Scratch & Win games can make a perfect present for friends and family, especially around the holiday season. But it's important to remember that Scratch & Win is a form of gambling, which means it’s not for kids.


While gambling provides entertainment for many, it's important to acknowledge its inherent risks. When parents or family members gift lottery tickets to children, they are unknowingly presenting gambling as a harmless activity.

Research reveals a concerning pattern: many adults with gambling issues began their journey as youngsters. Early exposure to gambling, including lottery products like Scratch & Win, can serve as a precursor to later complications.

Did you know:

  • Youth gambling is a lot more common than most people realize. Young people report their first gambling experiences occurring around 9 to 11 years of age.
  • Around 60 percent of high school–aged adolescents report having gambled for money during the past year.
  • Four to six percent of adolescents have a serious problem with gambling, and 10 to 14 percent of adolescents are at risk of developing a problem.

If you’re worried about a young person's gambling, there's support available. Explore our Resources for Families for further guidance.


Scratch and win, also known as scratch-off games or instant-win lotteries, are simple and thrilling games of chance that offer the excitement of a potential instant prize. To play, follow these steps:

•    Get a Scratch Card: Visit a local convenience store, gas station, or lottery retailer to purchase a scratch card. They come in various themes and price points, offering different prize levels.
•    Read the Rules: Before scratching, familiarize yourself with the game's rules, including the odds of winning and the potential prizes. Each scratch card will have this information on the back.
•    Scratch the Surface: Gently scratch off the designated area using a coin or your fingernail to reveal the hidden symbols, numbers, or images. This unveils whether you have won a prize.
•    Check for Winning Combinations: The objective is to match the revealed symbols or numbers with the game's predetermined winning combinations. Winning combinations are usually detailed on the card itself.
•    Claim Your Prize: You can claim your prize at the store where you purchased the card, or follow the instructions on the card for redemption.
•    Enjoy Responsibly: It's important to remember that scratch and win games are a form of gambling. Play for fun and within your budget. Avoid excessive spending, and always gamble responsibly.

Scratch and win games are an exciting and accessible way to try your luck for instant prizes. Keep in mind that while they offer a chance at winning, the outcomes are entirely random, so don't rely on them for financial gain.


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Scratch & Win games are random, so how likely is it that a player will win? Is it possible to predict a win every time you play?

Scratch & Win odds vary from one game to another. On average, the odds of winning are approximately 1 in 4, but it doesn’t mean that if you purchase four tickets that one will be the winner. Even if you buy tickets in bulk, you might only have losing tickets. Winning and losing tickets are randomly distributed across the province or nationally, depending on the game. That’s the fun of it!

The odds of winning can also vary based on two considerations: the number of tickets printed and the number of prizes available for a game. After a game is released, the numbers of purchased tickets and prizes collected have a great impact on predicting the odds of a game.

Fun for the holidays, except for those under 19


If you’re concerned about the gambling habits of a young person in your life, there are ways you can help. Learn about financial literacy or explore our resources for families for further guidance.

Fun for the holidays, except for those under 19