11 Tips to Win Big With Scratchies in New Zealand

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

Dreaming of striking it rich with a scratch card? You’re not alone. Scratch cards in New Zealand offer instant wins and the possibility of substantial rewards.

Unlike traditional lotteries with slim odds, scratch cards provide diverse opportunities, from small wins to significant payouts. In this guide, we explore the world of scratch cards in New Zealand, share tips to enhance your chances, and compare them to other forms of gambling.

Jackpot Wins – Changing Lives With Scratch Cards

Jackpot wins
Jackpot wins

In the realm of scratch cards, recent success stories from New Zealand demonstrate their transformative potential. Here are real-life accounts of individuals whose lives took a remarkable turn for the better with just a few extra dollars spent on a scratch card:

  1. The Anonymous Millionaire: Not long ago, an anonymous man from Auckland achieved a life-altering milestone by becoming New Zealand’s first-ever scratch card millionaire. The incredible win came through the “Cash Spectacular” ticket, which went on sale at Simkin Superette in St Johns, Auckland. This $1 million prize marked the largest ever won by a scratch card player among Kiwis, despite nearly three decades of Instant Kiwi play. Remarkably, there are still two more $1 million prizes up for grabs, offering further opportunities for instant fortune.
  2. Sam’s Flight of Fortune: In another remarkable twist of fate, an 18-year-old Auckland student named Sam and his friend decided to pass 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 himself held a “Lucky Rainbow’s” ticket, which turned out to be nothing short of a life-changing revelation. This single scratch card held a staggering $20,000 prize, prompting Sam to embark on a rapid 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 experience of instant gratification. There’s no need to strategize or contemplate moves; instead, you simply scratch and discover if you’ve won. Unlike traditional lotteries or pokies, Scratchies provide immediate results, which adds to their appeal.

Now, let’s delve into the odds of winning with scratch cards and see how they compare to other forms 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’re likely to 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: In contrast to 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 it a more challenging game to win.
  • Pokies (Slot Machines): Your odds of hitting a 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 favorable compared to 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 that over the long run, for every dollar spent on a scratch card, you can expect to receive back 50 to 75 cents. Keep in mind 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 compared to other forms of gambling. Nevertheless, what makes Scratchies enticing is the possibility of winning significant amounts with a relatively small initial investment.
  • Factors Influencing Odds: It’s essential to recognize that different scratch cards have distinct odds. Factors like the number of prizes available, the card’s price, and the total 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 who seek frequent, smaller wins and a chance at 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 you can find these days is mind-boggling and it can be a bit of a minefield for those who aren’t familiar with them.

There are so many different designs, prices, prizes, and brands that it can be quite confusing or hard to make a decision, 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 what your chances are of winning on that specific card.

It would be wise to choose scratch card games that have a high return to player percentages. To put it simply, this just 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 odds of the game are 1:10, all of the 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 of them 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 in a single trip to the shop, as opposed to buying just one single scratch card and then making several trips over some time to buy another from the same game.

Some believe that if you buy in bulk, then the odds of hitting a win increase, since the manufacturers often place a win frequently throughout their scratch cards.

So, if you bulk buy scratch cards in one purchase, the chance of hitting one of those planted winning scratch cards is going to 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 long drought can mean that the pokies machine is about to hit.

If you try this method, you’ll need to hang around a store or outlet that sells the scratch cards for a bit of time 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 might have made at a later date.

In some cases, jackpots are 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 the only way you can be sure you haven’t won is if you have your ticket officially checked.

Whether it’s a missed winning combination or there is simply an error on the card, you could be eligible for some sort of 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, there is a process called the “Singleton Method” that’s used by professional scratch card players.

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

Most scratch card manufacturers have caught onto this strategy and a large number now design their scratch cards to work against it.

You can use it on the type of 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 just seems to make logical sense. If you stick with a game and keep playing it then you will either win or every losing ticket you play will be one more losing ticket out of the equation.

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

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

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 make sure you 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 gives you a chance to learn how to navigate the game and prepare yourself for the real thing.

Ultimately, your job should be to gain a better understanding of 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 extremely frustrating, especially when you end up spending a good deal of money on scratch cards. Keep in mind that this is a game of luck, and 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 potentially tip the odds in your favor.

Enjoy the game, play responsibly, and here’s to hoping luck is on your side!


Can I win big with Scratchies?

While winning big with Scratchies is possible, they are ultimately games of chance. The odds of winning large prizes are generally quite low, and most players do not win significant amounts. It’s important to approach Scratchies as a form of entertainment rather than a reliable way to make money.

Are there any strategies to improve my chances of winning?

Scratchies are largely 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 tickets doesn’t necessarily increase your odds.

Are some Scratchies better to play than others?

Scratchies vary in terms of ticket price, prize distribution, and odds of winning. Generally, higher-priced tickets have larger potential prizes but may also have lower odds of winning. It’s a good idea to research the odds and potential payouts before purchasing a ticket.

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 separate 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 a form of 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 how to determine 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 compared to other gambling forms like lotteries. Scratchies often offer better chances of winning smaller sums.

For example, while lottery jackpots can reach astronomical figures, the odds are extremely slim. 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 undergo 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.

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About the author

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. Outside her gaming pursuits, Michaela is a passionate hiker, often drawing parallels between the unpredictability of the trails and the thrill of pokies.

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. Outside her gaming pursuits, Michaela is a passionate hiker, often drawing parallels between the unpredictability of the trails and the thrill of pokies.