Title:
Lottery Game with Multiple Win Opportunities for Individual Indicia
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lottery game includes one or more player symbols, one or more matching symbols and a large number of potentially winnable prizes. Each of the potentially winnable prizes is capable of being won by matching one of the one or more winning symbols with one of the one or more player symbols. In one embodiment of the present invention, a total number of potentially winnable prizes is provided, with a first subset of the potentially winnable prizes associated with each of the one or more player symbols, and with a second subset of potentially winnable prizes associated with each of the one or more winning symbols. Further, each of the first and second subsets can be greater than one while being less than the total number of potentially winnable prizes.



Inventors:
Napolitano, Thomas J. (East Greenwich, RI, US)
Application Number:
13/210910
Publication Date:
02/21/2013
Filing Date:
08/16/2011
Assignee:
NAPOLITANO THOMAS J.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
YOO, JASSON H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP (IGT - WM) (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A lottery game ticket, comprising: one or more player symbols arranged adjacent a grid on the ticket, wherein the grid has one or more rows, one or more columns and a matrix of individual grid spaces, wherein each of the one or more player symbols is associated with a respective one of the columns, and wherein each grid space is defined at a point of intersection between one of the rows and one of the columns; one or more winning symbols arranged adjacent the grid on the ticket, with each of the one or more symbols being associated with a respective one of the rows; and a total number of potentially winnable prizes, each of the potentially winnable prizes appearing within a respective space of the grid and being won when the winning symbol associated with the row corresponding to the space in which the potentially winnable prize lies matches the player symbol associated with the column corresponding to the space in which the potentially winnable prize lies.

2. The lottery game of claim 1, including: a first number of potentially winnable prizes associated with each of the one or more player symbols, the first number being greater than one; and a second number of potentially winnable prizes associated with each of the one or more winning symbols, the second number being greater than one.

3. The lottery game of claim 2, wherein the second number is less than the total number.

4. The lottery game of claim 2, wherein the first number is less than the total number and the second number is less than the total number.

5. The lottery game of claim 2, wherein the first number and the second number are the same.

6. (canceled)

7. The lottery game of claim 2, wherein all of the first number of potentially winnable prizes are won if the player symbol associated with the first number of potentially winnable prizes is a bonus symbol.

8. The lottery game of claim 2, wherein all of the second number of potentially winnable prizes are won if the winner symbol associated with the first number of potentially winnable prizes is a bonus symbol.

9. The lottery game of claim 1, wherein the one or more winning symbols and the one or more player symbols are printed on a ticket and covered by a removable material.

10. The lottery game of claim 1, wherein the potentially winnable prizes are printed on a ticket and covered by a removable material.

11. The lottery game of claim 1, wherein each of the potentially winnable prizes is represented by a currency value.

12. The lottery game of claim 1, wherein each of the potentially winnable prizes is represented by a prize symbol not having an inherent currency value.

13. The lottery game of claim 1, wherein the ticket is represented on an electronic device.

14. A method of providing a lottery game, comprising the steps of: generating, by a machine, a ticket having one or more player symbols and one or more winning symbols, wherein the player symbols and winning symbols are arranged adjacent a grid on the ticket, wherein the grid has one or more rows, one or more columns and a matrix of individual grid spaces, wherein each of the one or more player symbols is associated with a respective one of the columns, each of the one or more winning symbols is associated with a respective one of the rows and each grid space is defined at a point of intersection between one of the rows and one of the columns; and providing a total number of potentially winnable prizes on the ticket, each of the potentially winnable prizes appearing in a respective space in the grid and being won when the winning symbol associated with the row corresponding to the space in which the potentially winnable prize lies matches the player symbol associated with the column corresponding to the space in which the potentially winnable prize lies.

15. A lottery game ticket, comprising: a ticket having a grid having at least two rows, at least two columns and a matrix of individual grid spaces, wherein each grid space is defined at a point of intersection between one of the at least two rows and one of the at least two columns; a plurality of interior player symbols, each of which is associated with at least one row of potentially winnable prizes and at least one column of potentially winnable prizes; a plurality of exterior player symbols, each of which is associated with either a row of potentially winnable prizes or a column of potentially winnable prizes, but not both a row and a column of potentially winnable prizes; and a total number of potentially winnable prizes, each of the potentially winnable prizes appearing within a respective space of the grid and being won when a player symbol associated with the row corresponding to the space in which the potentially winnable prize lies matches the player symbol associated with the column corresponding to the space in which the potentially winnable prize lies.

16. The lottery game of claim 15, wherein the grid is in the shape of a right triangle.

17. The lottery game of claim 15, wherein at least one of the player symbols is a bonus symbol indicating that all of the potentially winnable prizes in a row or a column associated with the bonus symbol are won.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to lottery games, and more particularly to a lottery game providing multiple win opportunities for individual indicia.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Lottery games and instant win tickets are known to provide one or more potentially winnable prizes in the event a player makes a match with a winning number, symbol or series of numbers or symbols. For example, a Bingo lottery ticket is provided with a grid with individual indicia in each distinct area of the grid. The Bingo lottery ticket further provides a set of “called” numbers. The player can mark the grid indicia corresponding to the called numbers, and if the player matches all of the indicia in a pre-established pattern, such as along a row, column or diagonal line, then the player wins.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,654,529 illustrates what is typically known as a “key number match” game. In a key number match game, the number of possible prizes which can be shown to the player is limited to the number of player numbers. However, each of the player numbers is associated with only a single potentially winnable prize. Further, the numbers to which the player attempts to match his or her player numbers, which may be called the “winning numbers”, for example, are not associated with any specific prize or subset of prizes. Rather, the winning numbers can be matched by any of the player numbers to result in a win of the predetermined single amount.

Lottery game players are often motivated to play games that appear to offer a greater number of potential wins. In many ticket games, for example, players are given one or maybe two potential chances to win at a matching game. Even in a Bingo game with a five-by-five matrix, which provides potential wins in every row, every column and both diagonals, there are still only twelve potential wins associated with the game.

Therefore, there is a need to allow greater than one potential prize to be associated with a single indicia, as opposed to the past where a single, specific prize is associated with a single indicia or group of indicia.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a game with one or more player symbols, one or more winning symbols and a large number of potentially winnable prizes. Each of the potentially winnable prizes is capable of being won by matching one of the one or more winning symbols with one of the one or more player symbols. In one embodiment of the present invention, a total number of potentially winnable prizes is provided, with a first subset of the potentially winnable prizes associated with each of the one or more player symbols, and with a second subset of potentially winnable prizes associated with each of the one or more winning symbols. Further, each of the first and second subsets can be greater than one while being less than the total number of potentially winnable prizes. In this way, the present invention communicates that more prizes are available in the game, even if the odds of winning are adjusted such that the payout for any given game in accordance with the present invention is not changed as compared to prior games.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an illustration of a game ticket in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, wherein player symbols, winning symbols and prizes are unrevealed.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of the game ticket of FIG. 1, wherein player symbols and winning symbols are revealed, and a prize associated with a matching pair is also revealed.

FIG. 3 is an illustration of a game ticket in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, wherein player symbols and winning symbols are revealed, and a column of prizes associated with a bonus symbol is revealed.

FIG. 4 is an illustration of a game ticket in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, wherein the playing field is a triangle shape.

FIG. 5 is an illustration of a game ticket, wherein the playing field is a triangle shape, and wherein player symbols and a prize associated with a matching pair are revealed.

FIG. 6 is an illustration of a game ticket in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, wherein the playing field is a triangle shape, and wherein player symbols and a column and row of prizes associated with a bonus symbol are revealed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As shown in FIGS. 1 through 3, the game ticket 100 according to one embodiment of the present invention can be arranged as a grid. Each of the one or more columns 105a-e of the grid includes an associated player symbol 108. The player symbols 108 can be covered by an opaque removable material or a marking system, or can be left uncovered. It will be appreciated that a marking system permits a player to view an indicia prior to removing a layer of typically colored material off of the indicia, after which a different color appears in the background or on the indicia itself, to indicate that the player has already “marked” the associated indicia. Such a marking system is described, for example, in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2010/0045026, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

As further shown in FIGS. 1-2, each of the one or more rows 110a-e of the grid includes an associated winning symbol 112. The winning symbols 112 can be covered by an opaque removable material or a marking system, or can be left uncovered. While the player symbols 108 are represented by the letter “Y” in FIG. 1 and the winning symbols 112 are represented by the letter “X” in FIG. 1, it will be appreciated that an actual ticket in accordance with the present invention can be provided with symbols, designs, letters, drawings or simple coloring as part of, or on top of, an opaque removable material. Further, in the embodiment of the present invention where no opaque removable material is provided, the letters “X” and “Y” from FIG. 1 would not appear but only the actual player symbols and winning symbols would appear, as shown in FIG. 2, for example.

As further shown in the embodiment of the present invention according to FIGS. 1-2, individual prizes 115 are represented within the ticket grid 114. The total number of prizes that are potentially winnable in the grid of FIGS. 1-2 is twenty-five, since the grid in this instance is a five-by-five matrix, with an individual prize associated with each space within the grid. The actual prize value (e.g., 118) associated with each prize 115 can be covered by an opaque removable material or a marking system, or the prize values can be left uncovered. Each of the potentially winnable prizes is capable of being won by matching one of the one or more winning symbols 112 with one of the one or more player symbols 108. If the player matches a player symbol to a winning symbol, the player wins the prize indicated where the two matching symbols cross within the prize grid 114. As shown in FIG. 2, the player symbol #17 and winning symbol #17 match in the center row and column, indicating a win of ten dollars.

As shown in FIGS. 1-3, each of the one or more player symbols 108 is associated with five independent and potentially winnable prizes. Further, each of the one or more winning symbols 112 is associated with five independent and potentially winnable prizes. The number of potentially winnable prizes for each winning symbol and each player symbol may or may not be the same, depending upon the configuration of the prize grid and any other game rules. Along these lines, it will be appreciated that the prize grid 114 can be presented in matrices of different sizes and dimensions, including in a shape other than a square or rectangle. For example, the prize grid can be represented in a pyramid or triangle shape, such as shown in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, for example.

In one embodiment of the present invention, one or more of the potentially winnable prizes is represented by a currency value and the player wins the currency found at the grid location where a player symbol matches a winning symbol. In another embodiment of the present invention, one or more of the potentially winnable prizes is represented by a prize symbol, which can be cross-referenced with a prize table, legend or formula in order for the player to understand the redemption value of the prize that has been won. In another embodiment of the present invention, one or more of the potentially winnable prizes does not translate into cash winnings, but rather is associated with other games or tickets, loyalty points, products, services, coupons or other reward measure, or a combination thereof.

In one embodiment of the present invention as shown in FIG. 3, player symbols or winning symbols can be associated with groups of prizes, such as a row or column of prizes, for example. As shown in FIG. 3, the player symbol in the middle column is a “$$” symbol, which can be considered a bonus symbol 119 in this embodiment, and which entitles the player to all of the prizes indicated in the column 105c. The bonus symbol 119 can be covered by an opaque removable material or a marking system, or can be left uncovered. A bonus symbol can take many forms and can be, for example, a special gem or other design when uncovered.

In the embodiment of the present invention as shown in FIGS. 4 through 6, the lottery game includes a ticket 200 having a prize grid 150 substantially shaped as a right triangle or half-pyramid. The prize grid 150 has a plurality of rows 155a-d and a plurality of columns 160a-d. Each of a plurality of interior player symbols 162 is associated with at least one of rows 155a-c and at least one of columns 160a-c. Each of a plurality of exterior player symbols 164 is associated with either a single row 155d or a single column 160d, but not both.

The lottery game in this embodiment also includes a total number of potentially winnable prizes 165. In the specific embodiment of FIG. 4, ten potentially winnable prizes 165 are shown. Each of the potentially winnable prizes 165 can be won if there is a match of the respective player symbols 162 and/or 164 associated with the row and column where the prize is located. Because each player symbol 162 and/or 164 can represent both a row and a column, each player symbol 162 serves as both a player symbol and a winning symbol. Further, each player symbol 162 has a number of potentially winnable prizes in its associated row, and a number of potentially winnable prizes in its associated column.

For each player symbol 162, the number of potentially winnable prizes in its associated row may be the same, more or less than the number of potentially winnable prizes in its associated column. For example, as shown in FIG. 4, the player symbol “17” has two potentially winnable prizes in row 155b and two potentially winnable prizes in column 160b. The player symbol “5” has three potentially winnable prizes in row 155c and one potentially winnable prize in column 160a.

FIG. 5 shows a winning ticket in this embodiment of the present invention, where the number “5” is shown to have a match. The associated winning prize 170 is shown as ten dollars. The winning prize can also be represented by a winning prize symbol as described above, where it does not have an inherent currency value. The player symbols and prizes in the prize grid in this embodiment of the present invention can be covered by an opaque removable material or a marking system, as described above.

In the embodiment of the present invention as shown in FIG. 6, all of the first number of potentially winnable prizes, exemplified in column 160c, and all of the second number of potentially winnable prizes, exemplified in row 155a, are won if a player symbol is a bonus symbol 172. The bonus symbol 172 can be covered by an opaque removable material or a marking system, for example, but can also be left uncovered. As shown in FIG. 6, the bonus symbol is the sign “$$”, but the bonus symbol can take different forms and designs as desired.

The tickets 100, 200 of the lottery game according to the present invention can be printed physical tickets, or can also be electronic tickets that are played using any of various electronic devices, including mobile communications devices (e.g., smart phones), personal computing devices (e.g., desktops, laptops), stand-alone video lottery terminals, retailer terminals and other known devices, for example. In one embodiment of the present invention, electronic tickets can be presented to the user of an electronic device over a network that is connected to a host computer that creates, issues, validates and/or redeems tickets using suitable programming stored in a memory thereof and operable via a computer processor maintained within the host. The player's electronic device also includes suitable programming, memory and processing capability to facilitate electronic representation of the game of the present invention on a display associated with the electronic device.

In another aspect of the present invention, a method of providing a lottery game is provided. The method includes providing a ticket having one or more player symbols and one or more winning symbols, providing a total number of potentially winnable prizes, each of the potentially winnable prizes capable of being won by matching one of the one or more winning symbols with one of the one or more player symbols. In one embodiment of this aspect of the present invention, the total number of potentially winnable prizes is represented in a square or rectangular prize grid. In another embodiment, the total number of potentially winnable prizes is represented in another shape such as a right triangle or half-pyramid shaped grid, for example. The method of the present invention further includes providing a first number of potentially winnable prizes associated with each of the one or more player symbols, the first number being greater than or equal to one, and providing a second number of potentially winnable prizes associated with each of the one or more winning symbols, the second number being greater than or equal to one. In one embodiment of the present invention, both the first and second numbers of prizes are greater than one. In another embodiment of the present invention, the first number provided is less than the total number of potentially winnable prizes. In another embodiment, the second number provided is less than the total number of potentially winnable prizes. In still another embodiment, both the first number and the second number provided are less than the total number of potentially winnable prizes. In yet another embodiment, the first and second numbers provided are the same.

It should be understood that the foregoing description and examples are only illustrative of the present invention; the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, including variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and the manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention. Thus, various alternatives and modifications can be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the present invention is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications, and variances that fall within the scope of the appended claims.