US20080290596A1 - Game apparatus and method of playing game with a minimum prize - Google Patents

Game apparatus and method of playing game with a minimum prize Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080290596A1
US20080290596A1 US12125027 US12502708A US2008290596A1 US 20080290596 A1 US20080290596 A1 US 20080290596A1 US 12125027 US12125027 US 12125027 US 12502708 A US12502708 A US 12502708A US 2008290596 A1 US2008290596 A1 US 2008290596A1
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Prior art keywords
game
prize
indicia
piece
minimum
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12125027
Inventor
Gregory S. Bogle
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Bogle Gregory S
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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
    • A63F3/0645Electric lottos or bingo 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
    • A63F3/0665Tickets or accessories for use therewith having a message becoming legible after rubbing-off a coating or removing an adhesive layer

Abstract

A game apparatus and method of playing a game that provides a minimum prize. The game apparatus comprises a game piece, a minimum prize value, an additional prize value and a means to determine the prize. As is described herein, the game is based on common games such as matching items such as characters, numbers, letters, objects or words; playing games such as cards, dice, dominos or crossword puzzles; and instant prizes or any other method of providing a prize. Embodiments of the game apparatus and methods include printed game pieces and printed prize determining means as well as processor based embodiments and combinations of printed and processor based embodiments.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of U.S. Appl. No. 60/939,594 filed on May 22, 2007 and entitled “GAME WITH MINIMUM PRIZE AND A METHOD TO PROVIDE MINIMUM PRIZE VALUE”, the entire contents of which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
  • [0002]
    Not Applicable
  • REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING COMPACT DISC APPENDIX
  • [0003]
    Not Applicable
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0004]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0005]
    The present invention relates generally to a game apparatus and method of playing the game, and more particularly, to a game having game pieces that have a minimum winning value and methods for playing the game.
  • [0006]
    2. Description of the Related Art
  • [0007]
    Many establishments such as retailers and restaurants use coupons and games of various sorts to promote the sale of their goods and services. For example, coupons offering “DOLLARS OFF” or “PERCENT DISCOUNT” are delivered in the mail or made available at the establishment. The coupons, or game pieces, characteristically include cash prizes, merchandise, food or other items sold by the store or the product manufacturer to introduce new products or provide some other promotional purpose. Some establishments give “scratch-off” coupons and game pieces as promotional items. Typically, these game pieces represent a game of chance and have varying values to the recipient based on the rules of the promotion.
  • [0008]
    Whether the coupon value is known or hidden on the game piece, they are typically stand alone promotional items. These coupons are not associated with a minimum value such as is obtained when you purchase a gift certificate.
  • [0009]
    Companies and restaurants also use gift certificates and gift cards to promote the sale of their goods and services. Typically, these gift certificates are sold as an individual item for a pre-determined value. Many times, because the value is known, these gift certificates are given by one person to another as a gift.
  • [0010]
    All of these promotional items and methods are beneficial; however, retailers and restaurants are missing an opportunity to use gift certificates and coupons or game pieces together.
  • [0011]
    Game pieces also exist when government and private entities conduct lotteries. Government conducted lotteries offer players the chance to win a large prize and have the added benefit of increasing governmental revenues.
  • [0012]
    In a lottery game, the lottery ticket typically has a winning amount that is not known to the purchaser when they buy the ticket. It's possible that the lottery ticket can be a big winner or the ticket can have no residual monetary value.
  • [0013]
    Frequently, lottery tickets are given as gifts. A common scenario is when someone needs to give a gift to someone that is difficult to shop for or for a last minute gift. Giving cash is not always appropriate and getting a gift certificate is logistically difficult. Giving a lottery ticket, with the possibility of it being a big winner, is usually viewed more favorably than an outright gift of cash.
  • [0014]
    An opportunity is missed to enhance the attraction of giving lottery tickets by defining a minimum value that the recipient will win. With a minimum winning value, the gift will at least pay the minimum value.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0015]
    An object of one embodiment of the invention is to provide a game apparatus comprising a game piece having at least one game indicia, a combined prize comprising a minimum prize and an additional prize and a means to determine the combined prize from the game indicia.
  • [0016]
    It is another object of one embodiment of the invention to provide a game apparatus wherein the means to determine the combined prize comprises printing the game indicia on the game piece, the game indicia identifying the combined prize and the game indicia being hidden by a removable material whereby removing the material reveals the game indicia and the combined prize.
  • [0017]
    It is a further object of one embodiment of the invention to provide a game apparatus having a separable portion of the game piece identifying the minimum prize.
  • [0018]
    It is another object of one embodiment of the invention to provide a game apparatus wherein the means to determine the combined prize further comprises the game indicia comprising a first set of at least one game indicia and a second set of at least one game indicia, the first set of game indicia being associated with the combined prize, the second set of game indicia being associated with the first set of game indicia and the first and second set of game indicia being hidden by the removable material whereby removal of the removable material exposes the first and second set of game indicia and a comparison of the second set of game indicia to the first set of game indicia reveals the combined prize.
  • [0019]
    It is an object of one embodiment of the invention to provide a game apparatus wherein the means to determine a prize comprises a processor capable of receiving signals representing the game indicia, the processor capable of communicating with a memory having logic to determine the prize value, and the processor capable of identifying the combined prize to the user.
  • [0020]
    It is another object of one embodiment of the invention to provide a game apparatus wherein the memory is capable of communicating with the processor over a data network and/or the game piece is a computer based client.
  • [0021]
    An object of one embodiment of the invention is to provide a method for playing a game comprising the steps of defining a combined prize comprising a minimum prize and an additional prize, providing a game piece comprising at least one game indicia and determining the combined prize from the game indicia.
  • [0022]
    It is another object of one embodiment of the invention to provide a method for playing a game further comprising the game indicia being printed on the game piece, the game indicia identifying the combined prize, the game indicia being hidden by a removable material and the step of determining the combined prize further comprising removing the removable material to reveal the game indicia and the combined prize.
  • [0023]
    It is a further object of one embodiment of the invention to provide a method of playing a game wherein the game piece further comprises a separable portion of the game piece identifying the minimum prize.
  • [0024]
    It is another object of one embodiment of the invention to provide a method of playing a game further comprising, the game indicia comprising a first set of at least one game indicia and a second set of at least one game indicia, the first set of game indicia being associated with the combined prize, the second set of game indicia being associated with the first set of game indicia, the first and second set of game indicia being hidden by the removable material and the step of determining the combined prize further comprises removing the removable material to expose the first and second set of game indicia whereby a comparison of the second set of game indicia to the first set of game indicia reveals the combined prize.
  • [0025]
    It is an object of one embodiment of the invention to provide a method of playing a game wherein the step of determining the combined prize further comprises a processor configured to receive signals representing the game indicia, the processor configured to communicate with a memory having logic to determine the prize value; and the processor configured to identify the combined prize to the user.
  • [0026]
    It is another object of one embodiment of the invention to provide a method of playing a game wherein the memory communicates with the processor over a data network and/or the game piece is a computer based client.
  • [0027]
    It is an object of one embodiment of the invention to provide a game apparatus and method of playing the game wherein the game is an element of another game selected from the group consisting of a lottery game, a retail store promotional game, a web site promotional game and a web-based store promotional game.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0028]
    FIG. 1 shows one game piece embodiment with hidden game indicia and a removable minimum prize value indicator.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 2 shows one game piece embodiment with the minimum prize value indicator removed and some game indicia exposed from under a scratch-off coating.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 3 shows one game piece embodiment with a pull-tab means to hide the game indicia.
  • [0031]
    FIG. 4 shows a game piece embodiment utilizing a gift card.
  • [0032]
    FIG. 5 shows one embodiment of an electronic device being used with a game piece.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 6 shows a flow chart outlining the steps of one embodiment of the method of providing a minimum prize value with a game piece.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0034]
    While this invention is capable of being implemented in many different embodiments, there is shown in the drawings, and will herein be described in detail, several specific embodiments, with the understanding that the present disclosure can be considered as an exemplification of the principals of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiments illustrated.
  • [0035]
    The detailed illustrations below are reflective of, but should not be limited to the scenario of an issuer creating a game and game piece for a purchaser to buy the game piece for another recipient. A typical example of this scenario would be the purchaser buying the game piece as a gift for the recipient knowing that the game piece would award a known, predetermined minimum prize value.
  • [0036]
    Although embodiments described include a physical game piece, contemplated embodiments also include game pieces that are, but are not limited to representations of game indicia such as can be provided by an electronic display or an audio signal.
  • The Game Apparatus:
  • [0037]
    The game apparatus comprises a game piece, a minimum prize value, an additional prize value and a means to determine a prize. As is described herein, the game is based on common games to include, but not to be limited to, games such as matching items such as characters, numbers, letters, objects or words; playing games such as cards, dice, dominos or crossword puzzles; and instant prizes or any other method indicating a prize has been won.
  • [0038]
    The term “additional prize” as used throughout this description is intended to define a prize value above the minimum. It is understood that this prize value encompasses an additional value of nothing or “0” as well as additional value of greater amounts.
  • [0039]
    The game is implemented through the use of the game piece and the prize determining means as described below.
  • The Game Piece:
  • [0040]
    In one embodiment, shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the game piece 100 comprises a game piece body 101 with one or more game indicia 102, a means for hiding the game indicia 102, a minimum prize value, a minimum prize indicator 104 and a means to determine a prize.
  • [0041]
    In this embodiment, the game piece body 101 is a paper-like sheet that will accept a marking medium such as printing. Other embodiments of the game piece body 101 can include, but should not be limited to electronic gift cards, balls, cubes, novelty items, hats, clothes, cloth or any other tangible item capable of receiving and retaining a marking medium.
  • [0042]
    The game indicia 102 shown in FIG. 2 are game symbols that are translatable, by the prize determining means, into a prize. In this embodiment, the game indicia 102 are characters printed directly onto the game piece body and are pre-determined to be translated into a prize. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, there is a first game indicia portion 106 reflecting winning game indicia. There is another second game indicia portion 107, with game indicia to be compared to the winning game indicia. In this embodiment, the game indicia on the second game indicia portion 107 also include a prize annotated under each. A match of one or more characters between the first game indicia portion 106 and second game indicia portion 107 results in the prize annotated. FIG. 2 shows the wining game indicia 102A that matches game indicia 102B and results in the prize annotated 102C. The game indicia 102 can be based on games of skill, games of chance or other common games such as games that are used with lottery tickets. These common games include, but not to be limited to, games such as matching items such as characters, numbers, letters, objects or words; playing games such as cards, dice, dominos or crossword puzzles; and instant prizes or any other method indicating a prize has been won. Other embodiments of the game indicia can include, but are not limited to playing cards, letters, symbols, colors, sounds, visual images, items or other indicia that can be used to determine a prize.
  • [0043]
    Other embodiments of the game piece body 101 and game indicia 102 are such as is described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,508,513, John Donovan, filed Dec. 27, 1983, U.S. Pat. No. 3,918,174, Nan C. Miller et al., filed Feb. 21, 1974, each of which are herein incorporated by reference.
  • [0044]
    In this embodiment, the game indicia 102 are hidden by the issuer, or otherwise made unknown to the purchaser and recipient prior to playing the game. In this embodiment, the means to hide the game indicia include a scratch-off coating 103 applied over the game indicia 102. FIG. 2 shows one embodiment of the game piece 100 with the scratch-off coating 103 removed exposing some of the game indicia 102. Another means to hide the game indicia 102 include pull-tabs 303 on the game piece 300 as shown in FIG. 3 and described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,274,488 Michael W. Kutscher, filed Apr. 26, 1941, which is herein incorporated by reference. Other means of hiding the game indicia 102 include, but are not limited to, breaking a seal that exposes ears which may then be removed as described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,493,230 Richard J. Curzon et al., filed Feb. 1, 1968, which is herein incorporated by reference; adhesively joined and removable layers of substrate as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,174,857, John R. Koza, filed Dec. 28, 1977, which is herein incorporated by reference; and a removable portion of the game piece body as described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,891,242, Raymond Mills Arnold et al., filed May 24, 1973 which is herein incorporated by reference.
  • [0045]
    Additional means to hide the game indicia include having indicia on the game piece that are translatable to game indicia through a medium not directly on the game piece. Examples of the translation of indicia can include, but are not limited to, translations using a separately printed table such as in a newspaper, a translation performed by a computer processor, a translation such as in numbers balls as in a Bingo game, or a translation performed by a mathematical algorithm or any other method of matching one type of indicia to one or more game indicia.
  • Prize Values:
  • [0046]
    The minimum prize value is a pre-determined minimum value of the prize that will be awarded with this game piece. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the minimum prize value is $20. This minimum prize value is pre-determined or otherwise determined to ensure that the game piece 100 will award a certain prize and the purchaser of the game piece 100 is made aware of the value of that prize.
  • [0047]
    The minimum prize is used to determine the game indicia that are provided on that game piece such that the prize determining means will result in at least a minimum prize value.
  • [0048]
    The minimum prize and an additional prize are contemplated to be used creating a combined prize for the game piece.
  • [0049]
    As shown in FIG. 1, the minimum prize indicator 104 is an indicator defining the minimum prize value for this game piece 100. In one embodiment the minimum prize indicator 104 is a printed indicator portion on the game piece body 101 that states the minimum prize that will be awarded to recipients of that game piece 100. In this embodiment, the minimum prize indicator 104 is helpful for purchasers of the game piece 100 when it is used as a gift to ensure that a minimum gift will be received.
  • [0050]
    In one embodiment, the minimum prize indicator 104 is marked on a minimum prize indicator portion 105 that is separable from the portion of the game piece body 101 with the game indicia 102. In one embodiment, this separation is provided by perforations in the game piece body to allow the minimum prize indicator portion 105 to be easily removed from the rest of the game piece body 101. FIG. 2 shows the game piece 100 with the minimum prize indicator portion 105 removed. Other embodiments of minimum prize indicators and methods to separate the minimum prize indication include, but are not limited to, a peel-off tab, a rub-off coating, a removable layer of plastic or other method of removing a label from the game piece body portion that included the game indicia.
  • [0051]
    As shown in FIG. 4, it is also possible to have a game piece 400 held in a minimum prize indicator portion 405 creating a separable holder that contains the minimum prize indicator 404.
  • Prize Determining Means:
  • [0052]
    The prize determining means interprets or translates the game indicia and determines the prize that should be given to the holder of the game piece. The game indicia are associated with the prizes so that knowing the game indicia allows a translation of those indicia to determine the prizes.
  • [0053]
    In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the prize determining means consist of visually interpreting the game indicia 102 from the first and second game indicia portions on the game piece body 101. The player scratches off the coating hiding the game indicia on the first game indicia portion 106 exposing one or more game indicia 102A. The player then scratches off the coating on the second game indicia portion 107 of the game piece 100. The game indicia 102 on the second game indicia portion 107 contain game indicia 102A and 102B and a prize value 102C. A match between the first and second game indicia will result in the prize value 102C. Prize determining means can include, but should not be limited to matching items such as numbers, letters, objects or words; playing games such as cards, dice, dominos or crossword puzzles; indicia of an instant prizes or any other method of indicating a prize has been won.
  • [0054]
    The prize value 102C represents a reward to be given, or credited to the holder of the game piece 100. Typical prizes include, but should not be limited to a monetary value, a discount, a material object or other reward.
  • [0055]
    Other prize determining means are contemplated and described herein with other embodiments of the game apparatus and game methods.
  • Other Embodiments of the Game Apparatus:
  • [0056]
    One embodiment of the game piece includes purchaser selected game indicia or randomly generated indicia, similar to the numbers use with a “quick pick” lottery ticket. In these embodiments, the minimum prize indicator is not needed on the game piece but it can be made otherwise known to the purchaser as they purchase the game piece. The prize determining means can be a comparison to or matching of the game indicia to game indicia separately provided as through a newspaper, a television show, an internet site or other similar information means. The prize values can be pre-determined or the value can vary based on game rules such as the way “power-ball” prize values change as the game progresses. The prize can be awarded by presenting the game piece to the issuer of the game piece.
  • [0057]
    It is contemplated that the embodiments described above can include the game piece 100 or game piece body 101 being incorporated into other mediums such as, but not limited to a birthday card, a gift card, a cereal box, a ticket or other tangible item.
  • [0058]
    FIG. 4 shows one embodiment of the game piece 400 that can include a card game piece body 401, such as a gift card, that includes or generates game indicia 402. These game indicia 402 can be printed physical characters or digital media stored on magnetic material that can be translated into other game indicia by inputting them into a system, such as a computer based system. The system in this embodiment has a means to determine a prize comprising a processor based system. Embodiments of the processor based system can comprise a client, a processor, memory and a means to communicate between the elements. The client, such as a web browser, accepts input and this input is communicated to a processor, such as a computer processor, that executes logic residing in memory such as a server memory. The logic compares the input to memory to determine what prize should be awarded. As an illustrative example of this embodiment, and not for limitation, this means to determine a prize could comprise a gift card with a numeric code. The numeric code was created by the issuer and this code is associated in a centralized memory with a predetermined prize value. The numeric code is put into a web browser that is directed to a particular web site associated with the game piece issuer. The numeric code is processed by the processor that uses logic to compare the numeric code to the predetermined prize values that are stored in the memory. Once the comparison is completed, the processor communicates the prize determination with the client.
  • [0059]
    Other embodiments of the game piece can comprise, but should not be limited to, an entirely processor based game piece 500 with processor based game body 501 and game indicia 502 and processor based prize determining means as shown in FIG. 5. In this embodiment, processor based prize determining means include, but are not limited to those described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,815,741, Maynard E. Small, filed Apr. 2, 1987 and U.S. Pat. No. 4,669,730, Maynard E. Small, filed Nov. 5, 1984, each of which are herein incorporated by reference in their entirety. In this embodiment, the game piece is made available to a client 501 such as, but not limited to a web browser, an email client, a text messaging client or an audio signal client. The game piece has a code that is associated with a prize value. The code is processed by the processor 503 that uses logic to compare the code to the prize value held in memory 504. Once the comparison is completed, the processor communicates the prize determination with the client.
  • [0060]
    In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5, it is understood that the client 501 and the processor 503 and memory 504 may reside on the same platform or the elements may be distributed in a data network such as in a client-server network architecture.
  • [0061]
    It is understood and contemplated that other systems and methods to determine the prize value can be used with embodiments of this invention. For example, the prize values may have an associated validation code that is generated to both the receiver of the game piece and the issuer of the game piece. Other means to validate the prize determination include, but are not limited to printed validation codes on hard copy game pieces and automated prize determining systems such as those
  • Use of the Game and Game Piece:
  • [0062]
    For the purpose of illustrating the use of the game and game piece disclosed, and not for limitation, a game piece embodiment similar to that shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 will be described having a minimum prize value of $20 and an additional price premium, reflecting the chance to win an additional prize, of $5.
  • [0063]
    The game is defined by an issuer of the game piece.
  • [0064]
    The game piece 100 is created by the issuer with game indicia 102 printed on the game piece body 101. The game indicia 102 are selected such that the prize determining means will determine a prize of no less value than the minimum prize value of $20. The game indicia 102 are hidden from view with a scratch-off coating 103. A minimum prize indicator 104 comprises a marking on the game piece body 101 such as a “$20 Guarantee” on a removable, perforated indicator portion 105 of the game piece 100. Through marking on the game piece 100, the purchaser is aware of the chance the game piece 100 will also have an additional prize. The pricing premium on the game piece 100 reflects the chance of being awarded an additional prize value beyond the minimum prize value.
  • [0065]
    A purchaser purchases the game piece 100 desiring a minimum prize value of $20. As shown in FIG. 1, the game piece 100 has a minimum prize indicator 104 of $20. The pricing premium of $5 reflects the chance that the game piece 100 will award more than the minimum prize value.
  • [0066]
    The purchaser or another recipient has the ability to remove the minimum prize indicator 104 if desired. Once the minimum prize indicator 104 is removed, the remaining portion of the game piece 100 has no indication of the minimum prize value.
  • [0067]
    The game piece 100 can then be given to the recipient. The recipient removes the means of hiding the game indicia and exposes the game indicia 102. As shown in FIG. 2, the recipient scratches off the coating 103 over the first game indicia portion 106 of the game piece 100 exposing one or more game indicia 102A. The recipient then scratches off the coating 103 over the second game indicia portion 107 of the game piece 100. The game indicia 102B on the second game indicia portion contain both a number and a prize value 102C.
  • [0068]
    The prize determining means is then used to determine the prize to be awarded for this game piece 100. In one embodiment, the prize determining means comprises the recipient visually matching the game indicia 102 from the first game indicia portion 106, with game indicia and prize values from the second game indicia portion 107. With the game indicia 102 exposed, the recipient can match the game indicia 102 according to the game rules and determine the prize value won. Since this game piece 100 was purchased with a minimum prize value of $20, the minimum prize awarded is $20. An additional prize is awarded based on the game indicia 102 and the prize determining means.
  • [0069]
    With the prize determined, the recipient can then take the game piece 100 back to the issuer, or another party, to be credited for the prize.
  • [0070]
    Other embodiments of the game piece can be used in similar ways depending on the embodiment of the game and game piece.
  • [0071]
    With embodiments such as those with the purchaser selecting game indicia or having randomly generated indicia, as with a “quick pick,” the game piece is purchased with a guaranteed minimum winning value known to the purchaser when they purchase the game piece. The purchaser gives the game piece to the recipient and the prizes can be determined by a determining means such as comparing or matching the indicia provided through such means as a newspaper, a television show, a computer, a network connected server or an internet site.
  • [0072]
    With embodiments of the game piece comprising a card, such as a gift card as shown in FIG. 4, the game piece 400 can interact with other systems to determine the prize. One embodiment comprises a game piece 400 that is purchased with a minimum prize indicator 404 on a detachable minimum prize indicator portion 405. The purchaser detaches the minimum prize indicator portion 405 and gives the card to the recipient. The card has game indicia 402 such as a series of visible characters or a digital signature on the game piece 400. The game indicia 402 are entered into a processor based system, such as a web site, that can directly determine the prize or it can initiate a game to determine a prize. Because the game indicia 402 on the card are shared with the processor based system, the system knows the minimum prize that should be awarded. The prize determining means can be performed locally within that system, or the means can be distributed with the local computer intercommunicating with a remote computer and database. The additional prize value is awarded based on the rules of the game. An example of this embodiment is a gift card similar to the gift cards sold at major book stores that is pre-loaded, or loaded at purchase, with visible characters or a digital signature that can be put into a processor based system to determine prizes. In this embodiment, the recipient is made aware of the game indicia by logging onto an electronic device such as a computer connected to a digital network such as the Internet. By logging onto this device, the device associates the game piece with the game indicia specific to that game piece. The game indicia are made known and translated into the associated prize value by the prize determining means. The prize can be credited directly to the user through the electronic device or the prize can be credited to the recipient through other means such as printing a coupon or mailing of a prize or prize value.
  • [0073]
    The use of processor based implementations of the game and game piece, such as shown in FIG. 5 and described herein, can also be used. The game piece can also consist of an entirely processor based game piece 500 with a processor based game body 501, game indicia 502 and prize determining means. The user can log onto a web site having a processor 503 and memory 504, to purchase a game piece utilizing purchasing means such as a credit card. The game piece can be electronically shared with the recipient through digital communications means such as email or instant messaging. The recipient can expose the game indicia, or otherwise make the indicia known, allowing the prize determining means to define the prize to be awarded.
  • [0074]
    Other manners of us of the game apparatus and game piece are contemplated as would fit the game apparatus and game pieces described earlier in this description.
  • [0000]
    Method for Playing the Game with a Minimum Prize Value:
  • [0075]
    For the purpose of illustrating the method of playing the game to provide a minimum prize value, and not for limitation, a game apparatus and game piece embodiment similar to that shown in FIG. 2 will be described having a minimum prize value of $20 and an additional price premium, reflecting the chance to win an additional prize, of $5.
  • [0076]
    As outlined in the flow chart of FIG. 6, the method for playing the game with a minimum prize value comprises the following steps.
  • [0077]
    Starting with step 601, the issuer defines a game comprising game indicia, a minimum prize value, an additional prize value and a prize determining means. The game indicia are associated with the minimum prize value and the additional prize value according to the rules of the game and are capable of being translated into the minimum prize value and any appropriate additional prize value. It is understood that the selection of these game elements can be defined in any order or can be done in combinations of steps to define a game in accordance with this invention.
  • [0078]
    One embodiment of defining a game comprises defining a numbers matching game as shown in FIG. 2. In this embodiment, the game indicia 102 are multiple sets of numbers to be matched. The minimum prize value is a pre-determined value and the additional prize value is defined by statistical methods well known by one in the art.
  • [0079]
    Other embodiments of a game, game indicia, minimum prize values and additional prize values are possible as described elsewhere in this description and are well known by those in the art of lotteries and purveyors of games of chance.
  • [0080]
    FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 show one embodiment of the prize determining means comprising the purchaser being able to expose the game indicia 102 by scratching off the scratch-off coating 103 and visually matching the game indicia 102 from a first game indicia portion 106, numbers in this embodiment, with game indicia and prize values from a second game indicia portion 107. With the game indicia 102 exposed, the purchaser can determine what game indicia match and therefore see which prizes are won.
  • [0081]
    Other prize determining means are possible as described in this description.
  • [0082]
    Step 602 represents providing a game piece according to the game defined. One embodiment of providing the game piece comprises printing the game indicia on the game piece. As shown in FIG. 2, in this embodiment, the game indicia 102 are the characters printed on the game piece body 101.
  • [0083]
    In this step, the game indicia are hidden from the user on the game piece, or their association with the prize values is otherwise made unknown to the purchaser when they are given the game piece. One embodiment of hiding the game indicia from the purchaser comprises covering the game indicia with a scratch-off coating.
  • [0084]
    Other embodiments of creating the game piece and hiding the game indicia include, but are not limited to the electronic and other printed embodiments described herein.
  • [0085]
    As shown in step 603, the combined prize is determined from the game indicia. In this prize determining step 603, the indicia are made known to the user so that the prize can be determined. For the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, the indicia are made known in this step by scratching off the coating to reveal the game indicia.
  • [0086]
    Other embodiment of prize determining means are described herein.
  • [0087]
    Step 604 comprises awarding said one or more combined prizes to the holder of the game piece. One embodiment of awarding of the combined prize comprises the recipient of the game piece going to the issuer of the game piece to collect the prize. Other embodiments of awarding the prize comprise other methods of crediting the recipient with value representing the combined prize.
  • [0088]
    Other methods of playing the game with a minimum prize are contemplated as are compatible with the game apparatus and game pieces described earlier in this description.
  • [0089]
    With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious 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.
  • [0090]
    Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact embodiment and use shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention. Although this invention has been described in the above forms with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure has been made only by way of example and numerous changes in the details of construction and combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims (19)

  1. 1. A game apparatus comprising:
    a game piece having at least one game indicia;
    a combined prize comprising a minimum prize and an additional prize; and
    a means to determine the combined prize from the game indicia.
  2. 2. The game apparatus of claim 1 wherein the means to determine the combined prize comprises:
    the game indicia being printed on the game piece;
    the game indicia identifying the combined prize; and
    the game indicia being hidden by a removable material whereby removing the removable material reveals the game indicia and the combined prize.
  3. 3. The game apparatus of claim 2 further comprising a separable portion of the game piece identifying the minimum prize.
  4. 4. The game apparatus of claim 2 wherein the means to determine the combined prize further comprises:
    the game indicia comprising a first set of at least one game indicia and a second set of at least one game indicia;
    the first set of game indicia being associated with the combined prize;
    the second set of game indicia being associated with the first set of game indicia; and
    the first and second set of game indicia being hidden by the removable material whereby removal of the removable material exposes the first and second set of game indicia and a comparison of the second set of game indicia to the first set of game indicia reveals the combined prize.
  5. 5. The game apparatus of claim 2 wherein the game is an element of another game selected from the group consisting of:
    a lottery game;
    a retail store promotional game;
    a web site promotional game; and
    a web-based store promotional game.
  6. 6. The game apparatus of claim 1 wherein the means to determine the combined prize comprises:
    a processor configured to receive signals representing the game indicia;
    the processor configured to communicate with a memory having logic to determine the combined prize value from the game indicia; and
    the processor configured to identify the combined prize to the user.
  7. 7. The game apparatus of claim 6 wherein the memory having logic to determine the prize value communicates with the processor over a data network.
  8. 8. The game apparatus of claim 6 wherein the game piece is a computer based client.
  9. 9. The game apparatus of claim 6 wherein the game apparatus is an element of another game apparatus selected from the group consisting of:
    a lottery game;
    a retail store promotional game;
    a web site promotional game; and
    a web-based store promotional game.
  10. 10. A method for playing a game comprising the steps of:
    defining a combined prize comprising a minimum prize and an additional prize;
    providing a game piece comprising at least one game indicia; and
    determining the combined prize from the indicia.
  11. 11. The method of claim 10 further comprising:
    the game indicia being printed on the game piece;
    the game indicia identifying the combined prize;
    the game indicia being hidden by a removable material; and
    the step of determining the combined prize further comprising removing the removable material to reveal the game indicia and the combined prize.
  12. 12. The method of claim 11 wherein the game piece further comprises a separable portion of the game piece identifying the minimum prize.
  13. 13. The method of claim 11 further comprising:
    the game indicia comprising a first set of at least one game indicia and a second set of at least one game indicia;
    the first set of game indicia being associated with the combined prize;
    the second set of game indicia being associated with the first set of game indicia;
    the first and second set of game indicia being hidden by the removable material;
    and the step of determining the combined prize further comprises removing the removable material to expose the first and second set of game indicia whereby a comparison of the second set of game indicia to the first set of game indicia reveals the combined prize.
  14. 14. The method of claim 11 wherein the method is an element of another game selected from the group consisting of:
    a lottery game;
    a retail store promotional game;
    a web site promotional game; and
    a web-based store promotional game.
  15. 15. The method of claim 10 wherein the step of determining the combined prize further comprises:
    a processor configured to receive signals representing the game indicia;
    the processor configured to communicate with a memory having logic to determine the combined prize value from the game indicia; and
    the processor configured to identify the combined prize to the user.
  16. 16. The method of claim 15 wherein the memory having logic to determine the prize value communicates with the processor over a data network.
  17. 17. The method of claim 15 wherein the game piece is a computer based client.
  18. 18. The method of claim 15 wherein the method is an element of another game selected from the group consisting of:
    a lottery game;
    a retail store promotional game;
    a web site promotional game; and
    a web-based store promotional game.
  19. 19. A game apparatus comprising:
    a game piece having at least one game indicia printed on the game piece;
    the game indicia identifying a combined prize;
    the combined prize comprising a minimum prize and an additional prize;
    a separable portion of the game piece identifying the minimum prize;
    the game indicia being hidden by a removable material whereby removing the removable material reveals the game indicia and the combined prize; and
    wherein the game is an element of another game selected from the group consisting of:
    a lottery game; and
    a retail store promotional game;
    a web site promotional game; and
    a web-based store promotional game.
US12125027 2007-05-22 2008-05-21 Game apparatus and method of playing game with a minimum prize Abandoned US20080290596A1 (en)

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