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Same variable used in 2 nested loops can have different values?

asked 9 days ago by Andy Lowry

First of all I want to say hi to you all!

I'm a self-taught, beginner programmer, started with C, and started to really enjoy this.

Today I've stumbled upon something very interesting and intriguing at the same time in one of my test programs:

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <time.h>
#define NUMBERS 6
#define BALLS 6

int main()
int x, y, z, numbers[BALLS];

for (x = 0; x < BALLS; x++)
    numbers[x] = -1;


puts("\t\tTHE AMAZING LOTTERY\n\n");
printf("Have you ever won at a lottery?\n");
printf("You can try your luck now! %c\n\n" , 2);
printf("Quick, write down 6 numbers and then press \"Enter\"");

for (y = 0; y < BALLS; y++)

/* This is the intriguing part*/

printf("%d\n", y);

    z = rand() % NUMBERS+1;

    for (y = 0; y < BALLS; y++)
        if (z == numbers[y])
            goto label;
        else if (numbers[y] != -1)
            numbers[y] = z;
printf("\n\nToday's numbers are %c\a ", 16);
for (x = 0; x < BALLS; x++)
    printf("%d, ", numbers[x]);

printf("\n\n\nWell...\n\t..tough luck buddy..");
printf("\n\n\n\tMaybe next time.. %c" , 15);

return 0;

Tried in 3 different compilers, c4droid, code::blocks, and an online compiler. Same intriguing result. Why does the same variable (y), declared only once but used in 2 nested loops, can hold different values without causing any problems?

I don't think this is a recommended practice, but... how come it works?

Your answer

1 Answers

answered 8 days ago by KURN

your code is a bit complicate. it is not supposed to work like what you say unless you define the loop variables inside like "for (int y = 0; ...)" write a simple code and test it:

int i = 0;
for (i = 0; i < 5; i++) {
        printf("in first loop with i = %d\n",i);
    for (i = 0; i < 2; i++) {
        printf("in second loop with i = %d\n",i);

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