We talk about National Lottery scratchcards a lot here at Scratchcard Winners.

But we don’t talk about National Lottery Instant Wins so much. So what is the difference between the two?

We discuss further in this short article.

What are National Lottery scratchcards?

National Lottery scratchcards are the paper-based games that you can only purchase at the till of stores around the UK that sell National Lottery products.

They look like those shown in the image below.

national lottery pile of scratchcards

What are National Lottery Instant Wins?

National Lottery Instant Wins are digital or online versions of National Lottery scratchcards that can only be played at National Lottery online.

They are basically online scratchcards, under the branding of ‘Instant Wins’. These Instant Win games sometimes feature the same gameplay as real National Lottery scratchcards as well as unique games to digital players only.

What are the Similarities & Differences?

There are many similarities between scratchcards and Instant Wins.

For example, the prices of the games are similar. Featuring £1, £2, £3 & £5 games. However, Instant Wins has additional price points below £1 – including 25p and 50p games.

The style of games is also very similar between the paper-based versions and digital versions.

For example, you can play crossword scratchcards and crossword Instant Win games.

To summarise, the similarities and differences can be described as below:


  • Cost
  • Prizes
  • Gameplay style
  • Need to be 18 to play


  • Played online or purchased instore
  • Not the same number of top prizes
  • Real scratchcards can only be paid out by stores
  • Limits to how many Instant Wins you can play

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