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The Almighty Buck Software

CT Lottery to Offer PC Game 303

nstrom writes "The Connecticut State Lottery is giving out a PC game (for Windows, presumably) with their new scratch-off lottery tickets which offer a chance of winning $25,000 by playing. This news article from the Hartford Courant mentions that the game might be targeted at children, but there's no mention of any problems involving software cracking, which is what I immediately thought of. I'm sure there are some bored crackers out there who'd tackle this for a chance at some cash. What do you think?"
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CT Lottery to Offer PC Game

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  • Outrageous (Score:3, Funny)

    by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:45PM (#5436288) Homepage Journal

    I think it's unconscionable that Connecticut is having a lottery offering crack for children to raise cash.

    I'm going to call up my radio station immediately and express my opinion about this obscenity.

    • by arcmay ( 253138 )
      I'm sure there are some bored crackers out there who'd tackle this for a chance at some cash.

      [In Chris Rock voice:]
      Crazy cracker-ass-crackers. They always tryin' to beat the lotto and steal the cash from non-internet havin' brothas. Cracka-ass-crackers!
      [End Chris Rock voice]
    • <VOICE STYLE=emily-latella>
      What's that you say? Oh, that's very different... Never Mind.
      </VOICE>
  • by feed_me_cereal ( 452042 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:45PM (#5436292)
    Lottery
    english - noun
    def 1. A tax on people who suck at math.

    (I admit, stolen from a bumpersticker, but I think it's funny :))
    • This is right, and I laugh every time some state legislator argues we should set up some new casino or game to raise money for some project that can't get funding otherwise.

      I'm not sure if they think people will gamble more or if those places print money behind the scenes. I'm guessing the latter.
      • Re:Lottery: def (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:53PM (#5436372) Homepage Journal
        You forgot option #3 - whether or not people end up gambling more, the legislator is sure to get a nice, steady stream of campaign contributions for his efforts to "provide funding for such needy causes."

        You'll notice that gambling initiatives never are proposed to fund highway development or the general fund. They're always "earmarked" (a bogus term that any accountant can get around) for education, welfare, etc.

        • You'll notice that gambling initiatives never are proposed to fund highway development or the general fund.

          Until now! [startribune.com] Our own Dick Day (as in "Dick Day before he dicks you") is proposing just that.

          Around here we have a lot of Indian casinos, and usually the new gambling proposals are either casinos sited a lot closer than Indian casinos or some kind of statewide thing that wouldn't entail a lot of travel. The Indians complain because they know the market for throwing away money is finite and it will drain customers.
    • by The Phantom Buffalo ( 613874 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:50PM (#5436341)
      Actually it's the way the state gets it's welfare money back.

    • "A tax on people who suck at math."

      A person with a lottery ticket has infinitely more chances of winning than a person that has none. So nyeah!
    • Re:Lottery: def (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Titusdot Groan ( 468949 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @05:23PM (#5436580) Journal
      I remember when I learned statistics waAAAaaay back in high school, figured out my Dad's chances of winning the million dollar prize and went home and informed him how "stupid" he was for playing.

      He sighed and told me that for 1 dollar a week he could day dream about winning the millions, retiring before he was 40 and doing everything he ever wanted to do in his life but couldn't because he had been kicked out of the house at 15 and had to get a real job instead of going to school and learning statistics. It was a pretty cheap day dream.

      I still occassionally buy lottery tickets to this day :-)

      • That has been my point.
      • Way back (probably Oct 10, 1993), there was a Washington Post article that followed up on the winners of Maryland's first million-dollar lottery. Almost all of them said winning was the worst thing that ever happened to them.

        I got the date from this [health20-20.org] website.

        But here's also a quote from the website that gives the typical scenario:

        ------

        "Paul McNabb was Maryland's first $1-million lottery winner 20 years ago. He has now seen his last check, the final $50,000 on his two-decade splurge. He now faces life after lottery. Has the money changed him for better or worse? The story is told by the Washington Post.21
        "Today McNabb lives in a rented two-bedroom apartment near Lake Mead outside Las Vegas, where he drives taxi on the night shift. He doesn't own a car or any property. The lottery experience has ruined his ability to trust his fellow humanity.
        "For a year after his award, his story appeared in dozens of papers, on radio and television, including those in Canada, Britain, and Australia. He received thousands of letters from people wanting money. Religious groups, travel agents, investment counselors, budding film producers, literary groups, poor people all wanted a part of McNabb's good fortune.
        "One letter-writer threatened McNabb's two daughters, whose pictures had appeared in newspapers and on television, unless money was forthcoming. He turned the letters over to the FBI. He feared for himself, his daughters, his wife. His house in the Owings Mills area, near Baltimore, was broken into three times, presumably by people who thought $1 million might be lying around, he said. People came to the door, called on the phone, accosted him everywhere. Rather than to continue enjoying this limelight, he ran for cover, to the shores of Lake Mead, where he joined the military.
        "'If you had gone through what I went through that first year, you wouldn't have trusted your own mother,' he said. 'Do you realize I've lost 20 years of social life, of being human? I never got over the point that I always had to be on my guard.'
        "Stories like this, with variations, can be told about many instant millionaires. Many of gambling's big winners have had their lives turned topsy-turvy. They bear the scars for life.

        ------

        The real losers are the winners. But also losing are the losers. And the people who are taking something [state services] for nothing [lottery-style theft], since they are undermining their own society.

        In line with fasting, people just might try giving up their little personal evils, and maybe we could all live with a little less government, a little less war, ... I dunno.

  • by CommieLib ( 468883 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:45PM (#5436296) Homepage
    It's the government doing it, so that means there's nothing wrong with it. Quoth Reverend Lovejoy:

    Once something has been approved by the Government, It's no longer immoral.

    Of course, it would be wrong for private individuals to run gambling operations, just like it's wrong for individuals to steal...
    • Native Americans run their own casinos and bingo halls, up here in Canada. They're completely independent of the government.
    • by release7 ( 545012 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @05:32PM (#5436655) Homepage Journal
      Let's see, what did Orwell have to say about lotteries?

      They were talking about the Lottery. Winston looked back when he had gone thirty metres. They were still arguing, with vivid, passionate faces. The Lottery, with its weekly pay-out of enormous prizes, was the one public event to which the proles paid serious attention. It was probable that there were some millions of proles for whom the Lottery was the principal if not the only reason for remaining alive. It was their delight, their folly, their anodyne, their intellectual stimulant. Where the Lottery was concerned, even people who could barely read and write seemed capable of intricate calculations and staggering feats of memory. There was a whole tribe of men who made a living simply by selling systems, forecasts, and lucky amulets. Winston had nothing to do with the running of the Lottery, which was managed by the Ministry of Plenty, but he was aware (indeed everyone in the party was aware) that the prizes were largely imaginary.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:46PM (#5436304)
    If I *click* play enough, will I finally be able to *click* hit that *click* stupid *click* monkey.
  • by Doctor Sbaitso ( 605467 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:46PM (#5436305) Journal
    which offer a chance of winning $25,000 by playing

    Is it real money... or do they just show your character with a $25,000 cheque and some text that says "You are the winner!" with some cheesy background music?
  • by Rooked_One ( 591287 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:46PM (#5436307) Journal
    It seems that this is the basic theory in this - maybe i'm missunderstanding, but it doesn't really seem like a lottery at all - sort of a quake3 tournament for people that don't have the skill to play quake3, or aren't inherently good at fast reflex requiring games.

    I bet if there was a game like Diablo 2 where some sort of cash reward was involved, but it was a pay to play service like EQ, many many people would get very hooked on it. HEY DON'T STEAL MY IDEA ****patent pending****

  • by conner_bw ( 120497 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:47PM (#5436313) Journal
    An anonymous philanthropist is offering $25,000 to anyone who can crack the Connecticut state lottery game.

    Oh wait...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:47PM (#5436317)
    Seems like there would be some legal issues with this as CT has state laws against on-line gambling. Most states do, for that matter.

  • by loucura! ( 247834 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:48PM (#5436320)
    I seriously doubt that every cd will be "winable", more likely, they have a limited run of "winable" cd's, followed by a larger run of cd's with limited winnings (like five or ten dollars), which the majority of scratch-off "winnings" are.

    They'll probably have one cd that can win the "grand prize", and that one is probably at the bottom of the St. Charles River in Quebec.
  • by Mothra the III ( 631161 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:48PM (#5436321)
    Camel Joe shouldn't have a monopoly on inappropriate advertising aimed at children. Nice to be able to have a smoke while you are gambling, kids!
  • What do I think? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lawbeefaroni ( 246892 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:49PM (#5436330) Homepage
    What do you think?

    It sounds dumb, that's what I think. But I wouldn't worry about crackers (people trying to crack the game and win the cash kind of crackers). They state the odds are 1 in 260,000. This is their business and you damn well better believe they won't be paying out more than that.

    Even if they are foolish enough to let out a game that can easily be cracked (doubtful, they'll probably just put an encryped code on the winning CDs and check it when you come to redeem), they can refuse the prize at any time. So if too many people come to redeem it, "Sorry, we're paid out. Read the fine print, go home."

  • Odds (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Yo Grark ( 465041 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:49PM (#5436331)
    I think my odds of cracking the software are better than winning the lottery!

    Yo Grark
    Canadian Bred with American Buttering
  • Lotto (Score:5, Funny)

    by telstar ( 236404 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:49PM (#5436332)
    All you need is a dollar and a dream...

    ...and Window XP
    DirectX 9.0
    64 megs of ram
    A 3D accelerated video card
    A sound card
    A mouse
    A keyboard

    • ...if it doesn't run on a Mac or Linux, does that show favoritism by the Gov for a company found guilty of abusing its monopolostic position? I would think the Gov would put out something platform neutral. Javascript, flash, or better yet Java plugin.

    • by I Love this Company! ( 547598 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @05:34PM (#5436675)
      All you need is a dollar and a dream...

      ...and Window XP
      DirectX 9.0
      64 megs of ram

      The odds of getting Windows XP to run smoothly with 64MB of RAM are now greater than winning the actual lottery.

  • by Dragon218 ( 139996 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:50PM (#5436333) Homepage
    We have these in Louisville. Basically you buy a scratch-off ticket with a serial number on it. You enter that into the computer game and click the shiny buttons. Then, after wasting 10 minutes, find out what your prize is. Then you take the ticket to your local gas station and tell them it's a winner. They scan it and give you $3 or so.

    I suppose you could put in serial numbers until you find the $25,000 winner. You wouldn't get anything out of it.
    • So what does CT get out of it but interest from people?

      [don tinfoil hat]

      Perhaps there's something in the EULA to collect personal information and/or check for 'illegal activity'?

      [/hat]
    • I suppose you could put in serial numbers until you find the $25,000 winner. You wouldn't get anything out of it.

      Are the serial numbers distributed in some predictable order? Once you have the winning serial number, then you can find the store which is distributing that serial number.

      • and then you could blow $30,000 buying all the tickets until you find the right one. that's assuming, of course, that they keep track and publish which store has what ticket numbers, which would be very, very stupid of them.
    • So what's to stop someone from scratching off the ticket and just bringing it straight to the local gas station? The most they can do is tell you it isn't a winner. That way you wouldn't have to install their bloated adware on your already unstable copy of Windows 98 just to recover $3 of the $33 you already spent on the stupid things...

      On the second point, even if you were to put in serial numbers until you found the $25,000 winner, then what? You still don't have the ticket you'd need to turn into the local gas station. And you can bet they're going to examine the "big winnner" very carefully to make sure it's authentic!
    • And in other news, a local hacker was arrested today for hacking into a pigly-wiggly lotto machine. Other local hackers in hysterics.
    • Yeah, it basically says that in the article. I wish submitters would actually READ them before they type their synopsis.
  • Bored? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dotgod ( 567913 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:50PM (#5436343)
    I'm sure there are some bored crackers out there who'd tackle this for a chance at some cash.

    If there's $25k involved, I'm sure even a cracker who wasn't bored would give it a shot.

  • Crackers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dirk Pitt ( 90561 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:50PM (#5436344) Homepage
    I read the article and it's pretty vague on how the game actually informs you of a payoff -- if all of the games are the same and give a chance at winning, you can bet that this will be cracked in less than 24 hours.

    It seems like the best way to do this would be *not* having some random chance of any given game winning, but instead link in a seperate module for 1 in 260000 that has a cash redemption code at the end or some such. In other words, have a 'loser' version, and a 'winner' version, with none of the winner's code in the losing version.

  • by eisbar1 ( 655197 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:52PM (#5436355)
    In Western Canada anyway... Western Canada Lotto Corp. [wclc.com] It's bloody expensive for a scratch-ticket type game though. $8 to get in, and $4 for each additional ticket. Eisbar
  • by handy_vandal ( 606174 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:52PM (#5436356) Homepage Journal
    Of course it's targeted at children. Only a child would expect to win the lottery.

    "The Lottery: When You Need Millions of Dollars, Right Away!"
  • There's a universe where that happens.
  • considering it's centered around a cartoon character. Didn't the CT lottery learn anything from Joe Camel - that cartoon characters and vices don't go together?

    I've always found it ironic that gambling is so bad that it needs to be illegal in most places, yet it's OK for state governments to run lotteries - which probably offer worse odds than legal games would. Sounds like rent seeking behavior to me.

  • "You cannot say it is not related to children when you use cartoon figures. It's obvious children will gamble with this product," Steinberg said. "There should be no cartoon figures in any form of gambling."

    That sounds rather ridiculous. There have been many Simpson's episodes in which Homer, Marge, and even Bart have gambled. Not that that makes it right, but there is quite a precedent with cartoons gambling. There are much bigger things to worry about.

    • There have been many Simpson's episodes in which Homer, Marge, and even Bart have gambled. Not that that makes it right, but there is quite a precedent with cartoons gambling. There are much bigger things to worry about.

      But, nonetheless, in all of those episodes we see harmful consequences due to their gambling. You think we'll see that in this game? Mmnah.

      -T

    • ...is this quote from the article:
      "You cannot say it is not related to children when you use cartoon figures. It's obvious children will gamble with this product," Steinberg said. "There should be no cartoon figures in any form of gambling."
      Since when are children the only people who like cartoon characters? It seems like the assumption is being made that cartoons only appeal to children, and (as many here know) that's inaccurate.
  • by dcavanaugh ( 248349 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:53PM (#5436373) Homepage
    From the article..."There is a one-in-260,000 chance of winning $25,000 in the game"

    That means each chance is "worth" about 9.6 cents. That's some pretty long odds for not-so-great money, and I'll bet it ends up costing alot more than 10 cents a try.
    • Well, there are a number of other prizes as well, but yes, the house take on a lottery is completely insane, usually somewhere in the neighborhood of 50%.

      If you actually want to win $25k, you're better off going to Vegas, putting $25 down on black, then hoping black comes up ten times in a row. The odds of that working are only about one in 1200 or so, depending if you're playing on a single zero or double zero wheel.

      Sure you can't do it as often, but that's for the best anyway, isn't it?

  • by jgoeres ( 622989 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:53PM (#5436374) Homepage
    I would refer anyone with questions about this game's alleged (pre)pubescent target audience to the fine, upstanding American cities of Las Vegas, Reno, or Atlantic City for comparison.

    Anyone who has been in a casino in the last 5 years has noticed the proliferation of colorful, fully-animated, cartoon slot machines. Almost nothing (except stuff from IGT) has mechanical reels anymore. The new machines _scream_ out "I'm like a video game! Note my humorous caricatures of rednecks, TV stars, and clowns!"

    Sure, the lottery game probably appeals to a certain juvenile instinct in the players (which is what I'd personally have a bigger problem with), but I doubt that this rises to the level of a conspiracy to bilk money from players who are too young to collect the potential purse from playing. It's just a bit of Vegas seeping into the respectable, honest, dependable investm^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hlottery industry.

    And besides, *$4* for one in 260 kiloChances??? Thanks, but I'll stick to baiting reckless drivers to chase me down and assault me so I can sue them.

    Justin
  • by bobdotorg ( 598873 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:56PM (#5436399)
    How about bundling an X rated video game with a pack of condoms. Name of the game: 'Plan B'.
  • Thank you! (Score:5, Funny)

    by spoonist ( 32012 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:56PM (#5436405) Journal

    Dear Connecticut State Lottery,

    I would like to sincerely thank you. For quite some time now, I've wanted to hone my reverse engineering skills to a very fine edge. Lately, though, I have lacked motivation.

    For a while, I dabbled in reverse engineering on-line gambling software. However, depositing money in some shady off-shore bank first really put a wet blanket on my enthusiasm.

    This announcement has rekindled my desire to expand my reverse engineering capabilities. I look forward to practicing on your software.

    Thank you.

    -spoonist

  • Been there done that, played the card games... There is no chance of cheating, since the card is verified just like any other lottery card. The key determines how the games plays and shows you what you win (or not win). Even if you don't enter the correct key while playing the game and win the 25k on your computer, you are never going to collect it...
  • Wow... (Score:3, Funny)

    by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @04:57PM (#5436416) Homepage Journal
    "It's got softer music. It's nonviolent. The action figure is a traveler, not a superhero."

    "We don't think that a child would really be interested in playing this game."

    Well, at least they understand modern kids!

    • Re:Wow... (Score:3, Funny)

      by mcmonkey ( 96054 )
      "It's got softer music. It's nonviolent. The action figure is a traveler, not a superhero."
      "We don't think that [anyone] would really be interested in playing this game."

      CT is making their own version of Sims Online?

  • Hold your horses (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    By the description of the game it seems pretty much like the one available here in Quebec. Here the two games are a Mah-Jongg type and a mini-putt type of games. The basic point is that they are not casino-type games, so as such would not encourage per-se children to become money-playing addicts.

    What is more, the games have parental control protection in case you think playing too much golf is dangerous to your 4-year-old.

    I understand that the point is that children are attracted to computer games, put believe me, these are well executed but lame games... And at some point, you have to take responsibility as a parent to control what your child does.

    Finally, the games are certainly easily crackable. The catch is that "winning" the game has no value. As the article points out, its the ticket that has the value, protected by a zillion digits control number. So it is on the same level as other scratch-and-win games.
    • It says the game is owned by Lotto Quebec, just being distrod by Connecticutt.

      But here's something even stupider:

      <quote>
      "You get four tickets for $15. Where could you buy a video game for 15 bucks? You can't," said Derevensky, co-director of the McGill University Youth Gambling Research and Treatment Clinic in Montreal.
      </quote>

      Methinks he should check out game prices at Future Shit^H^H^HShop - Microsoft Flight Sim 98 = $14.99 Cdn, Railroad Something-or-other $9.99 Cdn, playable demos of various games ("Raven Shield", etc. - 1 cent), Maxis 6-game Sim Packs (SimIsle, other titles) under $20.00. Derevensky should get out more.

  • Lottery & ATM's (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ch-chuck ( 9622 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @05:00PM (#5436434) Homepage
    Actually, states would do well to partner with banks to put the lottery in bank ATM machines. When you go to withdraw cash, you have the option to buy so many lottery tickets, using funds from your account. If you lose, too bad. But if you win, instant payout.

    • by dwdyer ( 5238 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @05:28PM (#5436615) Homepage Journal
      When you go to withdraw cash, you have the option to buy so many lottery tickets, using funds from your account. If you lose, too bad. But if you win, instant payout.

      Heck, why not have an option to receive your Income Tax refund in lottery tickets?

      Or maybe a certain percentage of your paycheck? Wait -- they call that stock options.

  • Nothing new (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I work for a company that produces scratch and win lottery tickets, this is actually old news. Many countries/companies have produced such a game

    The game (of which I haven't played) has nothing to do with skill, it only depends upon the numbers that are under the scratch off material on the physical ticket. so even if you could "crack" the game it wouldn't do anything for you because to clain the prize you need the physical ticket.

    The game is nothing but a formality if you didn't have a PC you could just simply turn the ticket in and the retailer would tell you if you've won/loose and for how much.
  • This is attrocious, lotteries are basically gambling. (I know, don't buy it or use it, but it's often not that easy for someone who is addicted) This is like targeting kids with cigarettes, get them hooked young and you have a customers for life. I know some might argue that lotteries contribute to worthy state programs but I think the longterm consequences (yet another addiction) should seriously be considered. If they do produce a game don't target it at kids and make it obvious what it is -- a vehicle to get you to play the lottery more often!
  • "I'm sure there are some bored crackers out there who'd tackle this for a chance at some cash"

    From the article it sounds like the ticket determins if you win money and the game is just window dressing.

    From the Courant:
    "Customers may choose to forgo the CD and just scratch and turn in their ticket to see if it's a winner"
  • by PseudoThink ( 576121 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @05:24PM (#5436591)
    They sent out a DVD-ROM game you could play, which was basically a Macromedia choose-your-own-path game with Quicktime movies. Highest three scores would win an Escalade, powerboat, or motorcycle. They tried to make you play it while you were online, the idea being that only your first reported score mattered. That was easy to circumvent though (thank to plaintext registry keys), so you could play as many times as you wanted to find the optimal solution (skill was not a factor, though finding the highest valid score was a tiny bit tricky). Needless to say, my friend and I both got into the final round (along with 100 or so other fellow cheate...I mean, very lucky players), from which the winner was selected by a lame 50 word essay. We tried to "hack" that too by making a funny video presentation and web site, and including the urls in our essays. But we didn't win...some lame limmerick and word play essays were the winners...bastards! But if the lotto game was anything like that, you can bet their first winner will be mere hours after they release the game. It's probably linked to a ticket number, though, like someone else said. That's the easiest way for them to render hacking attempts useless.
  • *hack hack hack* Hey look, I won! *hack hack hack* Heh! I won AGAIN! Gee, what are the odds ;)
  • by yo303 ( 558777 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @05:49PM (#5436784)
    I have never understood the difference between so-called "illegal" gambling and legal gambling such as the lottery and church-run bingo games.

    It's not just the level of skill involved. Let's have a look.

    • One-armed bandits - gambling, no skill required
    • Horse betting - gambling, some skill required
    • Poker - gambling, skill required

    • Government lotteries - not gambling, no skill required
    • Bingo - not gambling, some skill required
    • Playing the stock market - not gambling, skill required

    What exactly is the difference? As was mentioned elsewhere, Reverend Lovejoy said it best:

    Once something has been approved by the Government, it's no longer immoral.

    yo.

  • Iowa was the first to offer this Treasue Tower game. The story on this page [gregstevens.org] from 11/16/00:

    Lottery's Treasure Tower Sales Going Well

    Iowa is the first state in the nation to offer an instant-ticket lottery game that can be played on a home computer. Sales of the game began in October, and have gradually been introduced to all of the game at select shopping malls. As of November 14th, the Iowa Lottery has collected approximately $187,456 in sales from the game.
    Treasure Tower is a unique combination of a scratch game and CD-ROM technology, with the security of built-in parental control. The Treasure Tower CD cannot be activated without a code from a scratch ticket, which must be purchased at an Iowa retailer by someone age 21 or older.
    Players initially buy a Treasure Tower pack containing a CD and three scratch tickets for $12. After the game is installed, future tickets can be bought for $4 per ticket.
    Recommended minimum computer re-quirements for the game:
    Pentium® 166 MHz compatible
    Windows® 95, Windows® 98 or Windows® 2000
    32 MB main memory
    20 MB available on hard disk
    CD-ROM player 8X
    Sound card (compatible with DirectSound®)
    SVGA Graphics card (640 x 480 pixels in 16-bit mode)
    The game will not operate on Windows NT, Mac or Linux systems. Players experiencing difficulty playing the game can call 1-888-852-5558 for assistance from 8 a.m. to midnight.
    The game will automatically install itself when inserted into the computer. Treasure Tower then asks for an access code, which is found on scratch tickets in the game. Each ticket contains a single access code good for one adventure. Once installed, the game can be played again and again with different tickets granting access to different adventures.

    Expansion of Gambling?
    Critics contend that Treasure Tower is an ex-pansion of gambling, and is a form of video gam-bling at home. They are also concerned that the game, with cartoon characters, targets kids. The Iowa Lottery is emphasizing the parental control features of the game that allow adults to block access to the game by those under the age of 21. By entering their own password in the game, players can block anyone else from playing the game.
    Set in the Babylonian era, Treasure Tower takes players with a character known as "the Traveler" as he explores the Treasure Tower, a desert castle. The tower has 100 rooms and the code on each ticket gives the player 10 lucky stones that grant access to at least 10 of the rooms. As the traveler searches the tower, the player helps him find objects and symbols in each room. Finding three identical symbols wins a prize. Prizes start at $4, and reaching room 100 at the top of the tower wins the top prize of $10,000.
    • BTW, on that same page

      Lottery Goes Scratch and Sniff
      Much less controversial is the Lottery's other scratch game called Easy as Pie. This game features the first scented lottery tickets introduced in Iowa.
      Tiny capsules of the pumpkin pie scent were applied to the edges of the latex area on the front of Easy as Pie tickets. The scent of cinnamon and pumpkin pie will be released when players scratch their tickets. :-)
  • The CD's a gimmick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by krisbrockway ( 451323 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2003 @05:53PM (#5436813)

    The store I work at got in one of the demos for this game, and since I'm the "resident computer geek", they had me test it out. The CD part of the game is just a complete gimmick. You buy a ticket, which has some long number you type into the program. You watch it go through some corny animation sequences, where you click on every damn thing on the screen, then afterwards, it shows if you won anything. The CD itself doesn't do anything, you need the $4 ticket to claim the prize.

    Personally, I think it's going to flop. A lot of the people that I see who buy lotto tickets either go immediately scratch them, then return five minutes later to cash them and buy more, or they just purchase occasionally. This won't appeal to either group; the occasional buyer won't want to drop $25 for the "starter kit" with CD, and the addicts want their money right away, and won't buy it.

  • How many kids will get a hold of this on their own. I mean, my 4 year old understands windows enough to run the autorun-setup program!

    parental keys only work after it's installed. I just don't like the idea of kids randomly getting ahold of this.

    My wife is horrible about gambling! I have a stuffed dog from the fair that cost $50! We just kept on playin' until she won something and in the end we ended up owing the guy like $30 cause we weren't payin' before each shot. Since then, I don't let her out of my sight at the fair, or at least hand her a budget and cut her off! the dog serves as a visual reminder! If she ever walked in a casino, I'd be bankrupt!

    They say people should stop themselves, but I'll tell you that certian personalities just can't stop hoping for the big score! Putting this in any form where kids can get it unattended is just wrong and should be stopped! The people planning this should be booted from office or fired, whichever applies! If your Legislative critters get ideas like this--boot 'um!

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

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