Lottery vs. Scratch Cards: Full Comparison

Lottery vs. Scratch Cards: Full Comparison

The lottery vs. scratch cards debate is complex since the two games have many similarities. Both gambling options offer the chance at huge wins, and they are distinctly different from most other casino games.

This article will cover everything you need to know about the differences between scratch cards vs. lottery betting options. I break down the odds, specific strategies, expected wait times, and the maximum prizes for both. Also, I will tell you the best casinos online for playing these games of chance online.


Lottery vs. Scratch Cards: Odds to Win

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Lottery drawings and scratch cards are both forms of gambling. As a result, the house, or the organization offering the game, has a house edge. Where there is a house edge, there is also an expected return to the player (RTP).

Whether you are playing the lottery or scratch cards, you should know the RTP of what you are gambling on. Generally speaking, scratch cards tend to have a better RTP. This is because online scratch cards are based on slot games, which tend to have a high RTP relative to other games.

The specific scratch card you are playing will determine the RTP, which is usually around 96%. Your expected RTP in lottery games, on the other hand, can vary widely depending on the provider, top prize, and the number of prizes handed out.

Whether you are playing a traditional lottery or a drawing can also change the RTP. All in all, the RTP for lotteries can range from as low as 50% to over 90%. That’s significantly worse than online scratchers.


Lottery vs. Scratchers: Strategy

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Scratchers and lotteries are both games of chance. As a result, there is nothing you can do to change the outcome of any given game.

The best strategies for scratch cards and lotteries is to stick with basic gambling tactics. This means setting and sticking to your bankroll, tracking and reviewing your results, and playing at a secure provider.

One of the few factors you can control is which scratch cards or lotteries you play. Choosing games with good track records of returns is usually the best way to go. You can also control the number of tickets you buy, and most experts agree that buying in bulk is the best lottery and scratch card strategy.


Scratch Cards vs. Lottery: Max Prizes

The maximum potential payout is also an important factor to consider when deciding between lottery vs. scratch cards. Typically speaking, online games do not have as high of prizes as offline games. Also, lottery games tend to have bigger prizes than scratchers.

  1. The biggest single jackpot awarded in a lottery drawing was a $2.04 billion prize awarded in 2022. One lucky winner in California claimed the world-record prize in a Powerball drawing. Edwin Castro matched all six numbers in the drawing, earning them the massive prize.

    Nearly two dozen other people won prizes in the November 2022 drawing for matching the first five numbers. However, their $1 million jackpots pale in comparison to the grand prize.

    It is hard to know the exact amount that the Californian player actually won after taxes. Castro opted to take a lump sum of $997.6 million lump sum payment instead of the annual payments option.

  2. Nearly a year after Castro’s record-setting win, an online player also claimed a record prize. Byron Bundoc, a Navy sailor originally from Virginia, won over $1.8 million in an online lottery drawing.

    Bundoc was playing on the state’s mobile gambling app for lottery drawings. He won an instant win jackpot, so he did not have to wait for a drawing.

    According to Bundoc, he waited for the jackpot for a specific game, Jackpot Spectacular, to increase to a specific point. Then, when the progressive prize was big enough, he started competing for the prize and eventually won.

  3. Scratcher winners have also claimed life-changing amounts of money from lucky tickets. Desiree Fortini-Craft won $1 million from a scratcher in the mid-2000s. 15 years later, Fortini-Craft won again, this time claiming a record-setting $25 million prize.

    Fortini-Craft accepted a lump sum payment in lieu of the total prize. She walked away with $16.25 million before taxes. Two other winners also claimed the $25 million prize from the same scratcher game as Fortini-Craft.


Lottery vs. Scratchers: Waiting Time

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One of the biggest differences between scratch cards and the lottery is the amount of time you have to wait to know if you won or not. Lottery games may offer bigger prizes, but you have to wait longer to know who the winner is.

This is especially true for lottery drawings, which take place on specific dates and times. You can buy multiple tickets, but there are a set number of drawings in a given week.

Scratchers, on the other hand, allow you to know instantly if you are a winner. You can play at your own speed and win multiple times in a single day. The prizes are smaller, but you can rack up multiple wins before a lottery player knows the results of their drawing.


Scratch Cards or Lottery: What Is Better?

As you can see, lottery games tend to have the edge in top prizes. However, most other categories favor scratchers, including your expected RTP and the amount of time you have to wait to claim your prize.

It is also easier to find safe scratch card casino sites that offer these exciting games. DuckyLuck Casino, for instance, offers multiple scratchers for you to choose from. It has a 600% welcome bonus worth up to $3,000 and a top-notch VIP program that offers bonuses on every deposit.


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About the Author
Shaun Stack profile picture
Shaun Stack
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Shaun Stack has authored dozens of casino blogs and joined our team in 2022. He enjoys playing any casino game but is particularly fond of Blackjack and Texas Hold'em. Also, he likes betting on sports, especially the NFL. Shaun is a native of Kansas City, but now lives in Pennsylvania and is an avid PA sports fan.

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