North Carolina Lottery Information (2024)

The North Carolina Education Lottery supports great causes while giving players the chance to strike it rich! Check this page for the latest Lottery information and news, including the draw schedule and how to claim prizes if you're lucky enough to win.

The NCEL was created in 2005, making it one of the newer lotteries in the country. Under state law, all net proceeds - over $8 billion and counting - directly support local education, including building schools and providing financial aid for college and Pre-K for at-risk children.

Current lottery games include: Powerball - Mega Millions - North Carolina Cash 5 - Pick 3 Evening - Pick 3 Midday - Pick 4 Evening - Pick 4 Midday - Lucky for Life.

Mega Millions

North Carolina Lottery Information (1)

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Buying Lottery Tickets

Want to join in on the fun? You'll need to visit an authorized North Carolina Lottery retailer in the state to buy your tickets.

North Carolina Drawing Schedule

View the timetable for all the exciting NC games so that you never miss a drawing - there are chances to win every day of the week:

GameDraw DaysDraw Times*Ticket Sales Close At*
PowerballMonday, Wednesday & Saturday10:59 PM9:59 PM
Mega MillionsTuesday & Friday11:00 PM10:45 PM
Lucky for LifeDaily10:38 PM9:30 PM
Pick 3Daily3:00 PM & 11:22 PM2:45 PM & 10:59 PM
Pick 4Daily3:00 PM & 11:22 PM2:45 PM & 10:59 PM
Cash 5Daily11:22 PM10:59 PM
*Times are shown in EST.

Game Information

North Carolina residents can play Powerball and Mega Millions as well as a host of in-state games.

Pick 3

Pick 3 features two draws every day where you can win cash payouts of up to $500. There are a variety of fun play types to try your luck on. Just choose three digits between 0 and 9 and pay $0.50 or $1 to play. The Fireball option is also available, providing more ways to win. With Fireball, an extra number is drawn and this can be used to replace any of the drawn numbers. It significantly improves the odds of winning and you just need to mark the box to add it on.

Pick 4

Pick 4 offers a day and evening draw seven days a week for a shot at prizes of up to $5,000. To start playing, simply select four lucky numbers from 0 to 9, choose a play type, and wager $0.50 or $1. Add the Fireball and you will be able to swap out any of the winning numbers for the Fireball number that is drawn. This creates lots more winning combinations, although the cost of playing is doubled.

Carolina Cash 5

Cash 5 is a daily draw game with a minimum jackpot of $100,000 that rolls over until someone wins! Tickets cost $1 per line and players simply choose five numbers from 1 to 43 - match 'em all to snap up the top prize. Add the Double Play and EZMatch add-ons for more ways to win.

Other NC Games

If you're looking for some instant gratification, why not try scratch-offs offered by the North Carolina Lottery? You can buy these games from any authorized retailer and instantly get the chance to win a stunning variety of cash prizes.

Another great option are Fast Play games. There are a range of these instant games at different prices; they all print on demand from the terminal and offer lots of great cash prizes or a rolling jackpot you can win on the spot.

Keno is fast-moving game offering cash payouts with draws held every four minutes. Choose how many numbers from 1 to 10 (called Spots) you want to try to match and how much you want to wager - from $1 to $10 per play. In each Keno drawing, 20 numbers out of a pool of 80 will be randomly picked as the winning numbers.

Claiming Prizes

If you won a prize in a draw game, you'll have 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim your winnings. If you won a prize in an instant scratch-off game, you'll have 90 days from the game's date of closure to redeem your prize.

Any North Carolina Lottery prize worth $599 or less can be redeemed at any authorized retailer, while prizes worth between $600 and $99,999.99 can be claimed by mail or at the North Carolina Lottery headquarters. If you're lucky enough to win $100,000 or more, you'll need to claim your prize in person at lottery headquarters in Raleigh.

Won a prize worth more than $5,000? The federal government will withhold 24% in taxes and North Carolina will administer a tax of 5.25%.

If you have questions, contact the Lottery's toll-free customer service number at 1-877-962-7529 from 8am-5pm Monday through Friday. You can also get in touch by email:

Claim a prize by mail

To claim a prize of $600 to $99,999 by mail, you'll need the following documents:

  1. Original signed ticket
  2. Completed claim form
  3. Copy of photo ID with your name, signature and age
  4. Copy of your Social Security card

Mail to:

PO Box 41606
Raleigh, NC 27629-1606

Expect delays to claim processing due to high mail volume.

History of the North Carolina Lottery

The North Carolina Education Lottery was established in 2005 through an act of the North Carolina legislature. Its primary goal is to raise vital funding for education from the pre-school to college levels. The lottery began selling Powerball tickets in 2006 and joined Mega Millions in 2010.

In 2014, the North Carolina Lottery teamed up with popular pizza chain Papa John's to offer a scratchcard that gives players the chance to win up to £20,000. In addition to the cash, players could earn a slice of free Papa John's menu items, discounts on orders and the chance to win pizza parties or free pizza for a year.

Today, the North Carolina Lottery sells tickets for in-state and multi-state games to give players a shot at winning great prizes while helping strengthen the state's education system. Currently, nearly $4 billion has been allocated to paying classroom teachers, constructing schools and providing need-based aid to college students. When you play North Carolina Lottery games, everyone in the state wins!


If you want to play North Carolina Lottery games, you'll need to be at least 18 years old.

North Carolina Lottery Information (2024)


Will NC Lottery notify me if I win? ›

If you win $600 up to $99,999, you will receive an email and a pop-up when you sign in instructing you to claim online. If you win $100,000 or more, you will be directed to start your claim online and wait to receive a follow-up notification with instructions.

Is the NC Lottery app legit? ›

The NC Lottery Official Mobile App makes playing the lottery even more fun with the thrill of possibility at your fingertips! With more ways to play, earn, and win, there's no better time to download the NC Lottery Official Mobile App than right now! An internet connection is required for access to most features.

How long does it take to get lottery winnings in NC? ›

Generally, the deposit should arrive in the account within 2-3 business days. For winners receiving an annuity, the first payment of the annuity will be made electronically the day the prize is claimed. The additional annuity payments will be made annually based on a schedule determined by when the prize is claimed.

Can you buy lottery tickets with a credit card in North Carolina? ›

Can I use a credit card to purchase lottery tickets? No. Acceptable forms of payment include cash, check, debit card, and gift card at the retailer's discretion. With Online Play, you can purchase using a debit card, PayPal (using a bank account), Online Banking, Venmo, Apple Pay, and ACH Bank Transfer.

Does the lottery tell you if you won? ›

If you win a lottery, you are typically not automatically notified, especially for significant prizes. It's the responsibility of the ticket holder to check their numbers against the winning numbers and then claim the prize if they have won.

Will I be notified if I win the 2nd chance? ›

Your Lottery account shows you, in real time, how many 2nd Chance codes you've entered that month. The system won't let you submit more than 500 2nd Chance codes a month. How will I know if I'm a Lottery winner? If you win, you'll be notified by email to sign into your Lottery account for “important information.”

Has anyone ever won NC Lottery online? ›

January 8, 2024 Posted by NC Lottery at 3:09 PM. For a second time, Vickie Henry of Greensboro won the top prize in one of the lottery's online drawings and on Monday took home a $100,000 prize.

Is NC Lottery online safe? ›

The North Carolina Educational Lottery, as the developer and manager of its websites, has taken several steps to safeguard the integrity of its data and prevent unauthorized access to information maintained.

Which lottery has the best odds in NC? ›

Odds of winning the lottery in NC

Lottery players in North Carolina have the best odds of winning the Carolina Pick 3 contest, with a 1 in 1,000 chance of selecting three numbers in the order they are drawn to win $500, according to the N.C. Education Lottery.

Does lottery winnings affect Social Security? ›

Will My Social Security Benefits Be Reduced If I Win the Lottery? If you are under your full retirement age and are collecting Social Security benefits while still earning an income, your benefits will be reduced. However, lottery winnings are not subject to this rule.

How much tax do you pay on a $1000 lottery ticket in NC? ›

North Carolina has a flat tax rate of 5.25% on taxable income. Because winnings are considered taxable income, that means that to square it up with the state, your North Carolina gambling winning taxes are that same rate of 5.25%.

How long does it take for lottery winnings to hit your bank account? ›

Once the money has been collected, it usually takes five to ten business days to hit your account. Banks are often wary of handling such large transfers, and not all are equipped to handle jackpots. At the earliest, you should plan to receive your lottery winnings between three and four weeks after the draw date.

Can I cash a NC lottery ticket in another state? ›

You can only cash a lottery ticket in the jurisdiction/state in which it was purchased. This includes multi-state lottery tickets such as the Powerball and the Mega Millions. Multi-state lottery tickets are actually sold by the individual state lottery commision for the state in which you buy it.

Can lottery winnings be garnished in NC? ›

Lottery Laws

Additionally, lottery winnings in North Carolina are subject to garnishment for payment of past due child support.

Can a trust claim a lottery prize in North Carolina? ›

It is true a NC lottery winner can claim a lottery prize in the name of a trust, but it cannot be a blind trust. This means the winner must disclose the name of the trustee, the grantor and the beneficiaries as winners, too.

What happens after I win the lottery? ›

If you chose to pick up your first Lottery payment from a California Lottery District Office, your first Lottery prize payment will be available for pickup within six to eight weeks of your claim. Future payments can be mailed directly to your home address or to your financial institution for deposit into your account.

How do I check if I won anything on Powerball? ›

Enter your numbers and a date range to see if those numbers have been drawn. Only number combinations that would have won a prize will be shown. Please provide a valid number in each field, 1-69 or 1-26 for the Powerball. Please provide unique numbers in each white field.

Why does my scratch-off ticket say not a winner when I scan it but it clearly shows it's a winner? ›

Here are some possible explanations: Printing Errors: Sometimes, printing errors can occur during the production of scratch-off tickets. These errors can result in the misalignment or smudging of numbers or symbols, making it difficult to determine if the ticket is a winner or not [2].

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