11 Tips to Win With Scratchies in New Zealand

Winning Big With Scratch Cards - Tips To Know And Have Fun.
Winning With Scratch Cards – Tips To Know And Have Fun.

Do you dream of winning with a scratch card? You’re not alone. In New Zealand, scratch cards offer instant wins and the chance to get big rewards.

Unlike regular lotteries, which are hard to win, scratch cards give you different chances, from small prizes to really big ones.

In this guide, we’ll talk about scratch cards in New Zealand, give you tips to help you win more and compare them to other types of gambling.

Jackpot Wins – Changing Lives With Scratch Cards

Jackpot wins
Jackpot wins

some recent stories from New Zealand show how they can improve lives. Here are some real-life examples of people whose luck turned around with just a few extra dollars spent on a scratch card:

  1. The Anonymous Millionaire: Just a while back, a person from Auckland who chose to remain anonymous had their life changed completely by winning $1 million, becoming New Zealand’s first-ever scratch card millionaire. The winning ticket, “Cash Spectacular,” was bought at Simkin Superette in St Johns, Auckland. This win set a new record as the biggest prize a scratch card player won in New Zealand, despite almost thirty years of Kiwis playing Instant Kiwi. Surprisingly, two more $1 million prizes still await winning, providing more chances for instant wealth.
  2. Sam’s Flight of Fortune: In another remarkable twist of fate, an 18-year-old Auckland student named Sam and his friend passed the time while waiting to board their flight by purchasing a few Instant Kiwi scratch cards. Little did they know that one of these cards would bring Sam’s friend an unexpected $100 windfall, leaving them pleasantly surprised. However, their amazement didn’t end there. Sam held a “Lucky Rainbow’s” ticket, which was nothing short of a life-changing revelation. This single scratch card held a staggering $20,000 prize, prompting Sam to rapidly journey through the airport’s security to verify his win and claim his newfound wealth.

Notably, these heartwarming stories emphasize the life-altering potential of scratch cards, turning ordinary moments into extraordinary ones with the promise of instant wins with Scratchies.

These tales of luck also underscore the remarkable diversity of scratch card prizes and the joys of gaming without the need for elaborate strategies.

Tips and Odds of Winning Scratch Card

Tips and odds
Tips and odds

Scratch cards, whether physical or digital, offer a unique instant gratification experience. There’s no need to strategize or contemplate moves; you scratch and discover if you’ve won.

Unlike traditional lotteries or pokies, Scratchies provide immediate results, which adds to their appeal.

Now, let’s compare the likelihood of winning with scratch cards to other types of gambling.

Odds of Winning: On average, the odds of winning a prize with a scratch card can range from 1 in 3 to 1 in 5.

This means that for every five cards you purchase, you’ll likely win at least once, even if it’s a smaller prize. The simplicity and frequency of these wins make scratch cards an attractive choice for many.

Comparison with Other Gambling Forms:

  • Powerball: Unlike scratch cards, the odds of winning the NZ Powerball are about 1 in 38 million. While Powerball offers the potential for significant payouts, the odds are much slimmer, making winning a more challenging game.
  • Pokies (Slot Machines): Your odds of hitting the jackpot on pokies can vary depending on the machine and its Return to Player (RTP) rate. Typically, these odds range from 1 in 6,000 to 1 in 49,836 for a jackpot win, which means they are relatively less favourable than scratch cards.
  • Traditional Lottery: Traditional lotteries also present challenging odds, which can vary but often range from 1 in 14 million to 1 in 45 million for the grand prize. These lotteries offer substantial jackpots but require a great deal of luck.
  • Return to Player (RTP): The Return to Player (RTP) is a crucial statistic for gamblers. While pokies usually have an RTP ranging from 92% to 97%, scratch cards typically offer an RTP from 50% to 75%. This means you can expect to receive back 50 to 75 cents for every dollar spent on a scratch card over the long run. Remember that these figures represent averages, and actual outcomes may vary.
  • Big Wins vs. Small Wins: Scratch cards are known for providing more frequent wins, although the prizes tend to be smaller than other gambling forms. Nevertheless, what makes Scratchies enticing is the possibility of winning significant amounts with a relatively small initial investment.
  • Factors Influencing Odds: Recognizing that different scratch cards have distinct odds is essential. Factors like the number of prizes available, the card’s price, and the number of cards in circulation can all influence your likelihood of winning. Therefore, understanding the specific odds of the scratch card you select is a wise strategy.

Scratch cards offer the delight of immediate results and accessible odds, making them a popular choice among those seeking frequent, smaller wins and instant gratification.

While the odds of winning the jackpot in a game like Powerball are astronomically low, scratch cards offer more frequent, albeit smaller, wins.

11 Tips to Elevate Your Scratch Card Strategy

1. Don’t Buy The Cheapest Ones

Don’t Buy The Cheapest Ones
Don’t Buy The Cheapest Ones

The number of scratch cards available these days is mind-boggling, and they can be a bit of a minefield for those unfamiliar with them.

There are so many different designs, prices, prizes, and brands that it can be quite confusing or hard to decide, so keep your focus when buying scratch cards to enhance your chances of winning.

You would be better off buying higher-priced scratch cards but buying fewer. Quality over quantity is very true when it comes to scratch cards.

2. Look For The Small Print

Look for small print
Look for small print.

The small print can often tell you your chances of winning on that specific card.

It would be wise to choose scratch card games with high return-to-player percentages. To put it simply, this means you are less likely to lose more money for every dollar that you spend.

A Higher return to player percentage means a higher chance of winning with scratch card games.

If the game’s odds are 1:10, all scratch cards have been evaluated. This means that only 10% of them will be winners.

This is not to say that if you buy 10 scratch cards, one will be a winning batch. In-store purchases are typically associated with infrequent winning tickets in each batch.

3. Buy In Bulk

Buy in Bulk
Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk is a great idea for better odds.

You can purchase about five scratch cards from the same game on a single trip to the shop instead of buying just one scratch card and then making several trips over some time to buy another from the same game.

Some believe that buying in bulk increases the odds of hitting a win since the manufacturers often include a win throughout their scratch cards.

So, if you buy scratch cards in bulk in one purchase, the chance of hitting one of those planted winning scratch cards will be higher than if you bought the same number of scratch cards throughout several purchases.

You should only do this if your budget allows this, though.

4. Play Them Like Pokies

Play them like pokies
Play them like pokies.

You’ll find some pokies players loiter around machines to wait until players go on a dry spell or several players fail to hit a jackpot prize. The prolonged drought can mean that the pokies machine is about to strike.

If you try this method, you’ll need to spend some time at a store or outlet that sells scratch cards, and that could be something you’re not entirely comfortable with—or have the time for!

Maybe start a conversation with the storekeeper or ask the vendor if they have had any winning tickets being bought lately. Be subtle, but it could be the key to a big win.

5. Keep Your Old Tickets

Keep your old tickets
Keep your old tickets

Not out of nostalgia; there is a damn good reason for this.

You might breeze through a scratch card and think it’s a loser. But don’t throw it away! You never know. You might pick up on a mistake you made later.

Jackpots are sometimes never won, so the manufacturer requests losing tickets to pick the best loser. It can happen. Don’t be the fool who threw away a winning ticket!

6. Submit All Losing Tickets

Submit all losing tickets
Submit all losing tickets.

Same as above, you can be sure you haven’t won if your ticket is officially checked.

Whether it’s a missed winning combination or an error on the card, you could be eligible for some payment. There is always the chance you might have missed something.

7. Study The Scratch Cards

 Study the scratch cards
Study the scratch cards.

Yes, a process called the “Singleton Method” is used by professional scratch card players.

They analyze the layout and design of a scratch card to detect patterns that can give clues as to whether the card has certain numbers, symbols, or combinations that can lead to a win.

Most scratch card manufacturers have caught onto this strategy, and many now design their scratch cards to work against it.

You can use it on scratch cards where numbers are visible on the side, so it’s a method still worth pursuing.

8. Pick a Game And Stick To It

 Pick a game and stick to it
Pick a game and stick to it.

This seems to make logical sense. If you stick with a game and keep playing it, you will either win, or every ticket you play will remove one more losing ticket from the equation.

However, if you spread your spending over several games, you could endlessly be hitting losing scratch cards.

So pick a game you like and stick to it. It’s a much better strategy in the long run.

9. Be Within Your Budget

Be within your budget
Be within your budget.

You might not win more or less by this tactic, but it’s a safety buffer to keep you from losing too much money.

Set yourself a weekly or monthly budget and stick to it so your finances don’t spiral out of control.

10. Try Out The Free Versions Before Playing For Real Money

Try out the free versions before playing for real money
Try out the free versions before playing for real money

Believe it or not, you can play free scratch cards online before you begin spending real money. This allows you to learn how to navigate the game and prepare for the real thing.

Ultimately, your job should be to understand better how each scratch card works. You can also find out what game you like the most.

11. Check Your Expectations And Take It Easy

 Check your expectations and take it easy
Check your expectations and take it easy.

Losing streaks can be highly frustrating, especially when you spend much money on scratch cards. Remember, this is a game of luck; you should never allow your emotions to get the best of you.


While it’s impossible to guarantee a win on scratch-off tickets every time (if it were that easy, scratchies would be out of business!), we’ve highlighted several tips and strategies that could give you an edge.

Remember, while scratchies are fundamentally games of chance, being informed and strategic can tip the odds in your favour.

Enjoy the game, play responsibly, and hope luck is on your side!


Can I win with Scratchies?

While winning is possible, they are ultimately games of chance. The odds of winning large prizes are generally low; most players do not win significant amounts.

It’s essential to approach Scratchies as entertainment rather than a reliable money-making method.

Are there any strategies to improve my chances of winning?

Scratchies are primarily based on luck, and there’s no foolproof strategy to guarantee a win.

Each ticket has a predetermined number of winners and losers, so buying more doesn’t necessarily increase your odds.

Are some Scratchies better to play than others?

Scratchies vary in ticket price, prize distribution, and odds of winning. Generally, higher-priced tickets have larger potential prizes but may also have lower odds of winning.

Researching the odds and potential payouts before purchasing a ticket is a good idea.

Is there a “best time” to buy Scratchies?

The timing of buying Scratchies doesn’t significantly affect your odds of winning. They are designed to be random and independent of external factors like time or location.

Can I increase my chances by buying in bulk?

Buying more tickets might increase your chances slightly, but it’s not a reliable strategy. Each ticket is still a game of chance, and winning is not guaranteed.

Are there any budgeting tips for playing Scratchies?

It’s important to set a budget for gambling, including Scratchies, and stick to it. Treat it as entertainment rather than an investment, and never spend more than you can afford to lose.

How do I know if I’ve won?

After scratching off the covering, check the game instructions on the back of the Scratchie for details on determining if you’ve won a prize.

Alternatively, you can scan the barcode on the Scratchie using a retailer’s scanner or check the official lottery website for results.

What should I do if I win a big prize?

If you win a substantial prize, congratulations! Follow the instructions on the Scratchie to claim your prize. It’s also a good idea to consult a financial advisor to manage your winnings wisely.

Are Scratchies only about winning money?

While the main appeal of Scratchies is the chance to win prizes, they are also a form of entertainment. Many players enjoy the excitement of scratching off the covering to reveal whether they’ve won, regardless of the prize amount.

How do the odds compare between Scratchies and other forms of gambling?

Scratchies typically have lower odds of winning major prizes than other gambling forms like lotteries. Scratchies often offer better chances of winning smaller sums.

For example, the odds are slim, while lottery jackpots can reach astronomical figures. On the other hand, a Scratchie might offer a 1 in 4 chance of winning, but the prize amounts are usually more modest.

Are there any signs on a Scratchie that indicate it might be a winner?

Scratchies, by design, ensure randomness and fairness, so there are no definitive signs to predict a winner.

Some enthusiasts believe in examining prize structures or remaining prizes listed on the lottery’s website to gauge which scratchies still have significant prizes unclaimed.

It’s essential to understand that these methods don’t guarantee wins; every Scratchie has the same odds as detailed by the game’s rules.

Are online Scratchies as reliable as physical ones?

Both online and physical Scratchies are subject to strict regulations to ensure fairness. Online versions use audited Random Number Generators (RNGs), while physical ones come from official lotteries.

Trustworthiness depends on the source; choose reputable online websites and buy physical ones from official vendors.

What are the chances of winning in NZ?

Whether the jackpot is substantial or not, your chances of winning are always the same. For each line, Powerball gives you a consistent 1 in 38.3 million chance to win the top prize, and it doesn’t change based on the jackpot size.

About the author

Michaela Scott

Michaela Scott

Michaela Scott stands as one of the leading voices in New Zealand's online gaming scene.

With a tenure spanning nearly a decade at PokiesMobile NZ, Michaela's contributions range from meticulously crafted game reviews to in-depth industry analysis.

Hailing from Christchurch, she brings a mix of local insights and global perspectives to her writings.

Her dedication to staying ahead of industry trends and her unparalleled expertise make her pieces both educational and enjoyable.