4 Basic Difference Between Lotteries and Scratchies

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In Australia, there are two types of lotteries run by state government – lotteries where you select numbers and then wait if the same numbers are chosen in a drawing, and second is scratchies which are instant play tickets that offer you instant prizes.

Difference between lotteries and Scratchies

Still, there are a few differences between these two types of lotteries. The major differences are as under:

  1. Frequency in Play

The most prominent and apparent difference between these two games is the frequency that you play them. Most of the state and national lottery games are open to play once a week, although smaller lotteries may be played regularly.

So long scratchies are concerned, you can purchase one and know if you’ve won a prize in a few minutes. The instant results of Scratchies cannot be matched with the lotteries.

2. Fixed vs. Variable Payouts

Fixed vs. Variable Payouts

Fixed vs. Variable Payouts

You will find fixed odds when playing a scratchie. Although the odds on scratch cards can vary if many of the jackpot tickets are already out of circulation. But in the vast majority of cases, you’ll always be playing with the same odds. You will be playing to win the same prizes every time you play a particular scratch card.

But in lotteries, the odds and payouts change based on a few different factors. Particularly, this occurs when a jackpot isn’t hit and the jackpot total carries over to the next drawing. This may lead to the jackpot to rise as high as $100 million or more on games like Powerball.

Of course, this increases the number of Australians who will be playing these games as well. This means your chances of splitting a jackpot are also higher. But your chance of winning a prize won’t change when a jackpot gets bigger. The numbers are random, but the returns are theoretically better because of the increased top prize.

Playing online scratchies have much better odds than their traditional counterparts. An online casino only has to make a modest profit to make offering these games worthwhile.

3. Size of Prizes

With scratchie, the odds are quite fixed. Although the odds on scratch cards may vary if most of the jackpot tickets are out of circulation, in the majority of cases, you’ll play with the same odds, and would win the same prizes every time you play any specific scratch card.

But lotteries have odds and payouts that keep changing based on some factors. Particularly, when a jackpot is not hit and the jackpot carries over to the next drawing, which can result in a massive rise in the jackpot in the tune of $100 million or more on games like Powerball.

4. Strategic Variation

Strategic Variation

Strategic Variation

There is a great difference in the opportunities they offer for players to deploy strategies while playing. Although both games are entirely based on luck, you still have some chance to improve your odds slightly.

Chance of using strategy in scratchies are restricted, which includes knowing your games well, checking the printed odds, and understanding when games are no longer worth playing.

But this is not the case in lotteries. You cannot win at the lottery using a betting system. Still, there are some ways in which you can try to tweak the odds slightly towards yourself.

When it comes to big jackpot games, do not pick common lucky numbers instead choose at least some numbers that will make your number combination unique. Every number combination could be a chance to win, but you should select numbers that no other would have selected so that you won’t have to share the jackpot money if you happen to be lucky enough to win. In lotteries, the higher numbers are more likely to be chosen than lower ones.

What to do to win big with Lottery Scratchers

Before you buy a lottery scratcher, do not forget to research which game you are going to play before you go.

Research Your Lottery Scratchers Before You Buy

These scratchers are distributed to retailers in huge rolls, each of which is guaranteed to have a certain number of winners. It could be in different denominations, some smaller, some bigger.

The lottery scratchers mostly advertise grand prizes like a “$1 Million Merry Millions” jackpot. But there’s a possibility that someone else had already won that big prize.

But even after knowing the winning scratch-off ticket has already been redeemed, the lottery retailers continue selling their tickets. Although it is not legally wrong, even if the prize they are advertising is no longer available, it cuts your odds of winning.

Even if you cannot win the grand prizes, you can still win attractive prizes. But better to do some research to ensure that you have the best possible chances of winning a grand prize.

How to Research Lottery Scratchers

You can find the information you need following these steps:

  • Visit the lottery website for the state where you’re buying the tickets
  • Visit the scratchers or scratch-off section
  • See the break-down of all the different games and the prizes remaining
  • Check when the records were last updated.
  • If you can, try to buy shortly after an update has been made, so you’re using the most updated information.

After collecting all the information, you can decide which game you want to play based on the ticket price, the size of the prizes being offered, and how many prizes are still available.

You can also ask the store clerk if they’ve had a recent win from that roll. The clerk might not know, or might not be ready, to tell the truth. But if they do say that they’ve had a winner, your odds might be better if you pick another game.


Hope the above difference between scratchies and lotteries would have made it clear which one to play and how to win. Next time when you play either of the games do not forget to consider the difference, it will help you play better.

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