Eager innovative Islanders spent this past weekend at the Startup Zone in Charlottetown in hopes of developing a concept for a new lottery game.
Roughly 62 participants developed and pitched original lottery game ideas during a three-day Lotto Game Super Hackathon organized by Atlantic Lotto, which took place simultaneously in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I.
The goal of the hackathon was to design a digital instant game for Atlantic Lotto.
“It really is an interesting way to sort of get people out there working in groups, coming together, thinking something through and coming back with some interesting ideas,” said Jennifer MacDonald-Donovan, manager of corporate communications for Atlantic Lotto.
A hackathon is an event where a group of people meet to engage in collaborative product and service design and development. It typically lasts multiple days.
This was the eighth hackathon by Atlantic Lotto and the first Super Hackathon. The first eight were held in Halifax and this year Atlantic Lotto collaborated with three Atlantic Startup hubs, including Startup Zone in P.E.I.
MacDonald-Donovan said the entries will provide ideas for Atlantic Lotto to consider and elaborate on.
“There could be something that someone comes up with and we think ‘that’s so cool but what about this’,” she said. “It’s the thinking differently that we’re looking into.”
Some of the ideas will go on to be tested with panels of players.
Mentors and staff helped guide the teams along over the three days.
Four groups presented on P.E.I.
Entries in P.E.I. included: “Black Jack Slots” by Donnie’s Angels, which combines the two games; “Clash Blaster” by Studio Burrow, a skill based gambling game similar to a video game; “VRcode” by AGAMA, which is like an arcade through virtual reality; and “The Instant Olympic Winner” by Benjamin Idowu, which is a dice game based on the hundred-metre dash.
Idowu, who entered individually, said he wanted to incorporate the Olympics into his idea because it’s something most people like.
“Each region has its preferred sport but one thing that’s common across all the regions of the world is the Olympics,” he said.
Each team had three minutes to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and two minutes for a question and answer period.
Projects were judged on presentation, impressiveness, completeness, and innovation.
Teams were ranked by total score, with the top three teams at each hub winning monetary prizes.
First place in P.E.I. went to AGAMA, which received $1,500; second place was Donnie’s Angels, $1,000; third was Studio Burrow, $500.
An overall grand-prize of $2,000 went to a team in Halifax.
Some who participated are already thinking about their ideas for next year.
“It was fun,” said Reilly Webster from the Donnie’s Angels team, which is a group of four first-year computer info systems students at Holland College. “We definitely want to do it again next year.”