US20070057461A1 - Methods and systems for providing enhanced value of lottery-type tickets - Google Patents

Methods and systems for providing enhanced value of lottery-type tickets Download PDF

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US20070057461A1
US20070057461A1 US11/267,012 US26701205A US2007057461A1 US 20070057461 A1 US20070057461 A1 US 20070057461A1 US 26701205 A US26701205 A US 26701205A US 2007057461 A1 US2007057461 A1 US 2007057461A1
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lottery
round
jackpot
lottery ticket
drawing
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US11/267,012
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Mark Meyer
Joseph Tracy
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United Tote Co
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United Tote Co
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Priority to US11/267,012 priority patent/US20070057461A1/en
Assigned to UNITED TOTE COMPANY reassignment UNITED TOTE COMPANY ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: MEYER, MARK G., TRACY, JOSEPH J.
Assigned to UNITED TOTE COMPANY reassignment UNITED TOTE COMPANY ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: MEYER, MARK G., TRACY, JOSEPH J.
Assigned to WELLS FARGO FOOTHILL, INC. reassignment WELLS FARGO FOOTHILL, INC. SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: UNITED TOTE COMPANY, YOUBET.COM, INC.
Publication of US20070057461A1 publication Critical patent/US20070057461A1/en
Assigned to YOUBET.COM, INC., UNITED TOTE COMPANY reassignment YOUBET.COM, INC. RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST RECORDED AT REEL/FRAME 018505/0166 Assignors: WELLS FARGO FOOTHILL, INC.
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/06Lottos or bingo games; Systems, apparatus or devices for checking such games
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/06Lottos or bingo games; Systems, apparatus or devices for checking such games
    • A63F3/065Tickets or accessories for use therewith
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/08Raffle games that can be played by a fairly large number of people

Abstract

The present invention relates to methods and systems for conducting and playing a lottery-type game. One method of lottery-type wagering of the present invention includes providing a player an opportunity to purchase a lottery ticket for a first round of a lottery-type game, conducting the first round of the lottery-type game, and providing the player an opportunity to activate the lottery ticket for participation in at least one round subsequent to the first round

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application, Ser. No. 60/715,461, filed Sep. 9, 2005.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates to methods and systems for conducting and playing a lottery-type game.
  • 2. State of the Art
  • Various conventional lottery-type games allow a player to select one or more groups of numbers to match with a group of numbers generated by a gaming administrator, which may include, for example, a state or other governmental gaming authority or a gaming operator acting on behalf of the gaming authority. For example, gaming administrators offer lottery-type games, sometimes referred to as “Pick-3,” in which a player selects three numbers to match identically (in order) with a set of three numbers generated by the gaming administrator. Another example of a lottery type game is POWERBALL® offered by many states.
  • These lottery-type jackpot games, such as POWERBALL®, offer players large jackpots that can be won in any of its periodic regularly scheduled drawings in a jackpot sequence. A jackpot sequence is defined as an aggregate number of consecutive drawings that occur beginning with a minimum starting jackpot and ending with the drawing in which the jackpot is won, the jackpot typically increasing with each passing drawing with no winner, at least of the grand prize. The number of drawings in the jackpot sequence may vary. For instance, a jackpot could be won on the very first drawing of a sequence or a jackpot can “roll over” and grow for many subsequent consecutive drawings where no jackpot winners are drawn. When this occurs, the “un-won” jackpot rolls forwards to the next scheduled drawing and additional jackpot revenue from new ticket sales is added to the amount rolled forward in the jackpot. Each time the jackpot rolls over, the amount of the jackpot increases and, as the jackpot grows, so does player interest and associated sales of lottery tickets.
  • In these lotto-type jackpot games, all winning and losing tickets for a specific drawing are rendered obsolete, in that they retain no value and are not eligible to win prizes in subsequent drawings. Rather, only new tickets purchased specifically for the next scheduled drawing are eligible to win cash prizes. Consequently, while the lotto-style games progressively accumulate jackpot funding, the players that have contributed to the growing jackpot by purchasing lottery tickets in the early drawings of a jackpot sequence are ineligible to win the growing jackpot and other prizes in subsequent drawings of that jackpot sequence unless these players purchase a new lottery ticket for the subsequent drawings. Thus, in lotteries that have periodic drawings, once a drawing has been held, tickets for that drawing retain no value and only new tickets purchased for the next scheduled drawing are valid for the next scheduled drawing.
  • Typically, sales for lottery jackpot games are low in the early drawings of a jackpot sequence when jackpot amounts are at their lowest levels. Consequently, jackpot growth during these early drawings occurs at a relatively slow pace, and sales remain depressed until such time as the jackpots are of such a magnitude to attract widespread interest among the general public. When this occurs, sales increase and jackpot growth accelerates. Since purchased tickets retain no value for subsequent drawings, and since lower level jackpots in the early drawings of a jackpot sequence do not typically attract the interest of a significant portion of the population, there is little incentive for players to participate in the early drawings of a jackpot sequence. This results in many players withholding their participation until the jackpot reaches a monetary level they deem significant. Accordingly, while the lottery-type lotto game progressively accumulates jackpot money in successive drawings, the players who participate in the early drawings of a jackpot sequence are not rewarded for their loyalty insofar as their chances of winning a subsequent jackpot are not proportionate to their accumulative investments. Despite the fact that early participants disproportionately contribute to the collective jackpot, especially during the initial drawings of a jackpot sequence, they are, in effect, penalized in that their chances of winning the subsequent [larger] jackpot(s) are equal to those of players who choose to participate later in the jackpot sequence. This dynamic serves to reinforce the natural and proven tendency of many players to withhold their participation in the early drawings of a jackpot sequence, and this, in turn, further retards jackpot growth, further inhibits sales and ultimately results in lost revenue for the gaming administrator.
  • There have been prior attempts to provide value to a losing lottery ticket. For instance, International Publication No. WO 03/090139 discloses a system and method for redrawing lottery tickets that have lost a first drawing in a lottery. The system and method allows the player to register the spent lottery ticket via the World Wide Web, wherein the second opportunity for the spent lottery ticket to win is solely based on the spent lottery ticket. Further, International Publication No. WO 03/22380 discloses a lottery game having an “instant win” feature, wherein a number set used in the instant win feature may be used in a future lottery game.
  • International Publication No. WO 02/41233 discloses a lottery game that uses tokens for the numbers in the game, wherein the player's chance of winning the lottery type game is increased based on the number oftokens possessed by the player. U.S. Pat. No. 6,599,186 discloses a lottery game where a “never lose” lottery ticket is purchased and the never lose lottery ticket that does not win a prize is active for future drawings until the never lose lottery ticket itself does win a prize.
  • International Publication No. WO 02/38233 discloses a conditional lottery ticket system that allows a player to purchase conditional lottery tickets that are not activated until one or more player-defined activation conditions are satisfied. This reference further discloses a lottery game where the player may continually play the lottery when the player-defined conditions are satisfied.
  • The present invention discloses methods and systems for providing a player an opportunity to place lottery-type wagers that overcomes the deficiencies in the cited references and offers additional advantages in comparison to the prior art.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In one embodiment, a method of lottery-type wagering includes providing a player an opportunity to purchase a lottery ticket for a first round of a lottery-type game, conducting the first round of the lottery-type game, and providing the player an opportunity to activate the lottery ticket for participation in at least one additional round subsequent to the first round.
  • In another embodiment, a method of lottery-type wagering comprises providing a player an opportunity to purchase a lottery ticket for a first drawing in a lottery-type game, effecting an outcome of the first drawing in the lottery-type game, and awarding a prize of a plurality of prizes to a participant in the lottery-type game if the participant's lottery ticket at least partially matches the outcome of the first drawing of the lottery-type game. In the method, one of the plurality of prizes comprises qualification of the participant's lottery ticket for participation in one or more drawings subsequent to the first drawing.
  • In an additional embodiment, a method of lottery-type wagering includes providing a player an opportunity to purchase a lottery ticket for a drawing of a jackpot sequence, conducting the drawing of the jackpot sequence, providing the player an opportunity to activate the lottery ticket for participation in at least one consecutive drawing immediately following the preceding drawing of the jackpot sequence, and conducting the consecutive drawing(s) following the preceding drawing(s) of the jackpot sequence.
  • Lottery-type gaming systems for performing the methods ofthe instant inventions are disclosed in other embodiments.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING
  • In the drawings, which illustrate what are currently considered to be the best modes for carrying out the invention:
  • FIGS. 1A-1C are block diagrams of lottery-type gaming systems on which the lottery-type gaming methods of the present invention may be implemented.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • In various embodiments, the present invention includes methods and systems for lottery-type game tickets in preceding drawings to retain prize-winning eligibility in subsequent lottery-type game drawings in a jackpot sequence. The phrase “jackpot sequence” refers to the aggregate number of consecutive drawings that are conducted in a lottery-type game, starting with the minimum jackpot amount that occurs immediately after a preceding jackpot has been won, until the new jackpot prize is won. For example, the lotto-type game POWERBALL® features two drawings per week, resulting in 104 drawings a year. If the POWERBALL® jackpot is won on every drawing in a year, POWERBALL® would have 104“jackpot sequences” for that year wherein each jackpot won would be for the minimum guaranteed amount since no jackpot would roll forward and have the opportunity to grow. However, if the POWERBALL® jackpot were won on the 104th drawing of the year, that year would have but a single jackpot sequence that would undoubtedly result in a very large jackpot. Although these two scenarios are statistically possible, they are unlikely to occur since lottery-type gaming designers exercise great care in designing games that provide for both jackpot growth and jackpot win frequencies.
  • In various embodiments, the gaming administrator may design the lotto-type game such that the base retail price of an original ticket purchased for a specific lotto-type game drawing includes the ability for that ticket to retain prize-winning eligibility for one or more subsequent drawings in a jackpot sequence that occur after the drawing for which the original ticket was purchased i.e. no additional premium or surcharge is levied for this benefit. Alternatively, the gaming administrator may design the lotto-type game in a manner such that a premium or surcharge is levied in order for the original lotto-type game ticket to retain prize-winning eligibility for one or more subsequent drawings in a jackpot sequence that occur after the drawing for which the original ticket was purchased.
  • In various embodiments, the gaming administrator may design the lotto-type game such that retaining prize-winning eligibility for “spent” tickets from a previous lotto-type game drawing for one or more subsequent drawings in a jackpot sequence occurs automatically i.e. the player is not required to perform any action in order to renew or reactivate the “spent” ticket for subsequent drawings in a jackpot sequence. Alternatively, the gaming administrator may design the lotto-type game in a manner in which the player is required to perform an action (e.g. the payment of an additional fee) to renew or reactivate the “spent” ticket so that it retains eligibility to win at least one or more of a plurality of prizes in at least one or more subsequent drawings of a jackpot sequence. Or, as noted above, the additional fee could be collected at the time the ticket is bought to ensure the ticket will renew, reactivate or otherwise remain “alive” and eligible for one or more subsequent drawings.
  • In various embodiments, the gaming administrator may design the lotto-type game such that the ability to renew or reactivate lotto-type game tickets from previous drawings to remain eligible to win at least one or more of a plurality of prizes in at least one or more subsequent drawings of a jackpot sequence is contingent upon the purchase of new tickets for at least one or more of the subsequent drawings of a jackpot sequence whereby the lotto-type gaming system (FIGS. 1A-1C) is programmed to electronically link new ticket purchases to the ability to renew or reactivate “spent” tickets from at least one or more preceding drawings of the jackpot sequence. Further, the gaming administrator may require the value of the new tickets purchased to be less than, equal to or greater than the value of the “spent” tickets to be renewed or reactivated. The gaming administrator may design the lotto-type game such that the purchase of new tickets for at least one or more of the subsequent drawings in a jackpot sequence is required to occur in a consecutive sequential manner i.e. the ability to renew or reactivate “spent” tickets is forfeited if lotto-type game drawings are skipped. Alternatively, the gaming administrator may design the lotto-type game such that the purchase of new tickets for at least one or more of the subsequent drawings in a jackpot sequence is not required to occur in a consecutive sequential manner (i.e., players are permitted to renew or reactivate “spent” lotto-type game tickets for subsequent drawings in a jackpot sequence even if the player failed to purchase a new lotto-type game ticket for at least one or more of the preceding or intervening drawings in that jackpot sequence).
  • In various embodiments, the gaming administrator may design the lotto-type game such that lotto-type game tickets from at least one or more preceding drawings automatically remain eligible, or may be renewed or reactivated to remain eligible, to win at least one or more of a plurality of prizes in at least one or more subsequent drawings of a jackpot sequence. For example, “spent” tickets having automatic retained eligibility and/or “spent” tickets that have been renewed or reactivated may be eligible to win only specifically designated prizes such as the jackpot as determined by the gaming administrator. Similarly, the gaming administrator may designate the period of time and/or the number of subsequent drawings for which the retained eligibility is valid (e.g. one drawing, two drawings, etc.).
  • In various embodiments, the gaming administrator may design the lotto-type game such that lotto-type game tickets that qualify to retain prize-winning eligibility in subsequent drawings of a jackpot sequence are restricted to non-winning tickets and/or winning tickets of one or more of a plurality of prizes in a preceding lottery-type game drawing in a jackpot sequence. For example, the gaming authority may designate that all non-winning tickets (i.e. all tickets that failed to win any secondary prize in a preceding drawing) retain eligibility or may be reactivated for subsequent drawings in a jackpot sequence. Alternatively, the gaming authority may designate that only specific winning tickets, for example tickets that correctly matched 3-of-6 numbers in a preceding drawing, retain eligibility or may be reactivated for subsequent drawings in a jackpot sequence.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, a player purchases a lottery ticket for drawing #1, drawing #1 is held and a winner of a jackpot is not drawn in drawing #1. If no winners of the jackpot are drawn in drawings #2 or #3 and in drawing #4 the player purchases a second lottery ticket, the lottery ticket purchased for drawing #1 and the second lottery ticket purchased for drawing #4 are both “active” or in contention for the lottery drawing of drawing #4. Further, if no winner of the jackpot is drawn in drawing #4, the player has the option to purchase a third lottery ticket for drawing #5, wherein the first lottery ticket, the second lottery ticket, and the third lottery ticket are all active for the subsequent drawing #5. Thus, each lottery ticket purchased by the player is “re-activated” each time the player purchases a subsequent lottery ticket for a drawing until a winning ticket of the jackpot is drawn in the jackpot sequence. In this embodiment, the player may not be required to play consecutive drawings in order to “reactivate” tickets.
  • In another embodiment, a lottery ticket from a previous drawing may remain active only if the player continues to purchase additional lottery tickets for consecutive subsequent drawings for as many weeks as drawings are held until a winner is drawn in the jackpot sequence. For instance, a player purchases a lottery ticket and if the lottery ticket is a loser (i.e. the ticket does not win a jackpot of the lottery), the player is enabled to keep each losing ticket alive by purchasing a lottery ticket for the next subsequent lottery drawing for so long as the player participates in consecutive drawings. In this example, to keep the losing lottery ticket alive, the player must purchase a ticket for the subsequent, consecutive lottery drawing and if they do not, the ticket goes dead. Thus, the player cannot skip a drawing, but rather must participate in consecutive drawings in order to reactivate losing, older tickets. In this example, the player may keep multiple lottery tickets alive by purchasing a lottery ticket for each subsequent lottery drawing in that jackpot sequence. For instance, if a lottery runs for five consecutive drawings before a winning jackpot ticket is selected and a player purchases a lottery ticket for each of the five consecutive drawings, the player will have five active lottery tickets for that 5th (and final) lottery drawing. In another example, if a player purchases a ticket for a 1st drawing, loses, does not purchase a ticket in the 2nd drawing, purchases a ticket in the 3rd drawing, loses, and purchases a ticket in the 4th drawing, the ticket for the 3rd and 4th drawing are both active for the 4th drawing. If the player purchases another ticket in the 5th drawing, the tickets from the 3rd, 4th and 5th drawings are all active.
  • With the methods of the present invention, a lottery ticket purchased in a drawing of a lottery-type game, even if it does not win a prize in that drawing, may be kept “alive” by a player such that the lottery ticket is eligible for participation in a subsequent round of the jackpot sequence. The player may keep the lottery ticket “alive” by purchasing a new ticket or alternatively by paying a reduced fee (less than the cost of a new ticket) to keep the existing, non-winning ticket active in the subsequent round of the jackpot sequence. In this manner, the value of purchasing a lottery ticket early in a jackpot sequence is increased by providing players with the ability to keep losing or non-winning tickets valid or alive for subsequent lottery drawings or until a jackpot winner is selected in the same jackpot sequence. The present invention also enables players to build perceived and real “equity” through their purchases over time and for different drawings (i.e., a player's chance of winning a specific jackpot becomes proportionate to the amount that the player has cumulatively invested in that jackpot sequence). Thus, players who enter the jackpot sequence only after the jackpot has achieved a high level will be less likely to “steal” the jackpot from players who have purchased lottery tickets throughout the entire jackpot sequence.
  • In implementing the methods of the present invention, lottery-type gaming administrators may print or otherwise clearly exhibit the jackpot sequences on lottery tickets to avoid player confusion and keep players well informed. This may be accomplished in various ways. In one embodiment, the lottery-type establishment may print the date of the first drawing of a particular jackpot sequence on each lottery ticket sold. For instance, each lottery ticket may have an indication of the starting date of the jackpot sequence printed thereon such as, for example, the phrase “Jackpot Sequence Beginning Oct. 10, 2005.” When that particular jackpot sequence ends by a player winning the jackpot and a new jackpot sequence begins, the date printed on the lottery tickets in the new jackpot sequence is updated and changed to reflect the date the new jackpot sequence begins.
  • In another embodiment, a lottery-type establishment may consecutively number or letter the sequences by placing a phrase such as “Jackpot Sequence 11” or Jackpot Sequence D” on the issued lottery tickets. In yet another embodiment, the lottery tickets may be coded with other indicia such as, for example, color to identify specific jackpot sequences e.g. an orange sequence, a blue sequence, etc. While the specific indicia, coding system or methodology employed to distinguish different jackpot sequences is not critical, it is crucial that jackpot sequences are clearly differentiated so that players know to which jackpot sequence their lottery ticket belongs in order to avoid misunderstandings and discouragement e.g. a player believing he or she has won, only to find out the “winning” number on the ticket was in the preceding jackpot sequence.
  • The methods of keeping losing lottery tickets alive of the present invention are compatible with conventional single-matrix or multiple matrix lottery-type game designs (e.g. POWERBALL® or MEGAMILLIONS®) as known in the art. In another embodiment, the methods of keeping losing lottery tickets alive of the present invention may be implemented with a lottery-type game that has larger matrices and longer odds than conventional lottery-type games in order to compensate for the increased coverage and consequent increased prize liability created by the residual accumulative prize-eligible number combinations that remain in circulation as a result of retained or renewed eligibility. The term “coverage” refers to the percent of available number combinations sold for a specific lotto drawing. For instance, 10 million unique number combinations exist in a game matrix that produces jackpot odds-of-winning of 1 in 10 million. If 2.5 million of those combinations are sold for a particular drawing, the coverage for that drawing would be 25% and there would be a 1 in 4 chance that the jackpot would be won. Unlike conventional lotto games wherein tickets for a particular drawing become null and void after that particular drawing has occurred, the prize-winning eligibility of tickets for the lottery-type methods of the present invention would be cumulative and coverage would increase with each subsequent drawing. Thus, in another embodiment, the matrices of the lottery-type game of the present invention may be scaled in a fashion to accommodate increased coverage. If the matrices are not scaled appropriately, jackpots may be won too frequently, which may limit jackpot growth and also decrease the profitability of the lottery-type game below its intended margin as established by the gaming authority.
  • In a further embodiment, non-winning lottery tickets from a previous drawing in a jackpot sequence are eligible to win only the jackpot or “grand” prize itself, and not secondary prizes, in subsequent drawings of the jackpot sequence. Since the jackpot prize conventionally receives only a portion of the total prize pool, this embodiment would require less modification to the lottery-type game matrix than would a lottery-type game that also allows the reactivated lottery tickets to be eligible for both the jackpot and secondary prizes.
  • In an additional embodiment, non-winning tickets from an earlier drawing (whether it is the 1st, 8th, 25th or any other drawing in a jackpot sequence) are eligible to win any and all of the normal prizes including the jackpot prize and any secondary prizes. In this embodiment, incremental prize expense liability would increase exponentially, and compensatory modifications to the lottery-type game matrix may be required.
  • In yet other embodiments, a non-winning ticket or a ticket that won a prize other than the jackpot from a previous drawing may be reactivated for any individual or combination of prizes associated with the lottery-type game in a subsequent drawing ofthe jackpot sequence. For instance, a player holding a non-winning ticket or a ticket that wins a prize other than the jackpot (i.e., an original ticket) is enabled to cash that ticket with a store clerk or at a self-service gaming terminal, wherein a continuation or trailer ticket is issued to the player. This continuation or trailer ticket keeps the previously purchased ticket number alive for a designated prize or prizes in a subsequent round of the jackpot sequence. The continuation or trailer ticket may be associated with a new transaction serial number along with the duplicate numbers of the original or previously purchased ticket. The continuation or trailer ticket may be clearly labeled with indicia to identify that the continuation or trailer ticket is eligible to win the jackpot or other gaming authority-selected prize in the subsequent drawing of the jackpot sequence. Further, the set of numbers on the continuation or trailer ticket may be labeled in a manner that would eliminate player confusion such as by reciting “Jackpot Eligible Numbers for Drawing on Jun. 8, 2005”. In this manner, the trailer or continuation ticket may clearly identify the set(s) of numbers in play, the eligible prize(s) that can be won and the drawing(s) for which the numbers are valid.
  • In another embodiment, a player is enabled to purchase a lottery-type ticket and if the lottery-type ticket does not win a jackpot or secondary prize in a jackpot sequence drawing, the lottery-type ticket may be reactivated or remain active and eligible to win prizes in subsequent drawings in the jackpot sequence until it wins a prize or the jackpot is won whichever occurs first. In this embodiment, any winning lottery-type ticket, whether it wins in the first, second, sixth, eighteenth, etc. drawing ofa jackpot sequence, is eliminated or disqualified or is otherwise ineligible to win additional prizes in subsequent drawings of the jackpot sequence. In other words, in this embodiment, once a lottery-type ticket wins once, it cannot win again such that only true non-winning tickets remain eligible to win the jackpot and/or a secondary prize in a future drawing of the jackpot sequence.
  • In yet a further embodiment, one of the designated secondary prizes in a jackpot sequence drawing is comprised of retained prize-winning eligibility for one or more of a plurality of prizes in one or more subsequent drawings of the jackpot sequence. For example, the gaming administrator may define the prize for correctly matching 3-of-6 numbers in a conventional lottery-type game drawing as retained jackpot and/or secondary prize-winning eligibility for one or more subsequent drawings of the jackpot sequence. In this embodiment, retained or continuing eligibility to win prizes in future drawings in the jackpot sequence becomes a prize that can be awarded in addition to or in lieu of conventional cash prizes.
  • In one embodiment, a player of a lottery-type game is provided with an opportunity to purchase one or more lottery tickets. After a lottery drawing involving the lottery ticket(s) in which there is no jackpot winner, the player has the option of “re-activating” the lottery ticket such that the lottery ticket remains eligible to win one or more of a plurality of prizes in one or more subsequent lottery drawings, wherein the lottery-type gaming system links or associates the previously purchased lottery ticket(s) with one or more newly purchased lottery tickets. For example, a lottery ticket from a preceding drawing may be “re-activated” by the act of the player purchasing a new ticket from a self-service gaming terminal or by a sales clerk using a gaming terminal.
  • In another embodiment, a non-winning ticket in a preceding lottery-type game drawing may be reactivated at any time in the jackpot sequence and thereby become eligible to win one or more of a plurality of prizes in one or more subsequent drawings in the same jackpot sequence contingent upon the purchase of one or more new lottery tickets valid for the next consecutively scheduled drawing of the same jackpot sequence. The purchase of new lottery tickets may be parameter driven such that the gaming authority may require the amount of the new purchase to be less than, equal to or greater than the cumulative value of the ofthe non-winning lottery tickets being reactivated. For example, if a player's earlier lottery ticket purchase price was $5, the player may be required to purchase new tickets having at least an equal value (i.e., $5) in order for the earlier lottery tickets to be reactivated and valid for a subsequent drawing.
  • In another embodiment, in order for the player to have the ability to keep a losing lottery ticket alive from a previous drawing to a subsequent drawing, the gaming authority or other entity offering the lottery-type game may require the player to pay a premium for the opportunity to retain prize-winning eligibility for either an indeterminate or finite number of subsequent lottery-type game drawings in a jackpot sequence. The gaming administrator may charge such a premium “up front” when the original lottery-type game ticket is purchased or subsequent to a lottery-type drawing after which a ticket has been deemed a non-winner. For instance, the lottery-type establishment may charge a fee, such as an increased price for the lottery ticket, for the ability to keep losing lottery tickets alive or eligible to win the jackpot and/or secondary prizes for an indeterminate and/or a predefined number of subsequent drawings in a jackpot sequence. For example, the lottery-type establishment may charge a premium ticket price such as $5 (rather than the $1 normally charged) for a lottery ticket that is eligible to win both jackpot and secondary prizes in the next scheduled drawing of the jackpot sequence, and if the jackpot is not won in the next scheduled drawing, that ticket would remain eligible to win the jackpot in all subsequent drawings of the jackpot sequence until such time as the jackpot is won. In this example, the gaming administrator may also continue to sell conventional $1 lottery tickets that are eligible to win jackpot and secondary prizes in only the next scheduled drawing of the jackpot sequence after which time they expire. In this example, players effectively pay a premium for lottery-type lotto tickets that possess continuing prize eligibility for an indeterminate period of time, and the value of the continuing eligibility increases with each drawing of the jackpot sequence in which there is no jackpot winner. The foregoing examples are merely illustrative of approaches and techniques which may be employed to maintain or enhance the value of a lottery ticket by providing continued eligibility for winning of one or more prizes in subsequent drawings.
  • It should be noted that an up-front collection of additional funds at the time of an initial ticket purchase may be more of a convenient add-on for lottery patrons, rather than requiring a subsequent purchase or premium to “reactivate” the ticket for subsequent drawings. For example, the lottery may be structured so that, for just 50 cents more you can have a “living” lottery ticket for one or more subsequent drawings. Making gaming more convenient with only a slight increase in price is an easy way to increase revenue, as you get the add-on when the patron is digging in their pocket for the first time for the ticket price, and it is much easier to collect it then than in a subsequent purchase. It is also contemplated that the premium paid at the time of the initial ticket purchase for eligibility in subsequent drawings may be tied to the nature and extent of such eligibility. For example, for a $1 lottery ticket, a premium of fifty cents may be charged for continued eligibility for that ticket in the next subsequent drawing, or a premium of $2 may be charged for eligibility for all subsequent drawings until the grand prize jackpot is won. Thus, the patron may be incentivized to “wager” that there will be no grand prize winner for a number of weeks, as the jackpot builds and pay more at the time of the ticket purchase.
  • In yet an additional embodiment, the ability to keep losing lottery tickets active or alive may be offered by subscription. In this embodiment, the lottery-type establishment may offer the player an opportunity to purchase a subscription of lottery-type lotto tickets for a specified number of drawings in a jackpot sequence or for a specified number of jackpot sequences, or for a specified amount of time such as one month, three months, six months, etc., wherein the ability to keep the losing lottery tickets alive for subsequent drawings is available only to subscribers. In this embodiment, the game administrator may provide the retained prize eligibility feature free of charge as a benefit for subscribers or alternatively may charge a premium for this service.
  • In a further embodiment, players may be provided at the time of purchase of one or more new lottery-type lotto tickets in a jackpot sequence the opportunity to pay an incremental fee to reactivate older losing tickets in the same jackpot sequence to be eligible for the jackpot and/or designated secondary prizes in subsequent consecutive or non-consecutive drawings in the same jackpot sequence. In this embodiment, the reactivation maybe performed in the same lottery jackpot sequence upon the payment of a fee by the player, wherein the fee charged to the player to keep the losing ticket alive is a reduced price of the regular purchase price of the losing lottery ticket. The fee may be 50% of the normal ticket cost for the losing ticket that is paid to the lottery-type establishment in conjunction with the purchase of a new lottery ticket. In another example, the player may be provided with the opportunity to renew or reactivate an old or losing ticket (regardless of how many) by paying a flat fee of a predetermined amount such as, for example, $1. This embodiment may be offered by a lottery-type gaming system operably configured with appropriate software and readers, with the given proviso that a regulatory agency allows such a system.
  • In another embodiment, a lottery ticket purchased in a previous drawing may not be linked to new lottery ticket purchases. In this embodiment, all lottery tickets are as discrete and independent as they are in conventional lottery-type games. In this embodiment, the lottery-type gaming system and associated software would be programmed such that players would not be required to do anything to reactivate previously purchased lottery tickets. The lottery-type gaming system and associated software would be programmed such that continued prize eligibility automatically occurs, thus, providing significant added value to lottery tickets and a high level of convenience for players. This embodiment would also eliminate the need for lottery retailers to repeatedly scan, swipe, read, and/or process millions of previously sold lottery tickets.
  • The methods of lottery-type gaming described herein are compatible with conventional (i.e., paper based) lottery-type gaming systems, card based lottery-type systems, account based lottery-type systems, Internet based lottery-type wagering systems, and/or subscription based lottery-type systems. Further, it will be apparent by those of ordinary skill in the art that the methods of lottery-type gaming described herein may be implemented on conventional lottery-type gaming systems by the configuration and generation of appropriate software compatible with the existing lottery-type gaming systems.
  • Referring to FIG. 1A, an exemplary lottery-type gaming system 100 is illustrated in the form of a block diagram, in which the lottery-type gaming methods of the present invention may be implemented. The lottery-type gaming system 100 may include a lottery-type gaming terminal 102 that includes a player or teller interface 109, microprocessor 106 including associated memory and software, network interface apparatus 104 with associated software, and a printer 123 if desired. The lottery-type gaming terminal 102 may have a housing (not shown) that supports the player or teller interface 109, optionally, including a device for reading a credit instrument 114 (which may be used in conjunction with secondary identifier input device 113), an input device 110, and a display 112. In one embodiment, the device for reading the credit instrument is a card reader when the credit instrument is a card. In other embodiments, the device for reading the credit instrument is any device capable of recognizing a unique identifier associated with the credit instrument or if an anonymous account is set up without a credit instrument, the device comprises an input device such that the player or teller may enter a unique identifier such as a user name or a biometrics scanner recognizable feature (i.e., a fingerprint). A secondary identifier input device 113 may be integrated, if desired, with the device for reading the credit instrument 114. The microprocessor 106 and its associated memory and software are in electrical communication and operably coupled with a network interface apparatus 104. The network interface apparatus 104 is operably coupled to the gaming administrator computer system 116, which may include a database of player accounts, via a phone line, cable line, or other suitable, secure connection. The gaming administrator computer system 116 may be located at the headquarters of the gaming administrator or other secure site. Such a computer system may be configured to store the player's account information and balance.
  • The display 112 may comprise a display such as a liquid crystal display (LCD), an LCD touch screen, a plasma display, a field emission display (FED), or employ any other suitable display technology known to those of ordinary skill in the art. The display 112, under control of the microprocessor 106, displays information pertinent to the transfer of funds from the player's account or eligibility of a lottery ticket with the gaming administrator. Such information may include, for example, a prompt to enter a personal identification number, a notice that the transfer of funds was authorized, an amount of the authorized transfer, and the player's account balance.
  • The input device 110 may comprise, for example, a keypad, control buttons, touch display, a joy stick, a touch screen, or a combination thereof. The input device 110 allows the player or teller to place the lottery-type wager by enabling the player or teller to select the outcome of the event being wagered on and purchase the lottery ticket.
  • The lottery-type gaming terminal 102 may be configured with network interface apparatus 104 including components such as ports, cable connections, and/or network cards for linking the lottery-type gaming terminal 102 to the lottery-type gaming administrator computer system 116 via an intranet and/or other network (e.g., a local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN), the Internet (also referred to as the World Wide Web), etc.). Encrypted communications may be employed for additional security if necessary or desirable. Although only a single lottery-type gaming terminal 102 is shown in FIG. 1, a plurality of lottery-type gaming terminals 102 may be connected to the gaming administrator computer system 116 (e.g., a central server) using such a network.
  • As shown in FIG. 1B, a lottery-type gaming administrator computer system 116 may also be operably coupled to an electronic funds transfer (EFT) system 120 through a connection such as, for example, by a phone or cable line, in order to utilize payment with a credit instrument such as a credit/debit card. The EFT system 120 is, in turn, operably coupled to credit/debit card issuing system 122 using a cable or phone line.
  • As shown in FIG. 1C, in another system for implementing the methods of the present invention utilizing a credit instrument, the gaming administrator computer system 116 will not have the player's account information and balance stored on it. Instead, the gaming administrator computer system 116 may be operably coupled to a financial server 121 at a separate location from the gaming administrator computer system 116 that has the player's account balance and associated account information stored on it. It is also understood that the present invention embraces employing a commercially available customer relationship management (CRM) system, such as People Soft™, to manage and store the player's account information and account balance. The CRM system maybe used in conjunction with gaming administrator computer system 116 or in conjunction with an offsite computer server in communication with the gaming administrator computer system 116 and computer server 118.
  • A card reader 117, optionally having a secondary identifier input device 113 associated therewith (not shown), maybe located at concessionaires, admission entrances or special access areas of establishments offering lottery-type gaming ticket purchases, and may be in communication with either the gaming administrator computer system 116, the EFT system 120, or the financial server 121 via a computer server 118 as respectively illustrated in FIGS. 1A-1C.
  • Although the present invention has been described with respect to certain illustrative methods and systems for providing a player an opportunity to reactivate losing lottery tickets, it will be apparent by those of ordinary skill in the art that other methods and systems are encompassed by the present invention fall within the scope of the claims.

Claims (24)

1. A method of lottery-type wagering, the method comprising: providing a player an opportunity to purchase a lottery ticket for a first round of a lottery-type game;
conducting the first round of the lottery-type game; and
providing the player an opportunity to activate the lottery ticket for participation in at least one round subsequent to the first round.
2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the player selects to activate the lottery ticket for participation in the at least one round subsequent to the first round by purchasing another lottery ticket for the at least one round subsequent to the first round or by paying a fee.
3. The method according to claim 2, wherein the lottery ticket is active in the lottery-type game until a jackpot is won in a jackpot sequence of the lottery-type game.
4. The method according to claim 1, further comprising exhibiting a jackpot sequence of the lottery-type game on the lottery ticket.
5. The method according to claim 1, wherein the lottery-type game comprises a single matrix or multiple matrix lottery-type game design.
6. The method according to claim 1, further comprising scaling coverage of the lottery-type game for a matrix of the lottery-type game.
7. The method according to claim 1, wherein if the player elects to activate the lottery ticket for participation in the at least one round subsequent to the first round, the activated lottery ticket is eligible to win a jackpot prize, a secondary prize, or combinations of any thereof.
8. The method according to claim 1, wherein if the player elects to activate the lottery ticket for participation in the at least one round subsequent to the first round, the activated lottery ticket is eligible to win a jackpot prize or a secondary prize.
9. The method according to claim 1, wherein the player is provided with the opportunity to activate the lottery ticket if the lottery ticket does not win a prize in the first round.
10. The method according to claim 1, wherein the player is provided with the opportunity to activate the lottery ticket if the lottery ticket does not win a jackpot prize in the first round or if the lottery ticket wins a prize other than the jackpot prize.
11. The method according to claim 1, wherein if the player elects to activate the lottery ticket for participation in the at least one round subsequent to the first round, the player is issued a second lottery ticket that references the lottery ticket for participation in the at least one round subsequent to the first round.
12. The method according to claim 11, further comprising marking the second lottery ticket with indicia indicating that the second lottery ticket is eligible to win a prize in the at least one round subsequent to the first round.
13. The method according to claim 1, further comprising disqualifying a winning lottery ticket from the first round for participation in the at least one round subsequent to the first round.
14. The method according to claim 1, wherein if the player elects to activate the lottery ticket for participation in the at least one round subsequent to the first round and the lottery ticket does not win a prize in the first round, the lottery ticket is made eligible for any prize in the at least one round subsequent to the first round.
15. The method according to claim 1, wherein the player is provided the opportunity to activate the lottery ticket for participation in the at least one round subsequent to the first round until a jackpot is won in a jackpot sequence of the lottery-type game.
16. A method of lottery-type wagering, the method comprising:
providing a player an opportunity to purchase a lottery ticket for a first drawing in a lottery-type game;
effecting an outcome of the first drawing in the lottery-type game; and
awarding a prize of a plurality of prizes to a participant in the lottery-type game if the participant's lottery ticket at least partially matches the outcome of the first drawing of the lottery-type game;
wherein one of the plurality of prizes comprises qualification of the participant's lottery ticket for a drawing subsequent to the first drawing.
17. A method of lottery-type wagering, the method comprising:
providing a player an opportunity to purchase a lottery ticket for a drawing of a jackpot sequence;
conducting the drawing of the jackpot sequence;
providing the player an opportunity to activate the lottery ticket for participation in a consecutive drawing following the drawing of the jackpot sequence; and
conducting the consecutive drawing following the drawing of the jackpot sequence.
18. The method according to claim 17, wherein the player is provided with the opportunity to activate the lottery ticket for participation in each consecutive drawing following the drawing of the jackpot sequence until a jackpot is won in the jackpot sequence.
19. The method according to claim 17, wherein the player elects to activate the lottery ticket for participation in the consecutive drawing following the round of the jackpot sequence by purchasing another lottery ticket for the at least one round subsequent to the first round or by paying a fee.
20. The method according to claim 17, wherein if the player elects to activate the lottery ticket for participation in the at least one round subsequent to the first round, the activated lottery ticket is eligible to win a jackpot prize, a secondary prize, or combinations of any thereof.
21. The method according to claim 17, wherein if the player elects to activate the lottery ticket for participation in the at least one round subsequent to the first round, the activated lottery ticket is eligible to win a jackpot prize or a secondary prize.
22. A method of lottery-type wagering, the method comprising:
providing a player an opportunity to purchase a subscription for participation in at least two drawings of a jackpot sequence;
wherein the subscription comprises at least a first lottery ticket eligible for a prize in a first drawing and a second drawing of the at least two drawings and at least a second lottery ticket eligible for a prize in the second drawing of the at least two drawings; and
conducting the at least two drawings of the jackpot sequence.
23. The method according to claim 22, wherein the subscription provides the player the opportunity to participate in each drawing of a jackpot sequence for a predetermined period of time or until a jackpot is won in the jackpot sequence.
24. A system for conducting a lottery-type gaming activity, comprising:
at least one gaming terminal;
a computer system with associated software, wherein the software is operatively configured to enable the system for conducting the lottery-type gaming activity to perform the method of any one of claims 1-23.
US11/267,012 2005-09-09 2005-11-04 Methods and systems for providing enhanced value of lottery-type tickets Abandoned US20070057461A1 (en)

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CA002621954A CA2621954A1 (en) 2005-09-09 2006-09-07 Methods and systems for providing enhanced value of lottery-type tickets
AU2006291279A AU2006291279A1 (en) 2005-09-09 2006-09-07 Methods and systems for providing enhanced value of lottery-type tickets
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AU2006291279A1 (en) 2007-03-22

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