plurality of third price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and the pari-mutuel lottery add-on game, each of the first price category lottery tickets indicating a set of base game numbers. The first price category indicates a first price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a first price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a partial match. Each of the second price category lottery tickets indicates the set of base game numbers and a first set of bonus play numbers. The second price category indicates a second price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a second price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers or the first set of bonus play numbers as a partial match. The second price category partial match prize distribution is a second price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution. Each of the third price category lottery tickets indicates the set of base game numbers, the first set of bonus play numbers, and a second set of bonus play numbers. The third price category indicates a third price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a third price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers, the first set of bonus play numbers, or the second set of bonus play numbers as a partial match. The third price category partial match prize distribution is a third price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution. The third price category predetermined multiple is greater than the second price category predetermined multiple. Further, the system includes a lottery ticket printer that prints the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets. In addition, the system includes a lottery ticket distribution module that provides the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets to a plurality of players. The system also includes an allocation module that allocates a predetermined percentage of lottery ticket sales from the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets to each prize distribution in each price category. Further, the system includes a random selection module that randomly selects a set of winning lottery numbers. Finally, the system includes a prize distribution module that provides a prize distribution to a lottery player based on a price category from which a lottery ticket was purchased and a type of match.

In another aspect of the disclosure, a system is provided. The system includes a price category module that provides a first price category in which a plurality of first price category lottery tickets can be purchased for a pari-mutuel lottery base game and a second price category in which a plurality of second price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and a pari-mutuel lottery add-on game. Each of the first price category lottery tickets indicates a set of base game numbers, the first price category indicating a first price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a first price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a partial match. Each of the second price category lottery tickets indicates the set of base game numbers and a first set of bonus play numbers. The second price category indicates a second price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a second price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers or the first set of bonus play numbers as a partial match. The second price category partial match prize distribution is a second price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution. Further, the system includes a lottery ticket printer that prints the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets. In addition, the system includes a lottery ticket distribution module that provides the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets to a plurality of players. The system also includes an allocation module that allocates a predetermined percentage of lottery ticket sales from the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets to each prize distribution in each price category. Further, the system includes a random selection module that randomly selects a set of winning lottery numbers. Finally, the system includes a prize distribution module that provides a prize distribution to a lottery player based on a price category from which a lottery ticket was purchased and a type of match.

In yet another aspect of the disclosure, a process is provided. The process provides a first price category in which a plurality of first price category lottery tickets can be purchased for a pari-mutuel lottery base game. Each of the first price category lottery tickets indicates a set of base game numbers. The first price category indicates a first price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a first price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a partial match. Further, the process provides a second price category in which a plurality of second price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and a pari-mutuel lottery add-on game. Each of the second price category lottery tickets indicates the set of base game numbers and a first set of bonus play numbers. The second price category indicates a second price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a second price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers or the first set of bonus play numbers as a partial match. The second price category partial match prize distribution is a second price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution. In addition, the process provides a third price category in which a plurality of third price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and the pari-mutuel lottery add-on game. Each of the third price category lottery tickets indicates the set of base game numbers, the first set of bonus play numbers, and a second set of bonus play numbers. The third price category indicates a third price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a third price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers, the first set of bonus play numbers, or the second set of bonus play numbers as a partial match. The third price category partial match prize distribution is a third price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution. The third price category predetermined multiple is greater than the second price category predetermined multiple. The process also prints, with a printer, the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets. The process also provides the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets to a plurality of players. In addition, the process allocates a predetermined percentage of lottery ticket sales from the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets to each prize distribution in each price category. The process also randomly selects, with a random selection apparatus, a set of winning lottery numbers. Finally, the process provides a prize distribution to a lottery player based on a price category from which a lottery ticket was purchased and a type of match.

In another aspect of the disclosure, a process is provided. The process provides a first price category in which a plurality of first price category lottery tickets can be purchased for a pari-mutuel lottery base game. Each of the first price category lottery tickets indicates a set of base game numbers. The first price category indicates a first price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a first price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a partial match. Further, the process provides a second price category in which a plurality of second price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and a pari-mutuel lottery add-on game. Each of the second price category lottery tickets indicates the set of base game numbers and a first set of bonus play numbers. The second price category indicates a second price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a second price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers or the first set of bonus play numbers as a partial match. The second price category partial match prize distribution is a second price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution. In addition, the process prints, with a printer, the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets. The process also provides the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets. Further, the process allocates a predetermined percentage of lottery ticket sales from the plurality of first price category lottery tickets and the plurality of second price category lottery tickets. In addition, the process randomly selects, with a random selection apparatus, a set of winning lottery numbers. Finally, the process provides a prize distribution to a lottery player based on a price category from which a lottery ticket was purchased and a type of match.

The above-mentioned features of the present disclosure will become more apparent with reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals denote like elements and in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a single priced lottery system that is based on a pari-mutuel model.

FIG. 2 illustrates a shared multiple-priced single-pool lottery system.

FIG. 3 illustrates an example of a winnings table for the shared multiple-priced single-pool lottery system of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 illustrates a process that can be used with the shared multiple-priced single-pool lottery system illustrated in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 illustrates an example of a winnings table of a lottery having two three-dollar ticket winners.

FIG. 6 illustrates an example of a winnings table of a lottery having one three-dollar ticket winner and one one-dollar ticket winner.

FIG. 7 illustrates an example of a winnings table of a lottery having two three-dollar ticket winners and two one-dollar ticket winners.

FIG. 8 illustrates an example of a winnings table of a lottery having one three-dollar ticket winner, one two-dollar ticket winner, and one one-dollar ticket winner.

FIG. 9 illustrates a probabilistic lottery system.

FIG. 10 illustrates a probabilistic software configuration that can be used with the probabilistic lottery system.

FIG. 11 illustrates a method for conducting a variable ratio based multiple-priced lottery system.

FIG. 12 illustrates a graph for a constant ratio between associations.

FIG. 13 illustrates a graph in which a variable ratio exists between at least two associations.

FIG. 14 illustrates a graph in which two different variable ratios exist.

FIG. 15 illustrates a lottery ticket dispensing machine.

FIG. 16 illustrates the internal components of the housing of the lottery ticket dispensing machine.

FIG. 17 illustrates a configuration in which the lottery ticket dispensing machine communicates with a server to receive a price category and the associated distribution of the price category.

FIG. 18 illustrates a configuration in which the lottery ticket dispensing machine communicates with a server to transmit a verification code.

FIG. 19 illustrates a configuration in which a server sends data to the lottery ticket dispensing machine.

FIG. 20 illustrates a multi-priced distribution system. A first price category input module provides a first price category to a multi-priced distribution module.

FIG. 21 illustrates a multi-priced lottery system configuration for intra-shared distributions.

FIG. 22 illustrates an inter-shared lottery distribution system, which encompasses the lottery distribution configuration of FIG. 21.

FIG. 23 illustrates a lottery ticket dispensing system.

FIG. 24 illustrates a virtual lottery system.

FIG. 25 illustrates the components of the first virtual lottery unit.

FIGS. 26A-26E illustrate the contents of the memory as data is received from the server.

FIG. 27 illustrates the virtual lottery unit.

FIG. 28 illustrates a process for the conducting the virtual lottery.

FIG. 29 illustrates another process for conducting the virtual lottery.

FIG. 30 illustrates a virtual lottery system with a progressive jackpot wherein the advertised jackpot is increased based on a portion of ticket sale revenue.

FIG. 31A illustrates the memory containing a plurality of virtual lottery ticket prices and a plurality of known percentages of a progressive jackpot.

FIG. 31B illustrates the memory containing a plurality of virtual lottery ticket prices and a plurality of known percentages of a progressive jackpot that has increased.

FIG. 32 illustrates the virtual lottery unit for a progressive jackpot.

FIG. 33 illustrates a lottery prize structure that may be utilized to implement a pari-mutuel lottery base game and a pari-mutuel lottery add-on game.

FIG. 34 illustrates a process that may be utilized to implement a pari-mutuel base lottery game and the pari-mutuel add-on lottery game.

FIG. 35A illustrates the lottery ticket being purchased from the first price category and having a set of base game numbers.

FIG. 35B illustrates the lottery ticket being purchased from the second price category and having a set of base game numbers in addition to a set of bonus play numbers.

Finally, FIG. 35C illustrates the lottery ticket being purchased from the third price category and having a set of base game numbers in addition to two sets of bonus play numbers.

FIG. 36 illustrates an alternative lottery prize structure that may be utilized to implement a pari-mutuel lottery base game and a pari-mutuel lottery add-on game.

FIG. 37A illustrates the lottery ticket being purchased from the first price category and having a set of base game numbers.

Further, FIG. 37B illustrates the lottery ticket being purchased from the second price category and having a set of base game numbers in addition to two sets of bonus play numbers.

Finally, FIG. 37C illustrates the lottery ticket being purchased from the third price category and having a set of base game numbers in addition to five sets of bonus play numbers.

FIG. 38 illustrates a block diagram of a station or system that generates a pari-mutuel base game and a pari-mutuel add-on game.

A system and method are disclosed for a virtual lottery. A lottery player can purchase a virtual lottery ticket as opposed to a paper lottery ticket. Further, the lottery player will find out instantly whether the virtual lottery ticket has a winning lottery number rather than having to wait hours or even days for a drawing with respect to a paper lottery ticket. In essence, the virtual lottery player is provided with a similar experience to playing in an actual lottery through an electronic machine.

FIGS. 1-23 illustrate various embodiments of a lottery. In addition, FIGS. 24-28 illustrate the virtual lottery. The various features illustrated in FIGS. 1-23 can be implemented in the virtual lottery.

An overview of FIGS. 1-23 is now provided. After describing FIGS. 1-23, the disclosure explains how many of the features in FIGS. 1-23 can be implemented in the virtual lottery as illustrated in FIGS. 24-28. FIGS. 24-28 illustrate various embodiments of the virtual lottery. Finally, FIGS. 30-34 illustrate a virtual lottery with a progressive jackpot.

FIG. 1 illustrates a single priced lottery system **100** that is based on a pari-mutuel model. A lottery operator **102** establishes the lottery. The lottery operator **102** can be a jurisdiction such as a country, state, province, city, town, municipality, or any division or department thereof. Further, the lottery operator **102** can be a private organization that a jurisdiction hires to coordinate the lottery. The lottery operator **102** can also be a private organization that is not hired by a jurisdiction. The coordination involved can include establishment, maintenance, operation and oversight and/or winnings determination.

The lottery operator **102** can advertise that a lottery has a prize. For example, the lottery operator **102** can advertise that the lottery prize will be a minimum of ten million dollars. The lottery operator **102** provides the lottery prize from a jackpot **104**. In one embodiment, the jackpot **104** is a variable jackpot that increases through allocation of a portion of the ticket sales. The lottery operator **102** can also provide a fixed prize **106**. In one embodiment, ticket holders **108** purchase tickets at a price of $x per ticket from a ticket seller **110**. The ticket seller then sends the ticket numbers on each of the tickets to the lottery operator, typically through a computer network **102**. If one of the ticket holders **108** wins the lottery, the lottery operator **102** disburses the jackpot **104** to the ticket holder **108**. On the other hand, if multiple ticket holders **108** win the lottery, the multiple ticket holders with the winning tickets split the jackpot **104**. For instance, FIG. 1 illustrates two ticket holders **108** winning the lottery. The lottery operator **102** then splits the jackpot **104** and distributes half of the jackpot to each of the ticket holders **108**.

The lottery operator **102** can also distribute a fixed prize **106**. A ticket holder **108** can win a fixed prize that the ticket holder **108** does not have to share with other ticket holders **108**. For instance, if multiple ticket holders **108** won the fixed prize **106**, the lottery operator **102** would distribute the fixed prize **106** in its entirety to each of the multiple ticket holders **108** that won the fixed prize **106**. In one embodiment, the multiple pricing method and system can be applied to the fixed prize **106**. The ticket holder **106** can qualify for the higher fixed prize **106** by purchasing a higher priced ticket.

In one embodiment, the lottery operator **102** can use a random number generator (not shown) to determine the winning number. In another embodiment, the lottery operator **102** can use a ball draw machine to randomly select the winning number.

One of the difficulties of the single priced lottery system **100** is that the single priced lottery system **100** does not optimize the amount spent by a customer and the size of the jackpot **104**. Some ticket holders **108** may want to purchase a less expensive lottery ticket even if the associated prize is relatively small. Further, some ticket holders **108** may not wish to purchase a lottery ticket unless the jackpot **104** is very large. These ticket holders **108** may be willing to pay more for a lottery ticket that provides a larger prize. Further, some ticket holders **108** generally buy lottery tickets in almost any lottery regardless of the size of the jackpot **104**. The single priced lottery system **100** does not optimize the performance of a lottery since it does not create an optimal incentive for the customer to spend more and thereby increase the revenue of the lottery.

FIG. 2 also illustrates that a ticket holder **206** can purchase a lottery ticket in a second price category. For instance, the second price category can be lottery tickets purchased for $y. The second price category is associated with a second distribution of a lottery prize that can be won. For example, the ticket holder **206** may have purchased the lottery ticket for two dollars in order to win fifty percent of the jackpot. In one embodiment, if the only winning lottery ticket or winning lottery tickets are in the second price category, then the second distribution is distributed according to a second price category intra sharing distribution formula. In one embodiment, the second price category intra sharing distribution formula requires an even distribution among all the winners in the second price category. In the example above, if two ticket holders **206** have winning ticket numbers, the two ticket holders **206** share the applicable distribution evenly. In the example, the second distribution of the prize or in combination of the first and second distributions was fifty percent. Therefore, the two ticket holders **206** would each receive twenty five percent of the prize. In one embodiment, if the ticket holder **206** is the only winning ticket in the lottery, the second price category intra sharing distribution formula provides the entirety of the second distribution of the prize to the ticket holder **206**. In this example, the ticket holder **206** would receive fifty percent of the jackpot.

In one embodiment, the progressive model can be applied so that each price category benefits. If the jackpot increases in size, potential winnings for each price category can increase because the jackpot increases.

In one embodiment, if the only winning lottery ticket or winning lottery tickets are in the first price category, then the first distribution is distributed according to a first price category intra sharing distribution formula. In one embodiment, the first price category intra sharing distribution formula requires an even distribution among all the winners in the first price category. In the example above, if two ticket holders **204** have winning ticket numbers, the two ticket holders **204** share the first distribution evenly. In the example, the first distribution of the prize was twenty-five percent. Therefore, the two ticket holders **204** would each receive twelve and one half percent of the prize. In one embodiment, if the ticket holder **204** has the only winning ticket in the lottery, the first price category intra sharing distribution formula provides the entirety of the first distribution of the prize to the ticket holder **204**. In this example, the ticket holder **204** would receive twenty-five percent of the prize. In one embodiment, the remaining seventy five percent of the jackpot **104** would be rolled over to increase the prize for subsequent drawings.

In another embodiment, the first price category intra sharing distribution formula can be weighted. In one embodiment, the intra sharing distribution formula can be weighted in favor of the number of tickets purchased in the current drawing of the lottery. For example, if two ticket holders **204** are the only ticket winners in the lottery, one of the ticket holders, **204** may have purchased one hundred lottery tickets in the current drawing whereas the other one of the ticket holders **204** may have only purchased one lottery ticket in the current drawing. A weighting can be established so that the ticket holder **204** that purchased one hundred tickets in the current lottery can win, for example, twenty percent of the prize whereas the ticket holder **204** that purchased one ticket in the current lottery can win, for example, five percent of the prize.

In yet another embodiment, the first price category intra sharing distribution can be weighted in favor of previous ticket purchases. For example, if two ticket holders **204** are the only ticket winners in the lottery, one of the ticket holders **204** may have purchased one hundred lottery tickets in previous lotteries whereas the other one of the ticket holders **204** may have purchased a lottery ticket for the first time. The first price category intra sharing distribution formula can include a frequent lottery variable that would provide a larger portion of the first distribution to the ticket holder **204** that previously purchased one hundred tickets. For example, the ticket holder **204** that purchased one hundred tickets may receive twenty percent of the prize whereas the ticket holder **204** that only purchased one ticket may receive only five percent of the prize. This is only one example. The frequent lottery variable can also provide a small change. For instance, the ticket holder **204** that purchased one hundred tickets may receive thirteen percent of the prize and the thicket holder **204** that purchased one ticket may receive twelve percent prize. The lottery operator **102** may find that use of the frequent lottery variable provides more incentive to ticket holders **204** to participate in the lottery. The first price category intra sharing distribution formula can be determined according to consumer demand. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that a variety of formulae can be used for weighting the distribution. The first price category intra sharing distribution formula can be a variable, a ratio, etc.

In one embodiment, the lottery prize is a jackpot. In alternative embodiments, other types of prizes can be used. The prize is not limited to jackpots.

FIG. 2 also illustrates that a ticket holder **206** can purchase a lottery ticket in a second price category. For instance, the second price category can be lottery tickets purchased for $y. The second price category is associated with a second distribution of a lottery prize that can be won. For example, the ticket holder **206** may have purchased the lottery ticket for two dollars in order to win fifty percent of the jackpot. In one embodiment, if the only winning lottery ticket or winning lottery tickets are in the second price category, then the second distribution is distributed according to a second price category intra sharing distribution formula. In one embodiment, the second price category intra sharing distribution formula requires an even distribution among all the winners in the second price category. In the example above, if two ticket holders **206** have winning ticket numbers, the two ticket holders **206** share the applicable distribution evenly. In the example, the second distribution of the prize or in combination of the first and second distributions was fifty percent. Therefore, the two ticket holders **206** would each receive twenty five percent of the prize. In one embodiment, if the ticket holder **206** is the only winning ticket in the lottery, the second price category intra sharing distribution formula provides the entirety of the second distribution of the prize to the ticket holder **206**. In this example, the ticket holder **206** would receive fifty percent of the jackpot.

In one embodiment, the second price category intra sharing distribution formula is weighted. The second price category intra sharing distribution formula can be weighted in a similar manner as the first price category intra sharing distribution formula. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that a variety of formulae can be used for weighting the distribution. The second price category intra sharing distribution formula can be a variable, a ratio, etc.

In one embodiment, if a ticket holder **204** and a ticket holder **206** have winning lottery tickets, an inter sharing distribution formula is used to determine how the ticket holder **204** and the ticket holder **206** should share the jackpot. In one embodiment, the lottery operator **102** splits the first distribution so that the ticket holder **204** receives half of the first distribution and the ticket holder **206** receives half of the first distribution. The ticket holder **206** additionally receives the second distribution minus the first distribution. For example, if the first distribution is twenty five percent and the second distribution is fifty percent, the ticket holder **204** would receive twelve and one half percent. The ticket holder **206** would receive twelve and one half percent in addition to twenty five percent. Therefore, the ticket holder **206** would receive thirty seven and one half percent. The inter sharing distribution formula is not limited to an even distribution. In one embodiment, the inter sharing distribution formula may be weighted to favor the higher price category. In other words, the ticket holder **206** may be rewarded for purchasing a higher priced ticket. For example, the ticket holder **204** may only receive one third of the twenty five percent with the ticket holder **206** receiving two thirds of the twenty five percent in addition to an entire twenty five percent.

Although each ticket price is associated with a percentage of the jackpot, the winnings come from a single jackpot. In the example above, even if only one ticket is purchased in the first price category, the ticket holder **204** that has the winning number gets to receive twenty five percent of a jackpot that may be funded primarily by higher ticket price categories. Variations may occur from lottery to lottery in the numbers of tickets purchased in each price category. The lottery operator **102** increases the chances that the jackpot will be sufficient to cover winnings in each of the price categories by having a single pool from which disbursements are made for winnings in any of the price categories. The use of the single pool for multiple priced lottery tickets can be used independently of the sharing methodology discussed above. However, the lottery operator **102** can further optimize the performance of the lottery by using the single pool in conjunction with the sharing methodology. Further, the intra sharing methodology can be used independent of the inter sharing methodology. However, the lottery operator **102** can optimize performance by using the intra sharing methodology in conjunction with the inter sharing methodology.

FIG. 2 also illustrates that a ticket holder **208** can purchase a lottery ticket in a third price category. For instance, the third price category can be lottery tickets purchased for $z. The third price category is associated with a third distribution of a lottery prize that can be won. For example, the ticket holder **208** may have purchased the lottery ticket for three dollars in order to win one hundred percent of the jackpot **104**. In one embodiment, if the only winning lottery ticket or winning lottery tickets are in the third price category, then the third distribution is distributed according to a third price category intra sharing distribution formula. In one embodiment, the third price category intra sharing distribution formula requires an even distribution among all the winners in the third price category. In the example above, if two ticket holders **208** have winning ticket numbers, the two ticket holders **208** share the third distribution evenly. In the example, the third distribution of the prize was one hundred percent. Therefore, the two ticket holders **208** would each receive fifty percent of the prize. In one embodiment, if the ticket holder **208** has the only winning ticket in the lottery, the third price category intra sharing distribution formula provides the entirety of the third distribution of the prize to the ticket holder **208**. In this example, the ticket holder **208** would receive one hundred percent of the jackpot.

In one embodiment, the third price category intra sharing distribution formula is weighted. The third price category intra sharing distribution formula can be weighted in a similar manner as the first price category intra sharing distribution formula. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that a variety of formulae can be used for weighting the distribution. The third price category intra sharing distribution formula can be a variable, a ratio, etc. In one embodiment, if the ticket holder **204**, the ticket holder **206**, and the ticket holder **208** have winning lottery tickets, a first triplet inter sharing distribution formula is used to determine how the ticket holder **204**, the ticket holder **206**, and the ticket holder **208** should share the first distribution of the jackpot. In one embodiment, the lottery operator **102** splits the first distribution so that the ticket holder **204** receives one third of the first distribution, the ticket holder **206** receives one third of the first distribution, and the ticket holder **208** receives one third of the first distribution. A second triplet inter sharing distribution formula is used to determine how the ticket holder **206** and the ticket holder **208** share the second distribution minus the first distribution. In one embodiment, the lottery operator **102** splits the second distribution so that the ticket holder **206** receives one half of the second distribution and the ticket **208** receives the other half of the second distribution. The ticket holder **208** additionally receives the third distribution minus the second distribution. For example, if the first distribution is twenty five percent, the second distribution is fifty percent, and the third distribution is one hundred percent, the ticket holder **204** would receive eight and one third percent. The ticket holder **206** would receive eight and one third percent in addition to twelve and one half percent. Therefore, the ticket holder **206** would receive twenty and five sixths percent. Finally, the ticket holder **208** would receive eight and one third percent in addition to twelve and one half percent in addition to fifty percent. Therefore, the ticket holder **208** would receive seventy and five sixths percent.

The first triplet inter sharing distribution formula can require an even distribution of the first distribution. However, in one embodiment, the first inter sharing distribution formula can be weighted. The ticket holder **206** can be given a greater portion of the first distribution than the ticket holder **204**. Further, the ticket holder **208** can be given a greater portion of the first distribution than the ticket holder **206**. However, different variations are possible. A volume lottery variable (based, for example on the number of tickets purchased or amount spent on tickets) can be used to determine weighting. In other words, the ticket holder **204** could potentially receive the largest portion of the first distribution if the ticket holder **204** has purchased the most lottery tickets. Further, the ticket holder **204** may receive the largest weighting of the first distribution to give incentive to the ticket holder **204** because the ticket holder **204** does not get to receive a portion of the second distribution or of the third distribution. Even if the ticket holder **204** spent an equivalent or a greater amount on purchasing tickets than the ticket holder **206**, the incentive of the ticket holder **206** can be further increased over that of the ticket holder **204**. Similarly, the ticket holder **206** may receive a greater weighted portion of the second distribution than the ticket holder **208** because the ticket holder **206** does not receive a portion of the third distribution or for other reasons related to the weighting formula. In one embodiment, the incentive of the ticket holder **208** can be further increased over that of the ticket holder **204**. These weighted variations can also be used with the second triplet inter sharing distribution formula.

The example above discusses the possibility of having one winning ticket from each price category. In one embodiment, multiple ticket winners exist in some or all of the different price categories. A divided intra sharing distribution within each price category is applied so that winners in each price category split the winnings according to a divided intra sharing distribution formula. In the example above, the ticket holder **204** received eight and one third percent. In one embodiment, a first divided intra sharing distribution formula determines how to split the winnings for the first distribution. For instance, in the example above, if two ticket holders **204** had winning numbers, one of the ticket holders **204** could receive approximately four and sixteen one hundredths percent and the other ticket holder **204** would also receive approximately four and sixteen one hundredths percent. In one embodiment, a second divided intra sharing distribution formula determines how to split the winnings for the second distribution. For instance, in the example above, if two ticket holders **206** had winning numbers, one of the ticket holders **206** would receive ten and five twelfths percent and the other ticket holder **206** would also receive ten and five twelfths percent. In one embodiment, a third divided intra sharing distribution formula determines how to split the winnings for the third distribution. For instance, in the example above, if two ticket holders **208** had winning numbers, one of the ticket holders **208** would receive thirty five and three twelfths percent while the other one of the ticket holders **208** would also receive thirty five and three twelfths percent. The divided intra shared distributions do not have to be the same across price categories. Further, within price categories, the divided intra shared distributions can be weighted as discussed above with respect to the intra sharing distributions.

Although, in the above discussion, the first price category was associated with the ticket holder **204**, the second price category with the ticket holder **206**, and the third price category with the ticket holder **208**, the ticket holders can be associated with different price categories. For instance, the first price category may be associated with the ticket holder **204** and the third price category may be associated with the ticket holder **206**. The inter sharing distribution variable as discussed above could be used to share the jackpot if the ticket holder **204** and the ticket holder **206** were the only winning tickets. For instance, the ticket holder **204** would receive one half of twenty five percent. The ticket holder **206** would receive one half of twenty five percent in addition to seventy five percent. Further, the methodologies discussed above can be extended to any number of price categories. For instance, there could be a fourth price category. Any number of price categories can be used.

In one embodiment, the shared multiple priced single pool lottery system **200** can be used with a video lottery game. In another embodiment, the shared multiple priced single pool lottery system **200** can be used with online lotteries that are provided on a network such as the Internet.

In one embodiment the shared multiple priced single pool lottery system **300** can be computerized. Software modules can be used to establish and coordinate the multiple priced single pool lottery system. The use of computerized technologies can help facilitate calculating the sharing distributions. Without the computerized technologies, the quantity of the calculations could be burdensome.

A first price category module can provide a first price category in which a plurality of first price category lottery tickets can be purchased. Further, a second price category module can provide a second price category in which a plurality of second price category lottery tickets can be purchased. In addition, a random number selection module can randomly select the winning lottery number. The random number selection module can be a random number generator, can be coupled to a ball draw machine, or can simulate a ball draw machine. A first price intra shared distribution module provides a first price category intra shared distribution of the first distribution of the prize if at least one of the lottery tickets in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets has a winning number. Further, a second price category intra shared distribution module provides a second price category intra shared distribution of the second distribution of the prize if at least one of the lottery tickets in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets has a winning number. Additional intra shared distribution modules can be used for additional price categories.

In one embodiment, a divided first price category intra shared distribution module provides a divided first price category intra shared distribution of the first distribution of the prize. In addition, a divided second price category intra shared distribution module provides a divided second price category intra shared distribution of the second distribution. An inter shared distribution module provides an inter shared distribution of the first distribution of the prize if at least one of the lottery tickets in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets has a winning number and if at least one of the lottery tickets in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets has a winning number.

FIG. 3 illustrates an example of a winnings table **300** for the shared multiple priced single pool lottery system of FIG. 2. For example, a lottery can have a jackpot of ten million dollars. Lottery players can purchase a one-dollar ticket, a two-dollar ticket, and a three-dollar ticket. The one-dollar ticket only gives the ticket holder a chance at receiving twenty five percent of the jackpot. Therefore, the one dollar ticket holder could at best receive two million five hundred thousand dollars if the one dollar ticket holder did not have to share the jackpot with any other winners. The two-dollar ticket holder could at best receive five million dollars if the two-dollar ticket holder does not have to share the jackpot with any other ticket holders. Finally, the three-dollar ticket holder could at best receive the full jackpot of ten million dollars if the three-dollar ticket holder does not have to share the jackpot with any other ticket holders.

FIG. 4 illustrates a process **400** that can be used with the shared multiple priced single pool lottery system **200** illustrated in FIG. 2. The process **400** begins at a process block **402**. The process **400** advances to a process block **404** to provide a first price category. Further, the process **400** then advances to a process block **406** to provide a second price category. The process then advances to a process block **408** to randomly select the winning lottery number. The process **400** then advances to a decision block **410** where it is determined whether there is a winner in both the first price category and the second price category. If there is a winner in both the first price category and the second price category, then the process **400** advances to a process block **412** where the first distribution of the jackpot prize is distributed through an intra shared distribution as discussed in FIG. 2. The process **400** then advances to a process block **414** where the second distribution of the jackpot prize is distributed through an intra shared distribution as discussed in FIG. 2. The process **400** then advances to a process block **416** where the first distribution is distributed through an intershared distribution of the jackpot so that the winning ticket holders in the second price category receive the appropriate share of the first distribution.

If the decision block **410** determines that there is not both a winner in the first price category and a winner in the second price category, the process **400** advances to a decision block **418**. At the decision block **418**, the process **400** determines if there is a winner in the first price category. If there is a winner in the first price category, the process **400** advances to a process block **420** where the process **400** distributes the jackpot prize through an intra shared distribution to a winner or winners in the first price category. If the decision block **418** determines that there is not a winner in the first price category, the process **400** advances to a decision block **422** to determine if there is a winner in the second price category. If there is a winner in the second price category, the process **400** advances to a process block **424** where the process **400** distributes the jackpot prize through an intra shared distribution to winners in the second price category. If there is not a winner in the second price category, the process **400** determines that there are not any winners and the process ends at process block **426**. In one embodiment, there is a roll over. In one embodiment, the undistributed jackpot is used in a future draw. In one embodiment, the roll over includes a percentage of the jackpot for use in a future draw. In one embodiment, the lottery operator **102** takes a percentage of the ticket sales revenue and adds that percentage to a future lottery jackpot even if there is a winner in the present jackpot. The process **400** can be extended to cover three price categories. Further, the process **400** can be extended to cover any number of price categories. In one embodiment, the process **400** can be implemented on a computer readable medium.

FIGS. 5 through 8 illustrate various examples of the multiple priced single prize lottery system **200**. FIG. 5 illustrates an example of a winnings table **500** of a lottery having two three dollar ticket winners. The jackpot is for ten million dollars. The distribution displays one three dollar ticket winner sharing the ten million dollar jackpot with another three dollar ticket winner through an intra sharing distribution. One of the three dollar ticket winners receives five million dollars at a sharing section **504**. Further, the other three dollar ticket winner receives five million dollars at a sharing section **506**.

FIG. 6 illustrates an example of a winnings table **600** of a lottery having one three dollar ticket winner and one one-dollar ticket winner. The jackpot is for ten million dollars. The distribution **602** displays one three dollar ticket winner that shares the jackpot with one one-dollar ticket winner. The one dollar ticket winner receives one million two hundred fifty thousand dollars at a section **604** through an inter sharing distribution. Further, the three dollar ticket winner receives one million two hundred fifty thousand dollars through an inter sharing distribution at an inter sharing section **606**. Finally, the three dollar ticket winner receives seven million five hundred thousand dollars at a section **608** through an intra shared distribution.

FIG. 7 illustrates an example of a winnings table **700** of a lottery having two three dollar ticket winners and two one dollar ticket winners. The jackpot is for ten million dollars. A distribution **702** displays a one dollar winner receiving six hundred twenty-five thousand dollars at a section **704**, a one dollar winner receiving six hundred twenty-five thousand dollars at a section **706**, a three dollar winner receiving six hundred twenty-five thousand dollars at a section **708**, and a three dollar winner receiving six hundred twenty-five thousand dollars at a section **710**. The one dollar ticket winners receive their winnings through an intra shared distribution. Further, the three dollar ticket winners receive a portion of the twenty five percent associated with the first price category through an inter shared distribution of half. Further, each of the three dollar ticket holders receives an additional three million seven hundred fifty thousand dollars through an intra shared distribution of the one hundred percent minus the twenty five percent.

FIG. 8 illustrates an example of a winnings table **800** of a lottery having one three dollar ticket winner, one two dollar ticket winner, and one one-dollar ticket winner. The jackpot is for ten million dollars. A distribution **802** displays a one dollar winner receiving eight hundred thirty three thousand dollars in a section **804** according to an inter shared distribution of twenty five percent of the jackpot. The two dollar ticket holder also receives eight hundred thirty three thousand dollars in a section **806** according to the inter shared distribution of twenty five percent of the jackpot. Accordingly, the three dollar ticket holder also receives eight hundred thirty three thousand dollars in a section **808** according to the inter shared distribution of twenty five percent of the jackpot. Further, the two dollar ticket holder receives an additional one million two hundred fifty thousand dollars at a sharing section **810** through an inter shared distribution of the second distribution. In addition, the three dollar ticket holder receives an additional one million two hundred fifty thousand dollars at a sharing section **812** through an inter shared distribution of the second distribution. Finally, the three dollar ticket holder receives an additional five million dollars at a section **814** because the third distribution minus the second distribution equals fifty percent. In one embodiment, the ticket holder in the highest price category receives the distribution associated with the highest price category minus the next highest distribution with an inter sharing distribution. Intra sharing distribution may occur in this remainder. Alternative embodiments will allow for different methodologies for calculating the remainder.

FIG. 9 illustrates a probabilistic lottery system **900**. The multiple priced shared lottery system **200** can be used in conjunction with the probabilistic lottery system **900**. A jackpot guarantor **902** assumes the risk that would normally not exist in a pure pari-mutuel lottery or might be assumed in whole or in part by the lottery operator **920**. In one embodiment, the jackpot guarantor **902** is a private organization other than a jurisdiction. In another embodiment, the jackpot guarantor is a publicly held company other than a jurisdiction. The jackpot guarantor **902** establishes a predetermined jackpot **940**. In one embodiment, the predetermined jackpot **204** is a very large prize that will entice ticket holders **108** that would not normally purchase a lottery ticket to do so. The lottery operator **920** can advertise the predetermined jackpot **204** in order to stimulate and increase ticket sales. In one embodiment, the predetermined jackpot **940** is unfunded. Instead, the jackpot guarantor **902** sets the predetermined jackpot **940** at an amount that is large enough so that there is a probability that the allocable prize portion of ticket sales will equal or exceed the predetermined jackpot **940**. If the allocable prize portion of ticket sales is less than the predetermined jackpot **940**, the jackpot guarantor **902** assumes the risk for paying the differential between the ticket sales and the pre determined jackpot **930**.

In one embodiment, the jackpot guarantor **902** provides a guarantee to the lottery operator **920**. In one embodiment, the guarantee provides that the jackpot guarantor **902** assumes the risk for paying the predetermined jackpot if the allocable prize portion of ticket sales is not sufficient to cover the predetermined jackpot. In another embodiment, the guarantee provides that the jackpot guarantor assumes the risk of paying a portion of the predetermined amount of any secondary prizes that are won to the extent that the allocable prize portion of ticket sales is not sufficient.

In one embodiment, the jackpot guarantor **902** provides the guarantee in exchange for a stipulation. In one embodiment, the stipulation includes an obligation by the lottery operator **920** to provide a percentage of revenue generated from future ticket sales in exchange for the guarantee. In another embodiment, the stipulation includes an obligation by the lottery operator **920** to provide a fee in exchange for the guarantee.

The lottery operator **920** receives payments for ticket sales from the point of sale **106**. Further, the lottery operator **920** receives ticket numbers from the tickets sold to the ticket holders **108** from the point of sale **906**. The lottery operator provides the ticket numbers to the winning number selector **910** to determine which are winning tickets.

In one embodiment, the jackpot guarantor **902** allocates the funds to the pre determined jackpot **940** pool. In one embodiment, the entity has set aside the large prize in a protected account to provide for payment. Therefore, the lottery operator can advertise a large prize because another entity actually has set aside the large prize.

FIG. 10 illustrates a probabilistic software configuration **1000** that can be used with the probabilistic lottery system in conjunction with the multiple pricing shared lottery system **200**. As can be seen from FIG. 10, the probabilistic software configuration **1000** includes software for establishing a guarantee for a predetermined lottery prize **940**. A guarantee transmission module **404** transmits the guarantee through a network **1008**. The network **1008** can be a wide area network, a local area network, the network, a wireless network, or any other network known to one of ordinary skill in the art. The guarantee transmission module **1004** transmits the guarantee in exchange for a stipulation. In one embodiment, the stipulation can be an obligation for a percentage of future ticket sales. A stipulation reception module **1006** receives the stipulation through the network **408**. In one embodiment, after the stipulation reception module **1006** receives the stipulation, the stipulation reception module **1006** transmits a confirmation that the stipulation was received to the guarantee transmission module **1004**.

A guarantee reception module **1010** receives the guarantee from the network **1008**. In one embodiment, upon receiving the guarantee, the guarantee reception module **1010** provides an instruction to a stipulation transmission module **1012**. The stipulation transmission module **1012** then sends the stipulation through the network **1008**. As discussed above, the stipulation reception module **1006** can receive the stipulation and send the confirmation to the guarantee transmission module **1004** that the guarantee has been sent and the stipulation, in exchange for which the guarantee was sent, has been received.

FIG. 11 illustrates a method **1100** for conducting a variable ratio based multiple pricing lottery system. The terms “variable” and “constant” will be explained in the following discussion.

In one embodiment, the multiple pricing system as discussed above can be implemented with a constant ratio based system. For example, a lottery player can purchase a one dollar ticket in the hope of winning a lottery distribution of ten million dollars. The lottery player can also purchase a two dollar ticket in the hope of winning a lottery distribution of twenty million dollars. A first association between the price category of one dollar and the distribution of ten million dollars can be the quotient of ten million divided by one, which equals ten million. Similarly, a second association between the price category of two dollars and the distribution of twenty million dollars can be the quotient of twenty million divided by two, which equals ten million. A constant ratio exists when the first association equals the second association. In one embodiment, a lottery player can purchase one two dollar ticket as opposed to two one dollar tickets to avoid having to purchase multiple tickets.

In one embodiment, the multiple pricing system as discussed above can be implemented to induce the purchase of higher priced lottery tickets. For example, a lottery player can purchase a one dollar ticket in the hope of winning a lottery distribution of ten million dollars. The lottery player can also purchase a two dollar ticket in the hope of winning a lottery distribution of thirty million dollars. The first association equals ten million (ten million divided by one) and the second association equals fifteen million (thirty million divided by two). A variable ratio exists because the first association does not equal the second association. In one embodiment, this variable ratio provides the lottery player with incentive to purchase a two dollar ticket. In one embodiment, the lottery ticket holder can purchase the two dollar ticket as opposed to two one dollar tickets because the potential distribution is greater by purchasing the two dollar ticket as opposed to the two one dollar tickets.

In one embodiment, the association is evaluated by dividing the total distribution by the associated price category. If multiple players share in that distribution, the association is still evaluated by dividing the total distribution by the associated price category. For instance, if two one dollar ticket holders win and share in the distribution of ten million dollars, the ten million dollars is the number that is divided by the price category (one dollar) to determine the first association. In another embodiment, a ticket holder in another price category (e.g., three dollar) shares the ten million dollar distribution with the winners in the first price category. Even in this situation, the ten million dollars is the number that is divided by the price category (one dollar) to determine the first association. In one embodiment, the potential distribution is the distribution that is divided by the price category to determine the association.

The method **1100** begins at a process block **1102** where a first price category is provided. A plurality of first price category lottery tickets can be purchased in the first price category. The method **1100** then advances to a process block **1104** where a first distribution is established. The first distribution can be won with the lottery tickets in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having a winning lottery number. The method **1100** next advances to a process block **1106** where a second price category is established. A plurality of second price category lottery tickets can be purchased in the second price category. Finally, the method **1100** advances to a process block **1108** where a second distribution is established so that a first association has a variable ratio with a second association.

FIG. 12 illustrates a graph **1200** for a constant ratio between associations. The graph **1200** illustrates the potential distribution on the y axis for a price category listed on the x axis. In one embodiment, a first point **1202** is plotted to illustrate that a potential distribution of ten million dollars can be won for a first price category of one dollar tickets. The lottery ticket purchaser in the first price category may not actually win the full ten million dollars if there are other winners in the first price category or other price categories for which the lottery ticket purchaser must share the distribution. The second point **1204** is plotted to illustrate that a potential distribution of twenty million dollars can be won for a second price category for two dollar tickets. Finally, the third point **1206** is plotted to illustrate that a potential distribution of thirty million dollars can be won for a third price category for three dollar tickets.

In order to determine a first association and a second association in the graph **1200**, any two of the plotted points can be chosen. For instance, the first point **1202** can be used to determine the first association. In one embodiment, the first potential distribution of ten million dollars is divided by the first price category of one dollar to result in the first association being ten million. The second point **1204** can be used to determine the second association. In one embodiment, the second potential distribution of twenty million dollars is divided by the second price category of two dollars to result in the second association being ten million. The second association minus the first association equals zero. In other words, the first association equals the second association. Therefore, a constant ratio exists between the first association and the second association. The graph **1200** illustrates this constant ratio by displaying a straight line between the first point **1202** and the second point **1204**.

Any two points in the graph **1200** can be used to determine the first association and the second association. For instance, the second point **1204** can be used to determine the first association and the third point **1206** can be used to determine the second association. In this instance, a constant ratio also exists between the first association and the second association. The first and the third points can also be used as the first and the second associations. Alternatively, the points can even be used backwards for associations. For instance, the third point can be the first association and the first point can be the second association. Similarly, the second point can be the first association and the first point can be the second association.

FIG. 13 illustrates a graph **1300** in which a variable ratio exists between at least two associations. A first point **1302** is plotted to illustrate a potential distribution of ten million dollars that can be won in the first price category. A second point **1304** is plotted to illustrate a potential distribution of twenty million dollars that can be won in the second price category. The first association is ten million (ten million dollars divided by the one dollar price category) and the second association is ten million (twenty million dollars divided by the two dollar price category). Therefore, a constant ratio exists between the first association and the second association.

In other words, an origin line **1308**, which connects the origin with the first point **1302**, has an equal slope to a first line **1310**, which connects the first point **1302** with the second point, **1304**. In one embodiment, the slope does not have to be identical but rather approximately the same to be considered a constant ratio.

However, a variable ratio exists between the first association and the second association when the reference points are the second point **1304** and a third point **1306**. The first association is ten million (ten million dollars divided by the one dollar price category) and the second association is twenty five million (fifty million dollars divided by the two dollar price category). The second association minus the first association equals fifteen million (twenty five million minus ten million). A variable ratio exists between the first association and the second association when the reference points are the second point **1304** and the third point **1306** because the second association minus the first association is a positive number. The variable ratio is depicted in the graph **1300** because a second line **1312** is displayed between the second point **1304** and the third point **1306**, which has a different slope than the origin line **1308** or the first line **1310**. In one embodiment, a variable ratio would exist between the first association and the second association if the second association minus the first association equals a negative number.

The entire graph may be but is not necessarily entirely constant. For instance, the graph **1300** depicts a constant ratio and a variable ratio. A purchaser of a lottery ticket is provided with an added incentive to purchase a lottery ticket when a variable ratio exists. For instance, the purchaser can purchase a one dollar ticket to potentially win ten million dollars. The purchaser could purchase two one dollar tickets or one two dollar ticket to potentially win twenty million dollars. In one embodiment, the purchaser receives a benefit in purchasing the two dollar ticket if the purchaser is not the sole winner and has to share the distribution. The two dollar ticket could potentially end up with a larger share than the two one dollar ticket winners according to the sharing formulae as discussed above. Whether a sole winner or a shared winner, the purchaser can win a potentially greater distribution by purchasing one three dollar ticket rather than purchasing three one dollar tickets. If the purchaser was the sole winner, the purchaser of the three dollar ticket could potentially win fifty million dollars. On the other hand, if that purchaser instead purchased three one dollar tickets, the purchaser could at most potentially win ten million dollars. Whether the purchaser has one one-dollar ticket that has a winning number or three one dollar tickets with winning numbers, the purchaser of the one dollar ticket can only win in the first price category. The purchaser would share winnings with himself if he or she had multiple one dollar tickets with winning numbers. Therefore, purchasers are more likely to purchase higher priced lottery tickets thereby leading to an increase in lottery ticket sales revenues.

FIG. 14 illustrates a graph **1400** in which two different variable ratios exist. A first point **1402** is plotted to illustrate a potential distribution of ten million dollars that can be won in the first price category. A second point **1404** is plotted to illustrate a potential distribution of thirty million dollars that can be won in the second price category. The first association is ten million (ten million dollars divided by the one dollar price category) and the second association is fifteen million (thirty million dollars divided by the two dollar price category). The second association minus the first association equals five million (fifteen million minus ten million). Therefore, a variable ratio exists between the first association and the second association. In addition, a variable ratio exists between the first association and the second association when the reference points are the second point **1404** and a third point **1406**. The first association is fifteen million (thirty million dollars divided by the two dollar price category) and the second association is twenty million (sixty million dollars divided by the three dollar price category). The second association minus the first association equals five million (twenty million minus fifteen million). These variable ratios are depicted in the graph **1400** because a first line **1410** is depicted between the first point **1402** and the second point **1404**, and a second line **1412** is depicted between the second point **1404** and the third point **1406**. The first line **1410** has a greater slope than an origin line **1408** that is depicted from the origin to the first point **1402** because there is more incentive for a purchaser of a ticket to purchase a two dollar ticket than a one dollar ticket. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the term “origin” refers to the point on a graph that has an x-coordinate of zero and a y-coordinate of zero. Further, the second line **1412** has a greater slope than the first line **1410**, thereby illustrating that a purchaser of a ticket has more incentive to purchase a three dollar ticket than a two dollar ticket.

In one embodiment, the potential distributions are not limited to specific ratios. For instance, the potential distributions can be established according to a constant ratio, a variable ratio, or a combination of a constant ratio and a variable ratio.

FIG. 15 illustrates a lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500**. The different embodiments discussed above can be implemented with the use of the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500**, which can be positioned at various point of sale locations. The lottery ticket dispensing machine has a housing **1502** which stores the internal components of the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500**. In addition, the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500** also has a user input device **1504** on which a user can input data for the sale of a lottery ticket. For instance, the vendor can input one of the different price categories in the multi-priced lottery system.

The price category that the vendor enters can be displayed on a screen **1508** of a display **1506**. In one embodiment, the display **1506** is a graphical user interface. In another embodiment, the display **1506** displays data other than the price categories.

The vendor can then sell tickets in the respective price categories. When a purchaser would like to purchase a lottery ticket, the vendor enters the purchase information into the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500** via the user input device **1504**. In one embodiment, the user input device is a keyboard. In another embodiment, the user input device is operated by using a computer mouse. In an alternate embodiment, the user input device is a touch screen. In yet another embodiment, the user input device is voice activated. In an alternative embodiment, the display **1506** displays the purchased information that is entered via the user input device **1504**.

In one embodiment, the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500** has a payment reception module (not shown) that receives a payment for the purchase of a lottery ticket. In another embodiment, the payment reception module receives an electronic payment.

After the vendor inputs the data needed to sell a ticket from one of the selected price categories, a ticket **1512** is printed from a lottery ticket printer **1510**. In one embodiment, the ticket printer **1510** is housed within the housing **1502**. In another embodiment, the lottery ticket printer **1510** is positioned outside of the housing **1502** and is operably connected to the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500**. In yet another embodiment, the lottery ticket printer **1510** receives data from the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500** through a wireless connection.

FIG. 16 illustrates the internal components of the housing **1502** of the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500**. The housing **1502** houses a controller **1604**, a price category reception module **1606**, a user input module **1608**, and a lottery ticket printer **1610**. The controller **1604** coordinates the operation of these internal components.

The price category reception module **1606** receives the different price categories in which lottery tickets can be purchased in the multi-priced lottery system. In one embodiment, the price category reception module receives the different price categories and the associated distributions for each of the respective price categories. In one embodiment, a vendor can manually input the different price categories into the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500**. In another embodiment, the vendor can electronically input the different price categories into the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500** by inserting a computer readable medium into the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500**. In yet another embodiment, the price category reception module **1606** receives the data related to the price category reception module from a server through a network.

In one embodiment, the user input module **1608** receives a user input from the user input device **1504**. The user input module **1608** communicates with the controller **1504** SO that the controller can provide an instruction to the lottery ticket printer **1610** to print the lottery ticket.

FIG. 17 illustrates a configuration in which the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500** communicates with a server **1702** to receive a price category and the associated distribution of the price category. The price category and the associated distribution can be determined according to the multi-priced lottery as a variable ratio or as a constant ratio as discussed above. The internal components housed within the housing **1602** are once again illustrated. The server **1702** provides a price category through a network **1704** to the price category reception module **1606** in the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500**. In one embodiment, multiple price categories are sent simultaneously with their associated distributions. In another embodiment, each price category is sent by itself with its associated distribution.

FIG. 18 illustrates a configuration in which the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500** communicates with a server **1702** to transmit a verification code. In one embodiment, the housing **1602** also houses a lottery ticket purchase transmission module **1802**. The lottery ticket purchase transmission module **1802** determines when a ticket has been purchased and transmits a verification code to a server **1806** through a network **1804**. Upon a lottery ticket winner winning a distribution, the lottery operator can verify that the ticket holder purchased a valid lottery ticket by confirming that the verification code printed on the ticket matches the verification code received by the server **1806**. In one embodiment, the lottery ticket printer **1610** prints the verification code on the ticket.

In another embodiment, the lottery ticket purchase transmission module transmits other data to the server **1806**. For instance, the price category of the purchased ticket can be transmitted. The lottery operator can then record how large a jackpot is increasing in order to advertise the size of the jackpot to the public.

In another embodiment, the server **1806** is the same server as the server **1702**. Therefore, the transmission of the price category and the reception of the verification code can be done by one server. In another embodiment, the server **1806** and the server **1702** are located at the same location. Therefore, the server **1702** and the server **1806** can more easily communicate with one another.

FIG. 19 illustrates a configuration in which a server **1902** sends data to the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500**. The server **1902** provides instructions to a price category module **1904** and to a price category transmission module **1906**. The price category module **1904** determines price categories and distributions according to a variable ratio or a constant ratio in a multi-priced lottery distribution as discussed above. The price category transmission module **1906** then transmits the price category and the associated distribution through the network **1704** to the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500**. In one embodiment, the price category reception module illustrated in FIG. 17 receives the price categories and associated distributions.

FIG. 20 illustrates a multi-priced distribution system. A first price category input module **2002** provides a first price category to a multi-priced distribution module **2006**. In addition, a second price category input module **2004** provides a second price category to the multi-priced distribution module **2006**. In one embodiment, the multi-priced distribution module **2006** calculates a variable ratio for a multi-priced lottery as discussed above. In another embodiment, the multi-priced distribution module **2006** calculates a constant ratio for a multi-priced lottery as discussed above. In yet another embodiment, the multi-priced distribution module **2006** calculates a variable ratio and a constant ratio for a multi-priced lottery as discussed above. In one embodiment, the first price category input module, the second price category input module, and the multi-priced distribution module are stored on a computing device. In another embodiment, the first price category input module, the second price category input module, and the multi-priced distribution module are stored on a server. In another embodiment, the first price category input module, the second price category input module, and the multi-priced distribution module are stored on a client computer. In yet another embodiment, the first price category input module, the second price category input module, and the multi-priced distribution module are stored on the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500**.

FIG. 21 illustrates a multi-priced lottery system configuration for intra-shared distributions. A first price category distribution module **2102** receives requests to distribute portions of the first distribution to lottery ticket holders in the first price category. If there are multiple lottery ticket holders in the first price category, the first price category distribution module **2102** sends a request to a first price category intra-shared distribution module **2108**, which distributes portions of the first distribution to the lottery ticket holders in the first price category.

A second price category distribution module **2104** receives requests to distribute portions of the second distribution to lottery ticket holders in the second price category. If there are multiple lottery ticket holders in the second price category, the second price category distribution module **2104** sends a request to a second price category intra-shared distribution module **2110**, which distributes portions of the second distribution to the lottery ticket holders in the second price category.

In one embodiment, a random number selection module **2106** randomly selects a winning lottery number. The random number selection module **2106** provides the winning lottery number to the first price category intrashared distribution module **2108**, and to the second price category distribution module **2110**.

FIG. 22 illustrates an inter-shared lottery distribution system **2200**, which encompasses the lottery distribution configuration of FIG. 21. If there are winners in both the first price category and the second price category, the first price category module **2102** sends a request to a divided first price category distribution module **2202** and the second price category module **2104** sends a request to a divided second price category distribution module **2204**. The divided first price distribution module **2202** and the second price distribution module **2204** provide requests to a first inter-shared distribution module **2206**. The first inter-shared distribution module **2206** calculates the inter-shared distribution according to the inter-shared distribution in the multi-priced lottery system discussed above.

FIG. 23 illustrates a lottery ticket dispensing system **2300**. The lottery ticket dispensing system **2300** includes a server **2302**, which is operably connected to a database **2304**. In one embodiment, the components of the inter-shared lottery distribution system **2200** are stored on the database **2304**. The server **2302** communicates with the lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500** through the network **1704** to provide price categories and associated distributions. In one embodiment, the server **2302** receives a verification code from lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500**. In another embodiment, the server **2302** receives statistical information regarding lottery ticket sales from lottery ticket dispensing machine **1500**.

FIG. 24 illustrates a virtual lottery system **2400**. In one embodiment, a server **2402** communicates with a first virtual lottery unit **2404**, a second virtual lottery unit **2406**, and a third virtual lottery unit **2408**. The server **2402** can communicate with these units through a network **2410** such as a Local Area Network (“LAN”), a Wide Area Network (“WAN”), the Internet, cable, satellite, etc. Alternatively, the server **2402** can be hardwired to the units.

In one embodiment, as players provide payment to enter a virtual lottery at one of the units, at least a portion of the payment is added to a jackpot **2412** stored in a memory **2414**. In one embodiment, the jackpot **2412** is a progressive jackpot where the advertised jackpot is increased with a percentage of virtual ticket sales revenue. Therefore, player can win a larger jackpot than initially advertised. In one embodiment, the jackpot is increased with a percentage of the revenue from each virtual ticket sold. In essence, a variable prize is offered with a progressive jackpot. The prize can increase with each ticket sale. Thus, an increase in ticket sales results in the jackpot increasing or progressing in value. In one embodiment, the prize increases with a portion of the virtual ticket sales. In another embodiment, the progressive jackpot can be divided among multiple winners located at multiple units. For example, in FIG. 24, the progressive jackpot **2412** can be shared among virtual units **2402**, **2406**, and **2408**. In one embodiment, a minimum amount of ticket sales is not required. The lottery prize can be a variable prize from the outset. A percentage of each ticket sale can be contributed to the variable prize jackpot.

Accordingly, when a player is considering entering a virtual lottery at the first virtual lottery unit **2404**, the server **2402** provides the size of the current jackpot, which has accumulated from other players at the second virtual lottery unit **2406** and the third virtual lottery unit **2408** at previous times, to the first virtual lottery unit **2404**. In one embodiment, the first virtual lottery unit **2404**, the second virtual lottery unit **2406**, and the third virtual lottery unit **2408** are all linked to one another. For instance, the server **2402** can provide updated jackpot information based on lottery wins and/or losses to the first virtual lottery unit **2404**, the second virtual lottery unit **2406**, and the third virtual lottery unit **2408**. Thus, the progressive jackpot will change in value according to the wins and/or losses between the players at first virtual lottery unit **2404**, the second virtual lottery unit **2406**, and the third virtual lottery unit **2408**. In another embodiment, the server **2402** is not needed to communicate the updated jackpot information because the virtual lottery units communicate with one another.

By having the virtual lottery units connected through a network, the progressive jackpot **2412** can build up more than in a paper based lottery. Players do not have the time constraints of having to wait for a lottery drawing. Further, players do not have to wait for selections of other players. Accordingly, the progressive jackpot can build up much more quickly through this type of configuration. The progressive jackpot can also build up in a similar manner if the virtual lottery units are linked to one another.

When the player at the first virtual lottery unit **2404** enters a virtual lottery, the player is essentially purchasing a virtual lottery ticket for a drawing in which that virtual lottery ticket is the only virtual lottery ticket that exists. Accordingly, the player can instantly determine if a winning virtual lottery-ticket has been purchased.

Similar to a regular lottery, the first virtual lottery unit **2404** provides the player with the opportunity to select a virtual lottery ticket number or to have the first virtual lottery unit **2404** randomly generate a “quick pick” for the player. The first virtual lottery unit **2404** then randomly selects the winning virtual lottery ticket numbers. Further, the first virtual lottery unit **2404** compares the virtual lottery ticket number to determine if the player won the virtual lottery. If the player won the virtual lottery, then a portion of the jackpot or the jackpot in its entirety is provided to the player and is deducted from the jackpot for future play. On the other hand, if the player does not win the virtual lottery, the jackpot is available to future players of the virtual lottery.

In another embodiment, the server **2402** randomly generates the winning virtual lottery ticket number. In yet another embodiment, the player selects the virtual lottery ticket number by entering the number of the virtual lottery ticket without having a quick pick option. In yet another embodiment, the player selects the virtual lottery ticket number by selecting the quick pick option and cannot manually enter the numbers of the virtual lottery tickets.

In one embodiment, the jackpot **2412** is probabilistic. In other words, a large amount is indicated as being the jackpot **2412** in order to induce the purchase of virtual lottery tickets regardless of whether sufficient sales of virtual lottery tickets have occurred to cover the jackpot **2412**. Accordingly, there is an increased likelihood that the sales of the virtual lottery tickets will suffice to cover the jackpot **2412** because players are more likely to purchase virtual lottery tickets for a large jackpot than for a low jackpot. In one embodiment, insurance is purchased as a guarantee that the jackpot will be paid in the event that the virtual lottery ticket sales are insufficient to cover the jackpot **2412**.

FIG. 25 illustrates the components of the first virtual lottery unit **2404**. In one embodiment, a number selection input **2502** receives a virtual lottery ticket number selected by the player. In one embodiment, the number selection input **2502** is a keypad that the player can utilize to manually enter the virtual lottery ticket number. In another embodiment, the number selection input **2502** is a touch screen on which the player can enter the virtual lottery ticket number. In yet another embodiment, the number selection input **2502** is a voice recognition system through which the player can vocally provide the virtual lottery ticket number. In yet another embodiment, the player can enter a command for a quick pick so that the first virtual lottery unit **2404** randomly generates the virtual lottery number.

In one embodiment, the first virtual lottery unit **2404** has a random number generator **2504**. In one embodiment, the random number generator **2504** randomly generates the winning virtual lottery number. In another embodiment, the random number generator **2504** randomly generates a quick pick virtual lottery number. In yet another embodiment, the random number generator **2504** both randomly generates the winning virtual lottery number and the quick pick number. In another embodiment, the server **2402** has a random number generator that randomly generates the winning virtual lottery number while the random number generator **2504** in the virtual lottery unit **2404** randomly generates the quick pick number.

In one embodiment, the first virtual lottery unit **2404** has a lottery unit processor that coordinates the various operations of the first virtual lottery unit **2404**. For instance, the lottery unit processor **2506** receives the virtual lottery number from the number selection input **2502** that was selected by the player. The lottery unit processor **2506** can then store the virtual lottery number in a memory **2414**. In addition, the lottery unit processor **2506** receives the winning virtual lottery number from the random number generator **2504** and stores the winning virtual lottery number in the memory **2414**. The lottery unit processor **2506** then retrieves the virtual lottery number in the memory **2414**. The lottery unit processor **2506** then retrieves the virtual lottery number to compare the two numbers. If the two numbers are the same in entirety, then the player wins a known percentage of the virtual lottery prize. If subsets of the two numbers are the same, then the player wins a secondary prize which is a fixed prize.

In one embodiment, a communication controller **2510** in the virtual lottery unit **2404** communicates with the server **2402**. The communication controller **2510** receives data such as the value of the jackpot. The communication controller **2510** can store this value on the memory **2414** so that the lottery unit processor **2506** can compute a known percentage of the jackpot that can be won by the player. In another embodiment, the lottery unit processor **2506** communicates with the communication controller **2510** after data is received by the communication controller **2510** from the memory **2414**. The lottery unit processor **2506** then stores the data in the memory **2414**.

In one embodiment, a payment acceptor **2512** accepts payment for a virtual lottery ticket. The lottery unit processor **2506** stores the amount provided by the player. In one embodiment, the payment acceptor **2512** is a bill acceptor that accepts paper currency. In another embodiment, the payment acceptor **2512** is a coin acceptor that accepts coins for payment. In yet another embodiment, the payment acceptor accepts cashless payment. Various forms of cashless can include a credit card, smart card, stored value card purchased at a kiosk, stored value card received in a promotion, code such as number that is printed on a ticket, etc.

The first virtual lottery unit **2404** can be implemented in a number of different combinations. Any type of computing device, such as a personal computer, can be utilized. Further, various displays can be operably attached or integrated into the first virtual lottery unit **2404** to provide the player with data such as the jackpot value, known percentages of the jackpot that can be won according to respective virtual lottery ticket prizes, the virtual lottery ticket, and the winning virtual lottery number. Other embodiments may provide displays with other pertinent information.

FIGS. 26A-26D illustrate the contents of the memory **2414** as data is received from the server **2402**. One or more displays operably connected to or operably integrated into the first virtual lottery unit **2404** to provide the player with data such as the jackpot value, known percentages of the jackpot that can be won according to respective virtual lottery ticket prices, the virtual lottery ticket, and the winning virtual lottery number. Other embodiments may provide displays with other pertinent information.

FIGS. 26A-26E illustrate the contents of the memory **2414** as data is received from the server **2402**. One or more displays operably connected to or operably integrated into the virtual lottery unit **2404** can display these contents.

FIG. 26A illustrates the memory **2414** containing a plurality of virtual lottery ticket prices and a plurality of known percentages **2604** of the jackpot. In one embodiment, each of the known percentages **2604** corresponds to one of the virtual lottery ticket prices **2602**. For instance, a purchase of a one dollar virtual lottery ticket can provide the player with the ability to win twenty five percent of the jackpot. Similarly, a purchase of a two dollar ticket can provide the player with the ability to win fifty percent of the jackpot. Finally, a purchase of the three dollar ticket can provide the player with the ability to win one hundred percent of the jackpot.

The player has more inducement to purchase the three dollar ticket than the one dollar ticket or the two dollar ticket because the player can win a larger portion of the jackpot. The player is actually eligible to win a larger percentage of the jackpot by purchasing one three dollar ticket as opposed to three one dollar tickets. Therefore, over an extended period of time, players are more likely to purchase higher-priced tickets rather than lower-priced tickets, thereby creating higher revenues.

In one embodiment, the player can purchase a plurality of virtual lottery tickets for a single virtual lottery drawing. For instance, the player can purchase a one dollar virtual lottery ticket and a three dollar virtual lottery ticket, each having different virtual lottery ticket numbers. Accordingly, the player increases the odds at winning that particular virtual lottery drawing by having multiple different virtual lottery ticket numbers. The player can also purchase multiple virtual lottery tickets for the same drawing. For instance, the player can purchase two three dollar virtual lottery tickets. On the other hand, the player may choose to enter different drawings.

In one embodiment, the player can select the virtual lottery ticket number for some of the virtual lottery tickets and can have quick picks of the virtual lottery tickets for other virtual lottery tickets in the same drawing. Accordingly, additional interest in playing the lottery is provided because the player can have a mixture of some of the player's own selections of virtual lottery ticket numbers and the random number generator's selection of virtual lottery ticket numbers.

The various choices that the player is given provide further inducement to play the virtual lottery more frequently and to purchase higher priced virtual lottery tickets. The player is given an opportunity to purchase differently priced tickets to win various percentages of the jackpot **2412** and/or secondary prizes, and to increase the odds at winning a percentage of the jackpot **2412** or a secondary prize by purchasing multiple virtual lottery tickets.

Different percentages than the percentages illustrated may be utilized. Further, different virtual lottery ticket prices than the virtual lottery ticket prices illustrated may also be utilized. A different number of virtual lottery ticket prices and a different number of corresponding jackpot percentages may also be utilized. Further, the virtual lottery ticket prices **2602** and the percentages **2604** of the jackpot may be updated by the server **2404**. Alternatively, the virtual lottery ticket prices **2602** and the percentages **2604** of the jackpot may be permanently stored in the memory **2414** such as if the memory **2414** is a read only memory.

FIG. 26B illustrates the memory **2414** depicted in FIG. 26A with a jackpot value **2606** and a plurality of jackpot distributions **2610**. In one embodiment, the jackpot value **2606** is received from the server **2404**. As players at other virtual lottery units **2406** and **2408** win or lose, the jackpot value **2606** is increased or decreased. The server **2402** stores the current value of the jackpot. Once the virtual lottery unit **2404** receives the jackpot value **2606**, the virtual lottery unit **2404** can calculate the percentage values **2610** corresponding to the virtual lottery ticket prices **2602**. For instance, the one dollar virtual lottery ticket holder can win two hundred fifty thousand dollars. The two dollar virtual lottery ticket holder can win five hundred thousand dollars. Finally, the three dollar virtual lottery ticket holder can win one million dollars.

In another embodiment, the jackpot value **2606** is based on a probabilistic model rather than a strictly pari-mutuel model. For instance, the jackpot value **2606** will initially be a guaranteed large prize prior to any sales of virtual lottery tickets. Accordingly, more players will be induced to purchase virtual lottery tickets because they do not have to wait for a significant number of virtual lottery ticket sales in order for the jackpot value **2606** to become large. A third party entity can provide insurance so that the situations in which players happen to win virtual lotteries where the virtual lottery ticket sales are not significant enough to be greater than or equal to the jackpot value **2606** are provided for. A portion or all of virtual lottery ticket sales that exceed the guaranteed prize amount can be added to the jackpot value **2606**.

In one embodiment, the virtual lottery unit **2404** calculates the jackpot distribution **2610** after receiving the jackpot value **2606** from the server **2402**. For instance, the virtual lottery unit processor **2506** (FIG. 25) can perform the calculation. In another embodiment, the server **2402** performs the calculation and sends the result to the virtual lottery unit **2404**.

FIG. 26C illustrates the virtual lottery ticket price **2602** depicted in FIG. 26A with the addition of a secondary prize. In one embodiment, a secondary prize is a fixed prize. By the term fixed prize, the same prize will be provided irrespective of virtual lottery ticket sales at other virtual lottery units. In other words, the fixed prize is not increased or decreased according to virtual lottery ticket sales. The fixed prize may be accumulated according to a probabilistic or a pari-mutuel model.

In one embodiment, if the virtual lottery ticket number is not the same in entirety as the winning virtual lottery ticket number, the player cannot win the percentage of the jackpot value **2606** associated with virtual lottery ticket price of the virtual lottery ticket purchased. However, the player can still win a secondary prize if a subset of the virtual lottery ticket number equals a subset of the winning virtual lottery ticket number.

In one embodiment, the secondary prize is a fixed prize that is the same across virtual lottery prices. For instance, if the player has virtual lottery ticket number that has a subset of the winning virtual lottery ticket number, the player wins a fixed prize distribution **2612** of, for example, thirty thousand dollars regardless of the amount that the player purchased the virtual lottery ticket for.

FIG. 26D illustrates an embodiment in which the secondary prize is a fixed prize that can be won according to a known percentage configuration. In one embodiment, the percentage configuration is the same as that associated with the virtual lottery ticket prices for winning a percentage of the jackpot. For instance, if the fixed prize is one hundred thousand dollars, a virtual lottery player with a virtual lottery ticket number that has a match which is a subset of the full match may win a known percentage **2604** associated with price of the virtual lottery ticket purchased. For example, a player that purchases a one-dollar virtual lottery ticket can win a known twenty five percent of one hundred thousand dollars, which is twenty five thousand dollars. A player that purchases a two-dollar virtual lottery ticket can win fifty percent of one hundred thousand dollars, which is fifty thousand dollars. Finally, a player that purchases a three-dollar virtual lottery ticket can win one hundred percent of one hundred thousand dollars, which is one hundred thousand dollars.

In one embodiment, each of the percentages of the fixed prize can vary according to the quality of the match. For instance, in the above example, if the player had a match that had all of the numbers of the winning virtual lottery number except for one, the player could win twenty-five percent of the fixed prize. If the player had a match that had all of the numbers of the winning virtual lottery number except for two, the player could win twenty percent of the fixed prize. In other words, the percentage of the fixed prize associated with a virtual lottery ticket price can be smaller for virtual lottery ticket numbers that have a smaller subset of the winning virtual lottery number.

FIG. 26E illustrates an embodiment in which the fixed prize distribution is based on a percentage configuration other than that of the progressive jackpot configuration. In one embodiment, higher percentages are utilized for higher priced virtual lottery tickets. For instance, the known fixed prize percentages **2608** can be thirty percent for the first lottery ticket price, sixty percent for the second lottery ticket price, and one hundred percent for the third lottery ticket price. As a result, a series of fixed prize distributions **2612** can be made. For instance, a thirty thousand dollar distribution can be made for the one-dollar virtual lottery ticket, a sixty thousand dollar distribution can be made for the two-dollar virtual lottery ticket, and a one hundred thousand dollar distribution can be made for the three-dollar virtual lottery ticket.

FIG. 27 illustrates the virtual lottery unit **2404**. The virtual lottery unit has a jackpot display **2703** that indicates the current progressive jackpot value. In one embodiment, the server **2402** sends the jackpot value to the virtual lottery unit for display on a progressive jackpot display **2703**. The virtual lottery unit also has a virtual lottery price display **2702** that displays prices for virtual lottery tickets and associated known percentages for each of the virtual lottery ticket prices. An indication is also provided as to whether a virtual lottery ticket is for a fixed prize. For instance, a one-dollar virtual lottery ticket may be purchased to potentially win a fixed prize of one hundred thousand dollars. A two-dollar virtual lottery ticket may be purchased to potentially win twenty-five percent of the jackpot for a possible two hundred fifty thousand dollars. In addition, a three-dollar virtual lottery ticket may be purchased to potentially win one hundred percent of the jackpot for a possible one million dollars.

A plurality of price selection inputs **2704** are provided so that the player can select the virtual lottery ticket that the player would like to purchase. For instance, the player can press the one-dollar button if the player would like to purchase the one-dollar virtual lottery ticket to potentially win the fixed prize of one hundred thousand dollars. Further, the player can press the two-dollar button if the player would like to purchase the two-dollar virtual lottery ticket to potentially win twenty five percent of the jackpot. In addition, the player can press the three-dollar button if the player would like to purchase the three-dollar virtual lottery ticket to potentially win one hundred percent of the jackpot.

The player can enter a selection of a virtual lottery ticket number through an input module **2706**. In one embodiment, the input module **2706** is a keypad. In another embodiment, the input module **2706** is a touch screen. Alternatively, the player can press a quick pick button **2708** to have the virtual lottery unit **2404** select the virtual lottery ticket number for the player. The player can press a virtual lottery initiation button **2710** to being lottery play. Further, the payment module **2712** receives one of the various forms of payment described above.

In one embodiment, the virtual lottery unit **2402** has the plurality of buttons illustrated, such as the input module **2706** and the quick pick button **2708**, to determine the virtual lottery ticket number. In another embodiment, a menu is provided that provides the player with the ability to make a choice of a manual selection or of a quick pick selection of the virtual lottery ticket number. The menu can be provided on a computerized display such as a liquid crystal display or a plasma display.

In one embodiment, the player can choose a first known percentage that is distinct from a second known percentage in which to purchase a virtual lottery ticket. The first known percentage is associated with a first price of a virtual lottery ticket, and the second known percentage is associated with a second price of a virtual lottery ticket.

FIG. 28 illustrates a process **2800** for the operating the virtual lottery. At a process block **2802**, a selection of a virtual lottery ticket price is received. A determination of the potential distribution of the jackpot that can be won is then determined at a process block **2804**. If the lottery ticket price is associated with a percentage of the jackpot, the percentage of the current jackpot is calculated and displayed to the player. In one embodiment, this calculation is performed and displayed for all of the price categories prior to the player's selection at the process block **2802**. A calculation is not needed for the fixed prize as the fixed prize does not change. At a process block **2806**, the player selects a virtual lottery ticket number. The player can manually enter the virtual lottery ticket number through the input module **2706** on the virtual lottery machine. In an alternative embodiment, the player can choose the quick pick button to have the virtual lottery unit **2404** randomly generated the virtual lottery ticket number for the player. At a process block **2808**, the winning virtual lottery ticket number is generated. In one embodiment, the virtual lottery unit generates the winning virtual lottery ticket number. In another embodiment, the server generates the winning virtual lottery ticket number.

At a process block **2810**, a comparison is made between virtual lottery ticket number and the winning virtual lottery ticket number. In one embodiment, the virtual lottery unit **2404** performs this comparison. In another embodiment, the server performs this comparison. At a process block **2812**, a determination is made if the virtual lottery ticket number equals the winning virtual lottery ticket number. If the virtual lottery ticket number equals the winning virtual lottery number, the process **2300** proceeds to a process block **2814** where the winner is provided with the percentage of the jackpot associated with the virtual lottery ticket price. Alternatively, if the virtual lottery ticket price is associated with a fixed prize, the winner is provided with the fixed prize. The process **2300** then proceeds to the end block **2816**. If the virtual lottery ticket number does not equal the winning virtual lottery number, the process **2300** proceeds to the end block **2816**.

FIG. 29 illustrates a process **2900** for the operating the virtual lottery. At a process block **2902**, a selection of a virtual lottery ticket price is received. A determination of the potential distribution of the jackpot that can be won is then determined at a process block **2904**. If the lottery ticket price is associated with a percentage of the jackpot, the percentage of the current jackpot is calculated and displayed to the player. In one embodiment, this calculation is performed and displayed for all of the price categories prior to the player's selection at the process block **2802**. A calculation is not needed for the fixed prize as the fixed prize does not change. At a process block **2906**, the player a virtual lottery ticket number is randomly selected. In one embodiment, a quick pick is utilized to randomly select the virtual lottery ticket number. The player can manually enter the virtual lottery ticket number through the input module **2706** on the virtual lottery machine. In an alternative embodiment, the player can choose the quick pick button to have the virtual lottery unit **2404** randomly generated the virtual lottery ticket number for the player. At a process block **2908**, the winning virtual lottery ticket number is generated. In one embodiment, the virtual lottery unit generates the winning virtual lottery ticket number. In another embodiment, the server generates the winning virtual lottery ticket number.

At a process block **2910**, a comparison is made between virtual lottery ticket number and the winning virtual lottery ticket number. In one embodiment, the virtual lottery unit **2404** performs this comparison. In another embodiment, the server performs this comparison. At a process block **2912**, a determination is made if the virtual lottery ticket number equals the winning virtual lottery ticket number. If the virtual lottery ticket number equals the winning virtual lottery number, the process **2300** proceeds to a process block **2914** where the winner is provided with the percentage of the jackpot associated with the virtual lottery ticket price. Alternatively, if the virtual lottery ticket price is associated with a fixed prize, the winner is provided with the fixed prize. The process **2300** then proceeds to the end block **2916**. If the virtual lottery ticket number does not equal the winning virtual lottery number, the process **2300** proceeds to the end block **2916**.

In one embodiment, the inter-sharing and intrasharing methodologies discussed above can be implemented in the virtual lottery. For instance, if two players at different virtual lottery units happen to win a jackpot at the same time, the two players may intra-share if they purchased virtual lottery tickets for the same price or may inter-share if they purchased virtual lottery tickets for different prices. If multiple players win at the same time, the players may inter share across price categories and may intra share within the same price category.

FIG. 30 illustrates a virtual lottery system **3000** with a progressive jackpot **3012** wherein the advertised jackpot is increased based on a portion of ticket sale revenue. The lottery system **3000** depicted in FIG. 30 is the lottery system depicted in FIG. 24 with a jackpot that is illustrated as being progressive.

Because the lottery system of FIG. 30 utilizes a progressive jackpot, the ticket holder can win a larger jackpot than initially advertised. In one embodiment, the jackpot is increased with a portion of the revenue from each virtual lottery ticket sold.

In one embodiment, the server **2402** communicates with the first virtual lottery unit **2404**, the second virtual lottery unit **2406**, and the third virtual lottery unit **2408**. As players provide payment to enter a virtual lottery at one of the units, at least a portion of the payment is added to a progressive jackpot **3012** stored in the memory **2414**. This networking capability between several virtual lottery units allows each of the several units to access a single progressive jackpot **3012**. Thus, the progressive jackpot **3012** can be shared among virtual units **2404**, **2406**, and **2408**. In one embodiment, a minimum amount of ticket sales is not required. The lottery prize can be a variable prize from the outset. A percentage of each ticket sale can be contributed to the progressive jackpot.

In another embodiment, a fixed amount of money is added to the jackpot for each ticket sold regardless of the value of the ticket. This makes the progressive jackpot increase in direct proportion to the number of tickets sold.

By having the virtual lottery units connected through the network **2410**, the progressive jackpot **3012** can build up based on the quantity and the utilization of the virtual lottery units. Players do not have the time constraints of having to wait for a lottery drawing as in traditional lottery game. Further, players do not have to wait for selections of other players. Accordingly, the progressive jackpot can build up quickly through this type of configuration. The progressive jackpot **3012** can also build up in a similar manner if the virtual lottery units are linked to one another.

In one embodiment, the virtual lottery ticket is associated with a percentage of the progressive jackpot **3012** based on the virtual lottery ticket price. For example, a player with a one-dollar ticket could win twenty-five percent of the progressive jackpot, a player with a two-dollar ticket could win fifty percent of the progressive jackpot, and a player with a three-dollar ticket could win one hundred percent of the progressive jackpot. Consequently, the percentage of the possible jackpot winnings associated with each ticket price can vary. This gives a player purchasing a virtual lottery ticket at a lower price the benefit of participating in a jackpot where other players purchasing a virtual lottery ticket at higher prices are contributing even more to the progressive jackpot. For example, a player with a one-dollar ticket has an associated percentage of the progressive jackpot that the player can win, and a player with a two-dollar ticket or a three-dollar ticket also has an associated percentage of the progressive jackpot the player can win. If the one-dollar ticket holder wins, the one-dollar ticket holder benefits from the portion of the ticketed sales revenue contributed by the two-dollar ticket and the three-dollar ticket to the progressive jackpot. In essence, multiple levels of participation are allowed in a progressive jackpot. Even though the one-dollar ticket holder is limited to winning a lesser percentage, for example, twenty-five percent, the one-dollar ticket holder can benefit from the jackpot prize becoming large.

If the majority of potential ticket holders are induced to purchase three-dollar tickets, the potential ticket holders that can only afford to purchase a one-dollar ticket are still provided with an incentive to participate in the lottery because these ticket holders may still win a portion of a progressive jackpot **3012** that can potentially grow quite large. The growth of the progressive jackpot **3012** is particularly enhanced with the percentage contribution from the higher priced tickets and relatively high starting jackpots resulting from probability-based third-party prize guarantees, as compared with the more traditional pari-mutuel lottery model. The potential ticket holders that can afford the more expensive virtual tickets through the virtual lottery machine are even further induced to purchase tickets that are more expensive. As stated previously, lottery players have an incentive to buy three-dollar tickets because the more expensive tickets carry a greater distribution percentage. With a progressive jackpot, players have an even greater incentive to buy tickets that are more expensive because the jackpot keeps increasing and the potential distribution grows larger.

Furthermore, when a multiple pricing scheme is utilized, players are further encouraged to buy virtual lottery tickets. In traditional lotteries, when the jackpot is won, the next game starts anew with a starting-level jackpot that is generally low. When a multiple pricing scheme is utilized, however, the jackpot is on average maintained at higher levels than without a multiple pricing scheme.

That is, following the selection of a winning number, the jackpot is reduced for ongoing games only if the winner was the purchaser of a three-dollar virtual lottery ticket. If the player with a one-dollar virtual lottery ticket was the winner, such winner would win only twenty-five percent of the jackpot, and the remaining seventy-five percent would carry over for continuing play. Similarly, if the winner was a purchaser of a two-dollar virtual lottery ticket, such winner would only win fifty percent of the jackpot, and the balance of fifty percent would be carried over for continuing play. As contrasted with the foregoing, which results from the multiple pricing scheme and pre-determined percentage allocations for the multiple-priced virtual lottery game, as described herein, in the case of single-priced virtual lottery game or single-priced participation in a progressive jackpot, or with traditional single-priced online lottery games, any winner qualifies for the entire jackpot and, accordingly, the jackpot for continuing play is reduced down to the minimum level. At this minimum level, the lower jackpot is less likely to induce a volume of play consistent with the volume anticipated from the higher average jackpots that would result from both the effect of the jackpot-retention feature described above with the multiple pricing configuration, as well as with the higher starting jackpot levels permitted through the contemplated probability-based third-party prize guarantee structure that is contemplated.

In essence, a rollover is provided when no players win the jackpot, and a limited rollover is provided even when there is a winner, as long as the winner has a lower level denomination priced ticket. Accordingly, the jackpot is on average at a significant level that can induce ticket holders to purchase lottery tickets. This is in contrast to traditional lotteries, which do not have the limited rollover and thereby have jackpots that fall to minimum levels which do not induce potential lottery ticket holders to purchase lottery tickets.

A multiple pricing scheme entails multiple players having multiple levels of participation. Players at lower levels of participation only win a portion of the jackpot but not the complete jackpot. For example, if a one-dollar virtual lottery ticket holder wins, the progressive jackpot distribution can be twenty-five percent of the progressive jackpot leaving seventy-five percent of the progressive jackpot for subsequent players. In addition, the progressive jackpot continues to increase as new virtual lottery tickets are purchased.

Similarly, if a two-dollar virtual lottery ticket holder wins, the progressive jackpot distribution can be fifty percent of the progressive jackpot, leaving the other fifty percent of the progressive jackpot for subsequent players. Again, the progressive jackpot continues to increase. Only when a three-dollar virtual lottery ticket holder wins does the progressive jackpot distribution reach one hundred percent. As such, it is only then when a progressive jackpot starts anew at starting minimum levels.

As it is well known in the art, higher jackpots attract more players to the game. A virtual lottery that has both, a progressive jackpot that continuously grows with the virtual ticket sales, and a multiple-level pricing scheme, maintains the average progressive jackpot at higher amounts. Higher average progressive jackpots further induce play and increase ticket sales revenue.

FIG. 31A illustrates the memory **2414** containing a plurality of virtual lottery ticket prices and a plurality of known percentages of a progressive jackpot **3012**. In one embodiment, percentage **3108** corresponds to a virtual lottery ticket price **3102** providing a one-dollar virtual lottery ticket holder with the ability to win twenty-five percent of the progressive jackpot **3012**. Percentage **3104** corresponds to a virtual lottery ticket price **3110** providing a two-dollar virtual lottery ticket holder with the ability to win fifty percent of the progressive jackpot **3012**. Percentage **3106** corresponds to a virtual lottery ticket price **3112** providing a three-dollar virtual lottery ticket holder with the ability to win one hundred percent of the progressive jackpot **3012**.

In one embodiment, when the progressive jackpot **3012** is initiated, the progressive jackpot **3012** may start with an arbitrary amount, such as one million dollars. In another embodiment, the progressive jackpot **3012** can start with a much higher amount based on an expectation of play and the odds of the game, reflecting a probability-based model and third-party prize guarantee. Such guarantee enables the lottery guarantor to avoid the risk associated with the higher starting jackpot.

The progressive jackpot distribution for each virtual lottery ticket holder varies according to the virtual lottery ticket price and the corresponding percentage. Based on distribution percentages **3112**, **3110** and **3108**, winning one-dollar virtual lottery ticket holders will receive a progressive jackpot distribution value **3118** of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Similarly, winning two-dollar virtual lottery ticket holders will receive a progressive jackpot distribution value **3116** of five hundred thousand dollars. Finally, winning three-dollar virtual lottery ticket holders will receive a progressive jackpot distribution value **3114** of one million dollars.

As the progressive jackpot continues to grow, players have more incentive to continue to buy virtual lottery tickets because the prize that each player can win also grows in proportion to the increase of the progressive jackpot **3012**.

In one embodiment, the inter-sharing and intrasharing methodologies discussed above can be implemented in a virtual lottery that uses a progressive jackpot **3012**. For instance, if two players at different virtual lottery units happen to win a progressive jackpot at the same time, the two players may intra-share if they purchased virtual lottery tickets for the same price or may inter-share if they purchased virtual lottery tickets for different prices. The distributions that the two players inter share and intra share would be based on the progressive jackpot **3012**. If multiple players win at the same time, the players may inter share across price categories and may intra share within the same price category. The distributions that the multiple players inter share and intra share may be also based on the progressive jackpot **3012**.

FIG. 31B illustrates the memory **3014** containing a plurality of virtual lottery ticket prices and a plurality of known percentages of a progressive jackpot **3012** that has increased. In one embodiment, a percentage of the virtual lottery ticket price is contributed to the progressive jackpot **3012**. As a result, virtual lottery tickets that are more expensive contribute more to the progressive jackpot **3012** than the less expensive virtual lottery tickets. For example, if the contributed percentage were thirty-three percent, a three-dollar virtual lottery ticket would contribute one dollar to that progressive jackpot **3012**. By contrast, a one-dollar virtual lottery ticket would contribute thirty-three cents. Therefore, the three-dollar virtual lottery ticket contributes sixty-seven cents more than the one-dollar virtual lottery ticket. However, if he wins, the one-dollar virtual lottery ticket holder may still benefit from the extra sixty-seven cents contributed by the revenue of the three-dollar virtual lottery ticket sale.

In one embodiment, the progressive jackpot **3012** can increase from one million dollars to, for example, one million four hundred thousand dollars. This increase can be the accumulation of the contributions from sales revenue of one-dollar virtual lottery tickets, two-dollar virtual lottery tickets, and three-dollar virtual lottery tickets. With a twenty-five percent distribution **3108**, a winning one-dollar virtual lottery ticket holder will receive a progressive jackpot distribution **3120** equal to three hundred and fifty thousand dollars. In comparison to the initial progressive jackpot distribution **3118** of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, the progressive jackpot distribution **3120** is higher as result of the value increase of the progressive jackpot **3012**. The progressive jackpot **3012** in turn increased by contribution of one-dollar, two-dollar and three-dollar virtual lottery tickets. Therefore, the one-dollar virtual lottery ticket holder also benefits from the contributions of the two-dollar and three-dollar virtual lottery ticket sales revenue, as well as from other one-dollar ticket purchases.

Likewise, with a fifty percent distribution **3110**, a winning two-dollar virtual lottery ticket holder will receive a progressive jackpot distribution **3122** of seven hundred thousand dollars. In comparison to the initial progressive jackpot distribution **3116** of five hundred thousand dollars, the progressive jackpot distribution **3122** is higher as result of the value increase of the progressive jackpot **3012**. The progressive jackpot **3012** in turn increased by contribution of one-dollar, two-dollar and three-dollar virtual lottery tickets. Consequently, the two-dollar virtual lottery ticket holder also benefits from the contributions of one-dollar and three-dollar virtual lottery ticket sales revenue, as well as from other two-dollar ticket purchases.

Finally, a winning three-dollar virtual lottery ticket holder will receive a progressive jackpot distribution **3124** of one million four hundred thousand dollars. The three-dollar virtual lottery ticket holder also benefits from the contributions of one-dollar and two-dollar virtual lottery ticket sales revenue, as well as from other three-dollar ticket purchases. In another embodiment, the contributions from the sales of one-dollar virtual lottery tickets, two-dollar virtual lottery tickets, and three-dollar virtual lottery tickets can be equal. In other words, a fixed amount of money can be contributed per each virtual lottery ticket sold regardless of the virtual lottery ticket price. For example, ten cents can be contributed to the progressive jackpot **3012** per each virtual lottery ticket sold. Regardless of the virtual lottery ticket price, a winning virtual lottery ticket holder can benefit from the sales contributions of all virtual lottery tickets. Thus, one-dollar virtual lottery ticket holders would still potentially benefit from the contributions of one-dollar, two-dollar and three-dollar virtual lottery ticket sales. The same applies to two-dollar and three-dollar virtual lottery ticket holders.

FIG. 32 illustrates the virtual lottery unit **3004** for a progressive jackpot **3012**. The virtual lottery unit **3004** has a progressive jackpot display **3203** that indicates the current progressive jackpot value **3012**. In one embodiment, the server **3004** sends the progressive jackpot value **3012** to the virtual lottery unit **3004** for display on the progressive jackpot display **3203**. The virtual lottery unit **3004** also has a virtual lottery price display **3202** that displays prices for virtual lottery tickets and associated known percentages for each of the virtual lottery ticket prices. The distribution amount corresponding to each virtual lottery ticket price is also provided. For instance, a player that utilizes the virtual lottery unit **3004** is able to see that a ticket with a virtual lottery ticket price **3102** of one dollar has a percentage distribution **3108** of twenty-five percent. Since the progressive jackpot value **3012** is one million four hundred thousand dollars, the one-dollar progressive jackpot distribution **3120** is three hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Similarly, the player can see that a ticket with a virtual lottery ticket price **3104** of two dollars has a percentage distribution **3110** of fifty percent. Since the progressive jackpot value **3012** is one million four hundred thousand dollars, the two-dollar progressive jackpot distribution **3122** is seven hundred thousand dollars. Finally, the player can also see that a ticket with a virtual lottery ticket price **3106** of three dollars has a percentage distribution **3112** of one hundred percent. Since the progressive jackpot value **3012** is one million four hundred thousand dollars, the three-dollar progressive jackpot distribution **3124** is also one million four hundred thousand dollars.

In another embodiment, the progressive jackpot is sent to a plurality of virtual lottery units operably connected to the server **3004**. Each virtual lottery unit receives confirmation of the amount updated progressive jackpot from the server **3004**. The update occurs every time a virtual lottery ticket is purchased at any of the connected virtual lottery units. In another embodiment, the update occurs periodically.

In any of the above lottery or virtual lottery configurations, the player may be able to win a secondary prize by having a lottery number that has a subset that equals a subset of the winning lottery number. For instance, the player may choose six numbers, the first three of which are the same as the first three numbers of the winning lottery number. The player may then win a secondary prize. For instance, if the player purchased a one-dollar lottery ticket with a twenty-five percent maximum participation, the player may win half of the twenty-five percent distribution, or twelve and a half percent, as opposed to the full twenty five percent. Alternatively, the winner of a secondary prize may receive a fixed-dollar amount which may vary proportionately or disproportionately with the secondary prize applicable to tickets with alternative denominations and with such fixed secondary prize being based on the applicable ticket price. Thus, a three-dollar ticket winner may win a secondary prize that is three times or four times the amount won by a one-dollar ticket winner.

Other combinations of using a progressive jackpot exist. For example, the progressive jackpot may be available to two-dollar and three-dollar ticket holders only, while one-dollar ticket holders benefit only from the initial amount in the jackpot. Likewise, the progressive jackpot may be available only to three-dollar ticket holders, while two-dollar and one-dollar ticket holders benefit from the initial amount in the jackpot.

FIG. 33 illustrates a lottery prize structure **3300** that may be utilized to implement a pari-mutuel lottery base game and a pari-mutuel lottery add-on game. A plurality of different price categories may be provided. For example, a first price category **3302** may be a one dollar price category, a second price category **3304** may be a two dollar price category, and a third price category **3306** may be a three dollar price category. By purchasing a lottery ticket from the first price category **3302**, a player receives a set of base game numbers. Further, the player has the opportunity of winning a first price category full match prize distribution such as a jackpot or a first price category partial match prize distribution, which may be estimated prior to ticket sales. The full match prize distribution is provided if the set of base game numbers is a full match with a set of drawn numbers. In one embodiment, the full match is a set of numbers and a bonus ball (“BB”). In another embodiment, the full match is only a set of numbers without a BB. Further, the partial match distribution is provided if the set of base game numbers is a partial match with a set of drawn numbers. By purchasing a lottery ticket from the second price category **3304**, a player receives the set of base game numbers and a set of second price category bonus play numbers. The player can win a second price category partial match prize distribution with either set of numbers. Accordingly, the player increases the number of opportunities of winning a partial match prize by purchasing a lottery ticket from the second price category **3304**. Further, in one embodiment, the second price category partial match prize distribution is a multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution. For example, the second prize category partial match distribution may be twice the first price category partial match prize distribution. In one embodiment, the first price category prize distribution is the same across price categories. In another embodiment, the set of base game numbers allows the player to win the first price category prize distribution in addition to an additional second price category prize distribution. Further, the set of bonus game numbers allows the player to win the additional second price category prize distribution. As a result, the player is incentivized to purchase the higher priced lottery ticket to win more and win more often. In one embodiment, additional price categories may be provided for the add-on pari-mutuel lottery game. Accordingly, the third price category **3306** is an optional additional price category that provides two sets of bonus play numbers in addition to the one set of base game numbers and provides a higher distribution than the second price category.

FIG. 34 illustrates a process **3400** that may be utilized to implement a pari-mutuel base lottery game and the pari-mutuel add-on lottery game. At a process block **3402**, the process **3400** provides a first price category in which a plurality of first price category lottery tickets can be purchased for a pari-mutuel lottery base game. Each of the first price category lottery tickets indicates a set of base game numbers. The first price category indicates a first price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a first price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of first price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a partial match. Further, at a process block **3404**, the process **3400** provides a second price category in which a plurality of second price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and a pari-mutuel lottery add-on game. Each of the second price category lottery tickets indicates the set of base game numbers and a first set of bonus play numbers. The second price category indicates a second price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a second price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of second price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers or the first set of bonus play numbers as a partial match. The second price category partial match prize distribution is a second price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution. In addition, at a process block **3406**, the process **3400** provides a third price category in which a plurality of third price category lottery tickets can be purchased for the pari-mutuel lottery game and the pari-mutuel lottery add-on game. Each of the third price category lottery tickets indicates the set of base game numbers, the first set of bonus play numbers, and a second set of bonus play numbers. The third price category indicates a third price category full match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers as a full match and a third price category partial match prize distribution that can be won with a lottery ticket in the plurality of third price category lottery tickets having the set of base game numbers, the first set of bonus play numbers, or the second set of bonus play numbers as a partial match. The third price category partial match prize distribution is a third price category predetermined multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution. The third price category predetermined multiple is greater than the second price category predetermined multiple. At a process block **3408**, the process also prints, with a printer, the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets. Further, at a process block **3410**, the process provides the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets to a plurality of players. In addition, at a process block **3412**, the process **3400** allocates a predetermined percentage of lottery ticket sales from the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets to each prize distribution in each price category. In an alternative embodiment, the allocation is not provided across the different price points for at least the partial match prize distributions. For example, a lottery may not have a preference for prizes to always be paid in straight proportion to the amount of a player's wager, or a lottery may simply favor pure randomness of prize values resulting from disproportionality and variability between the number of winners in a given prize category of the base game and the number of winners in the same given prize category of the add-on game. At a process block **3414**, the process **3400** also randomly selects, with a random selection apparatus, a set of winning lottery numbers. The random selection apparatus may be a ball hopper, a random number generator, or the like. Finally, at a process block **3416**, the process **3400** provides a prize distribution to a lottery player based on a price category from which a lottery ticket was purchased and a type of match. Risk transfer options are not necessary because no additional prize risk is created.

In an alternative embodiment, the process **3400** may be implemented without the set of bonus play numbers. The set of base game numbers would be utilized for all the prize distributions.

In one embodiment, a single drawing is utilized for a single set of numbers to determine both the base game and the add-on game matches. In another embodiment, separate drawings are utilized to select a set of base game drawn numbers to match a set of base game numbers and a set of bonus play drawn numbers to match a set of bonus play numbers.

FIGS. 35A-35C illustrates variations of a lottery ticket **3500** based on price category. FIG. 35A illustrates the lottery ticket **3500** being purchased from the first price category and having a set of base game numbers. Further, FIG. 35B illustrates the lottery ticket **3500** being purchased from the second price category and having a set of base game numbers in addition to a set of bonus play numbers. Finally, FIG. 35C illustrates the lottery ticket **3500** being purchased from the third price category and having a set of base game numbers in addition to two sets of bonus play numbers.

The processes described herein may be implemented in a general, multipurpose or single purpose processor. Such a processor will execute instructions, either at the assembly, compiled or machine-level, to perform the processes. Those instructions can be written by one of ordinary skill in the art following the description of the figures corresponding to the processes and stored or transmitted on a computer readable medium. The instructions may also be created using source code or any other known computer-aided design tool. A computer readable medium may be any medium capable of carrying those instructions and include a CD-ROM, DVD, magnetic or other optical disc, tape, silicon memory (e.g., removable, non-removable, volatile or non-volatile), packetized or non-packetized data through wireline or wireless transmissions locally or remotely through a network.

A computer is herein intended to include any device that has a general, multipurpose or single purpose processor as described above. For example, a computer may be a lottery terminal, a kiosk, a vending machine, a set top box (“STB”), cell phone, portable media player, or the like.

FIG. 36 illustrates an alternative lottery prize structure **3600** that may be utilized to implement a pari-mutuel lottery base game and a pari-mutuel lottery add-on game. A plurality of different price categories may be provided. For example, a first price category **3302** may be a one dollar price category, a second price category **3304** may be a two dollar price category, and a third price category **3306** may be a three dollar price category. By purchasing a lottery ticket from the first price category **3302**, a player receives a set of base game numbers. Further, the player has the opportunity of winning a first price category full match prize distribution such as a jackpot or a first price category partial match prize distribution, which may be estimated prior to ticket sales. The estimate may be based on an average of previous partial match prize distributions. The full match prize distribution is provided if the set of base game numbers is a full match with a set of drawn numbers. In one embodiment, the full match is a set of numbers and a bonus ball (“BB”). In another embodiment, the full match is only a set of numbers without a BB. Further, the partial match distribution is provided if the set of base game numbers is a partial match with a set of drawn numbers. By purchasing a lottery ticket from the second price category **3304**, a player receives the set of base game numbers and at least one set of second price category bonus play numbers. For example, the player may receive two sets of second price category bonus play numbers. The one or more sets of bonus play numbers are only utilized for an add-on bonus prize. In one embodiment, the add-on bonus prize is determined by a fixed percentage of add-on game sales. The add-on game sales may include all sales from additional price categories other than the base game. For example, an additional one dollar is provided for the two dollar price category. Accordingly, a percentage of that additional one dollar is allocated for the add-on bonus prize, but a percentage of the one dollar for the base game is not allocated for the add-on bonus prize. The fixed percentage may be multiplied by the total accumulated sales of the add-on game. An estimate may be provided the add-on bonus prize. In another embodiment, a hybrid prize format may be provided for the add-on bonus prize. For example, the add-on bonus prize may have a predetermined minimum, irrespective of the add-on game sales, and may grow above that minimum based on the add-on game sales. By purchasing a lottery ticket from the third price category **3306**, a player receives a set of base game numbers and a plurality of sets of third price category bonus play numbers such that the quantity of sets of third price category bonus play numbers is greater than the quantity of sets of second price category bonus play numbers. For example, the player may provide two dollars in addition to the one dollar for the base game to receive five sets of bonus play numbers. Accordingly, the two dollar price category **3304** and the three dollar price category **3306** provide the same opportunity to win the same add-on bonus prize, but a different number of opportunities to sin that same add-on bonus prize. For example, the player that purchases the three dollar price category has five different chances to win the add-on bonus prize as opposed to the two dollar price category that has only two chances to win the add-on bonus prize. In one embodiment, the number of sets of bonus play numbers is in a greater proportion to the number of the base game set of numbers as the price category increases. In another embodiment, the proportion is equal. For example, one set of bonus play numbers may be provided for the second price category and two sets of bonus play numbers may be provided for the third price category.

In one embodiment, only the base game numbers, not the bonus play numbers, may be utilized to win second price category partial match prize distributions. Further, in one embodiment, the second price category partial match prize distribution is a multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution. For example, the second prize category partial match distribution may be three times as much as the first price category partial match prize distribution. Further, the third price category partial match prize distribution is a multiple of the first price category partial match prize distribution. For example, the third prize category partial match distribution may be five times as much as the first price category partial match prize distribution. The proportion between each of the partial prize distributions may in proportion or not in proportion with the base game prize and/or other partial prize distributions.

In one embodiment, an allocation is performed for a predetermined percentage of lottery ticket sales from the plurality of first price category lottery tickets, the plurality of second price category lottery tickets, and the plurality of third price category lottery tickets to each prize distribution in each partial match price category. As a result, direct and precise proportions may be utilized. Otherwise, different proportions may be provided such that a ticket holder with a higher priced lottery ticket receives a lesser prize than a ticket holder with a lower priced lottery ticket. In an alternative embodiment, the allocation is not provided across the different price points for at least the partial match prize distributions. For example, a lottery may not have a preference for prizes to always be paid in straight proportion to the amount of a player's wager, or a lottery may simply favor pure randomness of prize values resulting from disproportionality and variability between the number of winners in a given prize category of the base game and the number of winners in the same given prize category of the add-on game.

FIGS. 37A-37C illustrates variations of a lottery ticket **3700** based on price category for the configuration illustrated in FIG. 36. FIG. 37A illustrates the lottery ticket **3700** being purchased from the first price category and having a set of base game numbers. Further, FIG. 37B illustrates the lottery ticket **3700** being purchased from the second price category and having a set of base game numbers in addition to two sets of bonus play numbers. Finally, FIG. 37C illustrates the lottery ticket **3700** being purchased from the third price category and having a set of base game numbers in addition to five sets of bonus play numbers.

FIG. 38 illustrates a block diagram of a station or system **3800** that generates a pari-mutuel base game and a pari-mutuel add-on game. In one embodiment, the station or system **3800** is implemented utilizing a general purpose computer or any other hardware equivalents. Thus, the station or system **3800** comprises a processor **3810**, a memory **3820**, e.g., random access memory (“RAM”) and/or read only memory (ROM), a pari-mutuel base game and pari-mutuel add-on game generation module **3840**, and various input/output devices **3830**, (e.g., audio/video outputs and audio/video inputs, storage devices, including but not limited to, a tape drive, a floppy drive, a hard disk drive or a compact disk drive, a receiver, a transmitter, a speaker, a display, an image capturing sensor, e.g., those used in a digital still camera or digital video camera, a clock, an output port, a user input device (such as a keyboard, a keypad, a mouse, and the like, or a microphone for capturing speech commands)).

It should be understood that the pari-mutuel base game and pari-mutuel add-on game generation module **3840** may be implemented as one or more physical devices that are coupled to the processor **3810**. For example, the pari-mutuel base game and pari-mutuel add-on game generation module **3840** may include a plurality of modules. Alternatively, the pari-mutuel base game and pari-mutuel add-on game generation module **3840** may be represented by one or more software applications (or even a combination of software and hardware, e.g., using application specific integrated circuits (ASIC)), where the software is loaded from a storage medium, (e.g., a magnetic or optical drive, diskette, or non-volatile memory) and operated by the processor in the memory **3820** of the computer. As such, the pari-mutuel base game and pari-mutuel add-on game generation module **3840** (including associated data structures) of the present disclosure may be stored on a computer readable medium, e.g., RAM memory, magnetic or optical drive or diskette and the like.

With respect to the configurations described regarding FIGS. 33-38, sharing may be implemented for multiple winners. For example, intra-sharing may be utilized for multiple winners within a particular price category and inter-sharing may be utilized multiple winners across price categories. With respect to inter-sharing for multiple winners across multiple price categories, the winner from the higher price category will receive a larger portion than a winner from a lower price category. However, in one embodiment, a prize that is the same across multiple price points may be inter-shared in equal portions across multiple price points. For example, a winner of the one million dollar add-on bonus prize with a two dollar ticket and a winner of the one million dollar add-on bonus prize with a three dollar ticket in FIG. 36, each receive five hundred thousand dollars. Further, the jackpot prize being the same across multiple price points may also be implemented such that the jackpot prize is inter-shared equally. Alternatively, the add-on bonus prize and/or the jackpot prize may be inter-shared such that the higher priced lottery ticket receives a larger portion.

It is understood that the method and apparatus described herein may also be applied in other types of systems. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the various adaptations and modifications of the embodiments of this method and apparatus may be configured without departing from the scope and spirit of the present method and system. Therefore, it is to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the present method and apparatus may be practiced other than as specifically described herein.