WO2010027367A1  Method and apparatus that control risk and uncertainty in a raffle  Google Patents
Method and apparatus that control risk and uncertainty in a raffleInfo
 Publication number
 WO2010027367A1 WO2010027367A1 PCT/US2008/075606 US2008075606W WO2010027367A1 WO 2010027367 A1 WO2010027367 A1 WO 2010027367A1 US 2008075606 W US2008075606 W US 2008075606W WO 2010027367 A1 WO2010027367 A1 WO 2010027367A1
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 probabilities
 prize
 set
 based raffle
 game
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 G—PHYSICS
 G07—CHECKINGDEVICES
 G07F—COINFREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
 G07F17/00—Coinfreed apparatus for hiring articles; Coinfreed facilities or services
 G07F17/32—Coinfreed apparatus for hiring articles; Coinfreed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting

 G—PHYSICS
 G07—CHECKINGDEVICES
 G07F—COINFREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
 G07F17/00—Coinfreed apparatus for hiring articles; Coinfreed facilities or services
 G07F17/32—Coinfreed apparatus for hiring articles; Coinfreed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
 G07F17/3244—Payment aspects of a gaming system, e.g. payment schemes, setting payout ratio, bonus or consolation prizes
Abstract
Description
METHOD AND APPARATUS THAT CONTROL RISK AND UNCERTAINTY IN A RAFFLE
BY
MICHAEL D. FRICK
BACKGROUND [0001] 1. Field
[0002]This disclosure generally relates to the field of gaming. More particularly, the disclosure relates to a raffle game. [0003] 2. General Background
[0004] Current raffle games typically offer a preestablished number of prizes that are awarded to players in the raffle game based upon a raffle drawing in which numbers or tickets are drawn from the pool of tickets or raffle units sold. Accordingly, the aggregate cost in absolute dollars of the prizes in a given game is known before a single ticket is sold.
[0005] Traditional raffle games carry a financial risk related to marketing factors. If enough raffle tickets are not sold to cover the fixed prize costs in a traditional raffle game, profits may be much lower than expected. The traditional raffle game may produce a net loss if tickets sales volume is not enough to cover costs. In other words, if enough tickets are not sold, the cost of running the game can exceed revenues generated from ticket sales.
[0006] As an example, the quantity of total tickets or raffle units available may be one million. Further, the costs of the ticket or raffle unit may be ten dollars. A prize structure may provided that, irrespective of ticket sales, two tickets or raffle units are a match for a one million dollar prize, ten tickets or raffle units are a match for a one hundred thousand dollar prize, one hundred tickets or raffle units are a match for a ten thousand dollar prize, one thousand tickets or raffle units are a match for a one thousand dollar prize, and ten thousand tickets or raffle units are a match for a one hundred dollar prize. Accordingly, the total cost for the prizes is six million dollars. In this example, the cost of the prizes alone would require that a minimum of sixty percent of all available tickets or raffle units, i.e., six million dollars is sixty percent of ten million dollars, be sold in order to avoid a net loss.
[0007]As a result, lotteries need to sell a significantly high percentage of available tickets to provide a raffle game that offers substantial prizes and avoids the risk of a net loss. This requisite high percentage has prevented significant growth of the raffle game product segment.
SUMMARY
[0008] In one aspect of the disclosure, a process is provided. The process generates a predetermined number of unique subcombinations of a set of game numbers, each of the subcombinations having the same quantity of numbers. Further, the process prints a set of probabilitiesbased raffle tickets for a probabilitiesbased raffle game such that each of the probabilitiesbased raffle tickets in the set of probabilitiesbased raffle tickets distinctly corresponds to one of the unique subcombinations of the set of game numbers. In addition, the process indicates a maximum prize that a single player having a probabilities based raffle ticket with a full match wins. The process also indicates a secondary prize that each of a plurality of players having a probabilitiesbased raffle ticket with a partial match wins. Each partial match is distinct and has a same quantity of numbers matched. The process also provides at least a subset of the set of probabilitiesbased raffle tickets to a plurality of players in the probabilitiesbased raffle game. Further, the process randomly selects a single subset of the set of game numbers that has the same quantity of numbers as each of the subcombinations. In addition, the process provides the maximum prize to a single player if the single player has a probabilitiesbased raffle ticket with a full match between the unique subcombination corresponding to the probabilitiesbased raffle ticket and the single subset of the set of game numbers that is selected. The process also provides the secondary prize to each of a plurality of players if the plurality of players each has a probabilitiesbased raffle ticket with a partial match between the unique subcombination corresponding to the probabilitiesbased raffle ticket and the single subset of the set of game numbers that is selected.
[0009] In another aspect of the disclosure, a process is provided. The process generates a predetermined number of unique subcombinations of a set of game numbers, each of the subcombinations having the same quantity of numbers. Further, the process prints a set of probabilitiesbased raffle tickets for a probabilitiesbased raffle game such that each of the probabilitiesbased raffle tickets in the set of probabilitiesbased raffle tickets distinctly corresponds to one of the unique subcombinations of the set of game numbers. In addition, the process indicates a maximum prize that is won by a player having a probabilitiesbased raffle ticket with a full match. The process also indicates a secondary prize that is won by a player having a probabilitiesbased raffle ticket with a partial match. Further, the process provides at least a subset of the set of probabilitiesbased raffle tickets to a plurality of players in the probabilitiesbased raffle game. In addition, the process randomly selects a single subset of the set of game numbers that has the same quantity of numbers as each of the sub combinations. The process also provides the maximum prize to a player if the player has a probabilitiesbased raffle ticket with a full match between the unique subcombination corresponding to the probabilitiesbased raffle ticket and the single subset of the set of game numbers that is selected. Finally, the process provides the secondary prize to a player if the player has a probabilitiesbased raffle ticket with a partial match between the unique subcombination corresponding to the probabilitiesbased raffle ticket and the single subset of the set of game numbers that is selected.
[0010] In yet another aspect of the disclosure, a system is provided. The system includes a subcombination generation module that generates a predetermined number of unique subcombinations of a set of game numbers, each of the sub combinations having the same quantity of numbers. Further, the system includes a printer that prints a set of probabilitiesbased raffle tickets for a probabilitiesbased raffle game such that each of the probabilitiesbased raffle tickets in the set of probabilitiesbased raffle tickets distinctly corresponds to one of the unique subcombinations of the set of game numbers. In addition, the system includes a display module that indicates a maximum prize that a single player having a probabilitiesbased raffle ticket with a full match wins and a secondary prize that each of a plurality of players having a probabilitiesbased raffle ticket with a partial match wins, each partial match being distinct and having a same quantity of numbers matched. The system also includes a ticket distribution module that provides at least a subset of the set of probabilities based raffle tickets to a plurality of players in the probabilitiesbased raffle game. Further, the system includes a random selection module that randomly selects a single subset of the set of game numbers that has the same quantity of numbers as each of the subcombinations. In addition, the system includes a maximum prize distribution module that provides the maximum prize to a single player if the single player has a probabilitiesbased raffle ticket with a full match between the unique subcombination corresponding to the probabilitiesbased raffle ticket and the single subset of the set of game numbers that is selected. The system also includes a secondary prize distribution module that provides the secondary prize to each of a plurality of players if the plurality of players each has a probabilitiesbased raffle ticket with a partial match between the unique sub combination corresponding to the probabilitiesbased raffle ticket and the single subset of the set of game numbers that is selected.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0011]The abovementioned features of the present disclosure will become more apparent with reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals denote like elements and in which:
[0012] Figure 1 illustrates a probabilitiesbased raffle prize structure.
[0013] Figure 2 illustrates a probabilitiesbased raffle prize structure that is an alternative configuration of the probabilitiesbased raffle prize structure illustrated in Figure 1. [0014] Figure 3 illustrates a process that may be utilized to provide a probabilitiesbased raffle game.
[0015] Figure 4 illustrates a block diagram of a station or system that composes and provides a probabilitiesbased raffle game.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
[0016]A method and apparatus are disclosed that provide a probabilitiesbased prize structure in a raffle game. The probabilitiesbased prize structure provides a known universe of prizes that would be awarded if all raffle tickets are sold. However, the awarding of prizes and the number of prizes is randomly determined based upon probabilities and odds regardless of the volume of tickets or units sold. In contrast to a lottery game, in one configuration, the raffle game would not provide for sharing of a prize in the event of multiple winners. In further contrast to a lottery game, in one configuration, the raffle game would not allow for rollovers, i.e., prizes amounts that have not been won in a particular drawing are not available for subsequent drawings.
[0017] Figure 1 illustrates a probabilitiesbased raffle prize structure 100. As an example, the ticket price 102 for a probabilitiesbased raffle ticket may be fifty dollars. A payout table 104 indicates the various prizes corresponding to particular types of matches between a set of player numbers appearing on a probabilitiesbased raffle ticket and a set of game numbers drawn in a drawing. A match field 106 indicates the different types of matches. For example, the match field 106 indicates a six of six match 108, a five of six match 110, a four of six match 112, a three of six match 114, and a two of six match 116.
[0018] Further, a number of tickets 118 is indicated for each of the matches. For example, a six of six number of ticket field 122 indicates that one hundred tickets out of all the available tickets, e.g., two hundred one million three hundred fifty nine five hundred fifty tickets, have a winning six of six match. Further, a five of six number of tickets field 124 indicates that four hundred fourteen tickets out of all the available tickets, e.g., two hundred one million three hundred fifty nine five hundred fifty tickets, have a winning five of six match. In addition, a four of six number of tickets field 124 indicates that thirty five thousand one hundred ninety tickets out of all the available tickets, e.g., two hundred one million three hundred fifty nine five hundred fifty tickets, have a winning four of six match. A three of six number of tickets field 128 indicates that one million forty seven six hundred fifty six tickets out of all the available tickets, e.g., two hundred one million three hundred fifty nine five hundred fifty tickets, have a winning three of six match. Further, a two of six number of tickets field 130 indicates that twelve million nine hundred ninety thousand nine hundred thirty nine tickets out of all the available tickets, e.g., two hundred one million three hundred fifty nine five hundred fifty tickets, have a winning two of six match.
[0019] An odds field 130 is also displayed. For example, a six of six odds field 132 indicates that the odds of having a six of six match are one in two hundred one million three hundred fifty nine five hundred fifty. Further, a five of six odds field 134 indicates that the odds of having a five of six match are one in four hundred eighty six thousand three hundred seventy six. In addition, a four of six odds field 136 indicates that the odds of having a four of six match are one in five thousand seven hundred twenty two. A three of six odds field 138 indicates that the odds of having a three of six match are one in one hundred ninety two. Further, a two of six odds field 140 indicates that the odds of having a two of six match are one in sixteen.
[002O]A prize field is also displayed. For example, a six of six match prize field 144 indicates that a prize of one billion dollars is won for a full match of six of six. Further, a five of six match prize field 146 indicates that a secondary prize of one million dollars is won for a partial match of five of six. If all four hundred fourteen tickets with five of six matches are sold, the secondary prize of one million dollars is provided in its entirety to each individual player. In one embodiment, the entirety of the prize may be provided as an annuity over time, a cash lump sum, or a discounted cash lump sum. In addition, a four of six match prize field 148 indicates that a prize of ten thousand dollars is won for a partial match of four of six. A three of six match prize field 150 indicates that a prize of one thousand dollars is won for a partial match of three of six. Finally, a two of six match prize field 152 indicates that a prize of one hundred dollars is won for a partial match of two of six. In one embodiment, the overall odds 154 of winning any type of prize may be displayed. For example, the overall odds 154 may be one in fourteen and thirty one tenths.
[0021] Unlike a typical raffle game, the probabilitiesbased raffle game randomly selects a winning ticket that may not have been sold. In other words, a typical raffle game selects a winning ticket from the tickets that are sold. As a result, all the prizes have to be paid out irrespective of whether ticket sales are enough for the payment of the prizes. The probabilitiesbased raffle game provides all the prizes if all the probabilitiesbased raffle game tickets are sold. However, if all of the probabilitiesbased raffle game tickets are not sold, the probabilitiesbased raffle game may not provide all the prizes. The probabilitiesbased raffle game randomly selects winning tickets from all possible tickets, not from all tickets sold. In one embodiment, the random selection may be implemented through a drawing of numbers. For example, a ball hopper, a random number generator, etc. may be utilized. As an example, a hopper may have seventy five balls from which six balls are drawn to obtain the six numbers that are utilized to determine potential matches illustrated in Figure 1. In another embodiment, the drawing is a single drawing.
[0022] The term expected payout percentage is intended to indicate the expected payout of a prize category as a percentage of ticket sales. The mathematically expected payout percentage can be derived for each prize category assuming all tickets are sold. For example, if all two hundred one million three hundred fifty nine five hundred fifty tickets are sold, the gross ticket sales equal ten billion sixty seven million nine hundred seventy seven thousand five hundred dollars. Therefore, the expected payout percentage for the maximum prize of one billion dollars, if paid as a cash lump sum prize, in the six of six match prize category equals nine and nine tenths percent.
[0023] Further, an analysis may be performed according to different ticket sales intervals to assess risk. For example, the expected payout percentage for the maximum prize category can be determined on the assumption that only thirty percent of the available tickets are sold. As a result, an entity can determine the risk level of different potential ticket sales. The analysis may also be performed for secondary prize categories.
[0024] In one embodiment, a secure process of random ticket distribution is utilized. Accordingly, a change in ticket sales should not substantially change the expected payout percentage for the lower prize categories. In other words, the higher number of prizes and the lower prizes in the lower prize categories prevents a substantial change in expected payout percentage for a moderate or even somewhat significant change in the ticket sales.
[0025] The mathematically expected payout percentage can also be derived for a subset or all of the prize categories assuming all tickets are sold. Further, an analysis may be performed according to different ticket sales intervals to assess risk.
[0026] The probabilitiesbased prize structure 100 allows volumesensitive ticket pricing to be utilized to provide appealing prizes based upon a mathematically expected minimum payout percentage. The mathematically expected minimum payout creates a buffer for relatively low sales volumes. For example, a prize structure could be developed to allow for a fifty percent expected payout percentage if less than thirty percent of total tickets are sold. Similarly, a prize structure could be developed to permit a sixty five percent payout if less than twenty percent of all tickets are sold.
[0027] In one embodiment, a percentage of ticket sales may be redistributed to the secondary prize categories. For example, if three quarters of the available tickets are sold without a six of six match, a percentage of the ticket sales can redistributed to increase the secondary prizes. As an example, the five of six match prize 146 may be increased to two million dollars. Accordingly, the secondary prizes are guaranteed minimums that may be increased based on ticket sales volume. In another embodiment, the secondary prizes may be increased even if the maximum prize is won.
[0028] Figure 2 illustrates a probabilitiesbased raffle prize structure 200 that is an alternative configuration of the probabilitiesbased raffle prize structure 100 illustrated in Figure 1. The probabilitiesbased raffle prize structure 200 may utilize a bonus ball ("BB") in addition to regular balls. In other words, six numbers are drawn, and then an additional BB is drawn. In one embodiment, that BB is simply one of the remaining balls, e.g., one of the remaining sixty nine balls out of seventy five balls in a hopper. In another embodiment, the BB is a ball drawn from a separate hopper. In yet another embodiment, the BB has a different indicia other than a number such as a color or a shape.
[0029]Accordingly, the probabilitiesbased raffle prize structure 200 has additional prizes for BB possibilities. For example, a five of six plus BB match field indicates a five of six plus BB match. Further, a five of six plus BB number of tickets field 204 indicates that six tickets have the winning five of six plus BB match. In addition, a five of six plus BB match odds field 206 indicates that the odds of winning the five of six plus BB match prize are one in thirty three million five hundred fifty nine thousand five hundred fifty. Finally, a five of six plus BB match prize field 208 indicates that a five of six plus BB match prize of five million dollars may be won with a partial match of five of six plus BB match. As another example, a four of six plus BB match field 210 indicates a four of six plus BB match. Further, a four of six plus BB number of tickets field 212 indicates that one thousand twenty tickets have the winning four of six plus BB match. In addition, a four of six plus BB match odds field 214 indicates that the odds of winning the four of six plus BB match prize are one in one hundred ninety seven thousand four hundred eleven. Finally, a four of six plus BB match prize field 216 indicates that a four of six plus BB match prize of one hundred thousand dollars may be won with a partial match of five of six plus BB match.
[003O] In an alternative embodiment, the probabilitiesbased raffle game may be supplemented with instant prizes to deliver value to players in advance of the raffle drawing. Unlike the probabilitiesbased prizes that are awarded in the raffle drawing itself, the instant prizes would be awarded at predetermined intervals or in predetermined quantities of tickets or defined subsets of tickets to be sold. The instant prizes may be utilized with any of the processes or system described herein. [0031] In another embodiment, the probabilitiesbased raffle game may be supplemented with early bird prizes intended to deliver greater value to players who purchase tickets early in the sales cycle. The additional early bird drawings could be conducted prior to the main raffle drawing. Players who purchase tickets at the beginning of the sales cycle would have progressively more chances to win early bird prizes. Further, players who purchase tickets later in the sales cycle would have progressively fewer chances to win early bird prizes. A unique identified or ticket number may be assigned to each unit sold for purposes of determining winners in the early bird drawings. The early bird prizes may be utilized with any of the processes or system described herein.
[0032] In yet another embodiment, the probabilitiesbased raffle game may include multiple prices for different portions of potential prize distributions. For example, a twenty five dollar ticket may allow a winner to win only forty percent of the six of six match prize 144 whereas a fifty dollar ticket may allow a winner to win one hundred percent of the six of six match prize 144. Therefore, the player is incentivized to purchase a fifty dollar ticket rather than two twenty five dollar tickets as the fifty dollar ticket provides a higher prize than two twenty five dollar tickets.
[0033] In another embodiment, the multiple pricing is directed towards price volume discounts. For example, twenty five dollars may allow a player to purchase a single ticket whereas one hundred dollars may allow a player to purchase five tickets. Therefore, the player is incentivized to purchase five tickets for one hundred dollars rather than four individual tickets as the five tickets provide more opportunities to win a prize than four individual tickets for the same total price of one hundred dollars.
[0034] Figure 3 illustrates a process 300 that may be utilized to provide a probabilitiesbased raffle game. At a process block 302, the process 300 generates a predetermined number of unique subcombinations of a set of game numbers. Each of the subcombinations has the same quantity of numbers. Further, at a process block 304, the process 300 prints a set of probabilities based raffle tickets for a probabilitiesbased raffle game such that each of the probabilitiesbased raffle tickets in the set of probabilitiesbased raffle tickets distinctly corresponds to one of the unique subcombinations of the set of game numbers. In addition, at a process block 306, the process 300 indicates a maximum prize that a single player having a probabilitiesbased raffle ticket with a full match wins. At a process block 308, the process 300 also indicates a secondary prize that each of a plurality of players having a probabilitiesbased raffle ticket with a partial match wins. Each partial match is distinct and has a same quantity of numbers matched. At a process block 310, the process 300 also provides at least a subset of the set of probabilitiesbased raffle tickets to a plurality of players in the probabilitiesbased raffle game. Further, at a process block 312, the process 300 randomly selects a single subset of the set of game numbers that has the same quantity of numbers as each of the sub combinations. In addition, at a process block 314, the process 300 provides the maximum prize to a single player if the single player has a probabilitiesbased raffle ticket with a full match between the unique subcombination corresponding to the probabilitiesbased raffle ticket and the single subset of the set of game numbers that is selected. At a process block 316, the process 300 also provides the secondary prize to each of a plurality of players if the plurality of players each has a probabilitiesbased raffle ticket with a partial match between the unique subcombination corresponding to the probabilitiesbased raffle ticket and the single subset of the set of game numbers that is selected.
[0035] In one embodiment, the process 300 also establishes, prior to the providing the at least the subset of the set of probabilitiesbased raffle tickets to the plurality of players in the probabilitiesbased raffle game, a predetermined percentage of tickets sales to be paid in prizes won for the probabilitiesbased raffle game. For example, a lottery may determine that fifty percent of tickets sales have to be utilized for paying prizes. Accordingly, the process 300 may increase the secondary prize by an additional amount if the total percentage of actual ticket sales subtracted from the predetermined percentage of ticket sales results in a remainder. The additional amount is less than or equal to the remainder. In the example with the predetermined percentage of fifty percent, if the total percentage of actual ticket sales is only forty percent, a remainder of ten percent exists. A portion or potentially all of that remainder may be utilized to increase the secondary prize. Further, that remainder may be split amongst multiple secondary prizes. In one configuration, the split within a prize category is even, but the split amongst different prize categories may be weighted. In one embodiment, the increase of the secondary prize by the percentage of ticket sales is effectuated prior to the random selection of the single subset of the set of game numbers that has the same quantity of numbers as each of the sub combinations. In another embodiment, the increase of the secondary prize by the percentage of ticket sales is effectuated after the random selection of the single subset of the set of game numbers that has the same quantity of numbers as each of the subcombinations. Further, in one embodiment, nonpayment of the maximum prize is a criterion for the increasing the secondary prize by the percentage of ticket sales. In the example, less than fifty percent of tickets would have to be sold and the maximum prize would not be won by any of the sold tickets in order for the secondary prize to be increased.
[0036] In one embodiment, the process 300 randomly selects an unordered sub combination of a set of game numbers. For example, if the drawn sub combination is the set of six of seventy five numbers equaling ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, and sixty, a ticket holder can have those numbers in any order and win the maximum prize.
[0037] In an alternative embodiment, the process 300 selects an ordered sub combination of a set of game numbers. For example, one hundred million tickets may be distributed. The tickets may be numbered zero through ninety nine million nine hundred ninety nine thousand nine hundred ninety nine. Each of eight digits would have to be matched in the correct order to be a winning ticket. For example, if the selected winning number is thirty one million one hundred seventy thousand five hundred ninety one six hundred fifty eight, the maximum prize winner has each of the digits on the ticket in the same order as selected. In other words, the number thirty one million one hundred fifty thousand seven hundred ninety one six hundred fifty eight has the same numbers as the selected number, but in a different order and therefore does not win the maximum prize. In one embodiment, the secondary prizes are based on having a whole number after the beginning digits. For example, the number seventy one million one hundred seventy thousand five hundred ninety one six hundred fifty eight is a seven of eight match because the first digit was not a match, but the remaining seven digits were in the identical order positions of the digits in the selected number. In one embodiment, a predetermined percentage of tickets sales to be paid in prizes won for the probabilitiesbased raffle game may also be established. For example, fifty percent of ticket sales may have to be paid in prizes that are won. The secondary prizes may be increased as described above if a remainder exists. [0038] In another embodiment, the process 300 utilizes a drawing for raffle prizes as a ratio of odds to units sold. The number of secondary prizes actually distributed is based on the direct proportion of odds to units sold. In another configuration, a winning ticket may not have to have an ordered match of drawn numbers. For example, if a raffle has one million tickets, the odds of winning the maximum prize are one in one million. That prize amount is static. However, the odds of winning a secondary prize with ten thousand tickets in the one million tickets may be one in one hundred. If only fifty percent of tickets are sold, then the number of prizes that are distributed is only five thousand, i.e., the total number of secondary prizes is divided in half. Even though the number of secondary prizes is reduced by this proportion, each of those secondary prizes may be increased by an additional amount of a remainder that may exist as described above. In one configuration, a winning ticket has to have an ordered match of drawn numbers.
[0039] The term maximum prize is defined herein to be the highest amount of a prize that may be won for an instant lottery game corresponding to an instant lottery ticket. Further, the term secondary prize is defined herein to be an amount of a prize less than the maximum that may be won for an instant lottery game corresponding to an instant lottery ticket. The secondary prize may be a prize that is the next lowest prize amount after the maximum prize or may be a prize that has a lower amount than the maximum prize and other prizes. In one embodiment, the process 300 may be utilized for more a maximum prize and a plurality of different secondary prizes that each have different prize amounts. [0040] The processes described herein may be implemented in a general, multipurpose or single purpose processor. Such a processor will execute instructions, either at the assembly, compiled or machinelevel, to perform the processes. Those instructions can be written by one of ordinary skill in the art following the description of the figures corresponding to the processes and stored or transmitted on a computer readable medium. The instructions may also be created using source code or any other known computeraided design tool. A computer readable medium may be any medium capable of carrying those instructions and include a CDROM, DVD, magnetic or other optical disc, tape, silicon memory (e.g., removable, nonremovable, volatile or nonvolatile), packetized or nonpacketized data through wireline or wireless transmissions locally or remotely through a network.
[0041]A computer is herein intended to include any device that has a general, multipurpose or single purpose processor as described above. For example, a computer may be a lottery terminal, a kiosk, a vending machine, a set top box ("STB"), cell phone, portable media player, or the like.
[0042] Figure 4 illustrates a block diagram of a station or system 400 that composes and provides a probabilitiesbased raffle game. In one embodiment, the station or system 400 is implemented utilizing a general purpose computer or any other hardware equivalents. Thus, the station or system 400 comprises a processor 410, a memory 420, e.g., random access memory ("RAM") and/or read only memory (ROM), a probabilitiesbased raffle prize module 440, and various input/output devices 430, (e.g., audio/video outputs and audio/video inputs, storage devices, including but not limited to, a tape drive, a floppy drive, a hard disk drive or a compact disk drive, a receiver, a transmitter, a speaker, a display, an image capturing sensor, e.g., those used in a digital still camera or digital video camera, a clock, an output port, a user input device (such as a keyboard, a keypad, a mouse, and the like, or a microphone for capturing speech commands)). [0043] It should be understood that the probabilitiesbased raffle prize module 440 may be implemented as one or more physical devices that are coupled to the processor 410. For example, the probabilitiesbased raffle prize module 440 may include a plurality of modules. Alternatively, the probabilitiesbased raffle prize module 440 may be represented by one or more software applications (or even a combination of software and hardware, e.g., using application specific integrated circuits (ASIC)), where the software is loaded from a storage medium, (e.g., a magnetic or optical drive, diskette, or nonvolatile memory) and operated by the processor in the memory 420 of the computer. As such, the probabilities based raffle prize module 440 (including associated data structures) of the present disclosure may be stored on a computer readable medium, e.g., RAM memory, magnetic or optical drive or diskette and the like.
[0044] It is understood that the processes and systems described herein may also be applied in other types of processes and systems. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the various adaptations and modifications of the embodiments of the processes and systems described herein may be configured without departing from the scope and spirit of the present processes and systems. Therefore, it is to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the present processes and systems may be practiced other than as specifically described herein.
Claims
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