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My New Retirement Plan

June 17, 2010

United States Patent No. 7,736,226, issued to Bally Gaming, Inc. on Tuesday, relates to providing an annuity to a progressive jackpot winner in lieu of an immediate payout.   A progressive jackpot is often provided in association with slot machines.  In these progressive jackpot systems, a portion of the money collected by a number of machines is pooled to provide a mega-jackpot that can be won on any of the machines.  The benefit of the invention appears to be that it allows the casino to display the entire value of annuity payments as the jackpot, rather than just the value of the pooled portion of the collected money.  For example, see claim 7:

7.  A method for providing a progressive jackpot, the method comprising:

funding the progressive jackpot with one or more contributions from a progressive jackpot provider;

determining a current value of the progressive jackpot using a data processing device of a progressive controller by calculating an annuitized value from the one or more contributions, the annuitized value being a total payout value of the progressive jackpot when invested in an annuity and paid over a period of time ending at a future date, wherein the annuitized value is larger than a total amount of the one or more contributions, and wherein the current value of the progressive jackpot is defined as the annuitized value, and wherein the annuitized value is based on the current sum of the predetermined portion of wagers;

displaying the current value of the progressive jackpot on a progressive display for viewing by one or more players;

recalculating and displaying the current value of the progressive jackpot; and

in response to a progressive jackpot triggering event, providing the player with an option to receive an annuity that is equal to the current value of the progressive jackpot, wherein the annuity is funded by the total contributions or a lump sum payment that is equal to a total of all contributions from the progressive jackpot provider.

No word on what riders will be available with the annuity.

In other news, the Supreme Court issued several decisions today, but still no Bilski.  Bilski is now the only case argued in November that has not yet been decided.

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