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How to play lottery INSTANT

Want to know how INSTANT games really work?

You’re in the right place.

You might know some INSTANT basics: players uncover numbers, letters or images to see which ones match or reveal a prize. But how does it all work?

Object of the Game

Whether you’re playing INSTANT games online or in-store, the object is the same: click or scratch to uncover symbols or combinations of symbols (e.g. numbers, letters or images) that match or reveal a winning result.  How much you win typically depends on the game, prize structure, how many matches you get, and for online INSTANT games, how much you bet.

Learn how to play INSTANT tickets at retail.

Two ways to play:


Registering for lets you play on desktop and mobile. Why play online?

  • Play when it’s convenient  

  • Set custom play budgets

  • Easily keep track of your tickets 

Register for now


Playing at retail is simple: just walk up to the counter and choose an INSTANT ticket that fits your budget and play style.

Find an OLG retailer near you

Choosing an INSTANT Game

You can choose your INSTANT game by theme, cost, prize amount or even play style.

Fast Play games are quick and easy. Choose these if you’re looking for immediate excitement with no frills. Most $1 and $2 INSTANT tickets are fast play games.

Extended Play games let you stretch out the action. Choose these If you want to unwind and play for more time. Games like INSTANT BINGO and INSTANT CROSSWORD let you play slowly, uncovering specific sections at a time. 

Cost of Play

Online INSTANT Games

These games allow you to set the cost of each game or round of play. The minimum bet is $.50, and the maximum is $10, and you can set your cost anywhere in between.

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These games have a fixed cost per ticket, ranging from lower cost of $1 to $5 and then higher cost tickets from $10 to $50 dollars.

Find a retailer near you

No matter how you play, set a budget. Playing a $5 INSTANT game twice a week would cost you $40 a month.

TIP: You can set custom play budgets online with My PlaySmart Tools


Odds tell you how likely something is to happen. The odds of winning retail INSTANT games are based on two factors: 

  1. The number of tickets printed for a game 
  2. The number of prizes available for a game 

For example: If there are 8,608,600 BIG SPIN tickets printed and 2,163,894 prizes available, the overall odds of winning would be 1 in 3.98. This means that for all the tickets sold for a given game, approximately one fourth will be winners. This does not necessarily mean that if you buy three tickets, the third will win. 

Just know that even when something is unlikely, it can still happen. That’s why winning against the odds is so exciting!

Odds are the same for each store. Learn more here.

Keeping it Random

All INSTANT games are regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to ensure they provide a random outcome. It keeps each game fair, fun and unpredictable.

Random Number Generator (RNG)

All numbers, letters or symbols that determine online game outcomes are produced by a computer that cycles through thousands of random possibilities per second. 

Random Ticket Distribution

All tickets are randomly distributed across Ontario. The odds of winning for a particular game is the same no matter where or when the specific ticket is purchased.


For most INSTANT games, top prizes are typically won by matching or revealing all possible, or one specific winning symbol or combination of symbols (e.g. numbers, letters or images). Some winning symbols may result in a smaller prize, or in the case of online INSTANT games, bonus rounds that can lead to other prizes.

Top prizes for online INSTANT games can reach tens of thousands of dollars. Top prizes for retail INSTANT games can be up to $2 million!