That was close!

(Phew) That was close!
close adj. – used when you have only just managed to avoid something bad, dangerous, or embarrassing happening
example: Boy, that was close! That damn car almost hit me.

Question: Can I use this expression to describe that I almost won the lottery, like I only missed a number (or there is only a number different)?

Thank you!

As in, “I was so close to winning.” “I was only off by one number, I was so close.” “I was close to winning, I missed by one digit.” Etc. etc. Yes, close can be used to describe almost winning.

George Carlin: Near Miss

“Here’s one they just made up. Near miss. When two planes almost collide they call it a near miss. It’s a near hit! A collision is a near miss. Makes the sound of two airplanes colliding. Look! They nearly missed!”

Phew, that was close! Those two airplanes almost collided. (yes, this is how the expression should be used.)

Boy, that was close! I almost won the lottery. (no, this is not how the expression should be used.)

As scgrant has alreadly explained, if you miss winning the lottery by only one number, you might say:

Boy, I was that close!

You need to indicate that it was you that was close, not that that was close… But when you say, “I was that close” or “I was so close” (with emphasis on that or so), you are saying that you were close by only a tiny margin. It was a near hit! You almost hit the lottery!