Frequently Asked Questions


General Games Questions

How do I claim my prize?
Visit the Claim Prizes page on this website, for information on how to claim your prize. The value of your prize and whether it was purchased in a retail location or in Online Play will determine where you can claim, how long you have to claim, and what is required to claim.
When will prize winnings be available for payment from a retailer location after the drawing?
Draw game validations will be available shortly after the drawing has been verified. Scratch-off prizes under $600 can be claimed at a retailer anytime after purchase.
What is a Multi-Draw ticket?
Multi-Draw allows you to purchase tickets for consecutive drawings including the current drawing.
Where can I see the drawings?
Draw game drawings may be televised on:
Besides television, you can get the winning numbers from the following sources:
  • Webcast at nclottery.com, wral.com, witn.com, myfox8.com, wlos.com, and wsoctv.com. Draw videos and winning numbers must be verified and are posted at approximately 3:30 p.m.
  • For Customer Services, call the NCEL toll free at 877-962-7529.
  • Sign up to receive automatic winning number updates under Email Options in your account.
  • Set up alerts using the NC Lottery app, downloadable in the App Store or download here for Android.
  • Visit any lottery retailer in your area for the latest winning number updates or to scan your ticket to see if it's a winner.
What time will ticket sales stop before the drawing?
Ticket sales stop shortly before a draw until shortly after, at which time sales resume for the next available draw and beyond. These breaks are referred to as draw breaks.
How long do I have to claim my draw game prize?
In accordance with NCEL prize payment policy, all online game prizes must be claimed within 180 calendar days of the drawing. A mailed online ticket must be received at NCEL Headquarters or any NCEL office within 180 calendar days of the drawing. Postmarks shall not constitute satisfaction of the 180 day requirement.
What happens if I lose my ticket?
The North Carolina Education Lottery is NOT responsible for lost or stolen tickets. Protect yourself by signing the back of your tickets. Lottery tickets are bearer instruments. Unless signed, anyone in possession of the ticket can file a claim.
What is a play slip?
Each lottery game offers a paper play slip that allows a player to select their numbers prior to reaching the counter at a retailer location. Play slips may also be used on lottery vending devices. Some lottery vending devices allow players to touch the screen and select their numbers without the use of a play slip.
Can I use a play slip from another state with the same game?
No. You must use the play slip for North Carolina.
Is it possible to use the same numbers on a ticket for a different upcoming drawing for that game?
Yes, all of our draw games offer "Repeat Play". This feature allows a retailer to scan the bar code on your existing ticket so you can replay your numbers without having to complete a play slip. Tickets must be replayed within 30 days of the original ticket creation.
For jackpot games such as Powerball, Mega Millions, and Cash 5, how does the jackpot rollover?
Jackpots will continue to grow from drawing to drawing if no winner is selected. The jackpot increase is based on estimated sales.
Can I get the computer to pick my numbers?
Yes. Just select Quick Pick on your play slip, ask your retailer for a Quick Pick or make the Quick Pick selection on the lottery vending machine or in Online Play.
Can a group of people share a prize?
Yes, prizes can be shared. Winners can decide how to share a prize when they claim it. Some restrictions do apply.
What is an exchange ticket?
If a player wins on a multi-draw ticket, and still has draws left on that ticket, when the winning ticket is validated and paid, a new ticket covering the remainder of the draws will be printed in "exchange" for the ticket that is being paid out.
How soon after the winning numbers are drawn can I collect my prize for draw game tickets?
Players can cash their tickets after the drawing is finalized, which can take an hour or more following the draw.
What is the cut-off time to purchase draw game tickets before the drawing?
Depending on the game, the sales for a particular draw end 15 to 90 minutes prior to the draw, and sales resume after for upcoming draws. Refer to the How to Play information for each game for more details.
What happens to unclaimed prizes?
Unclaimed prizes occur when a player doesn't claim his or her prize within the allotted claim period. Unclaimed prizes distributed and utilized by the lottery as specified in the Lottery Act.
What are the payout options for jackpot winners and For Life winners?
If you are a jackpot or For Life prize winner, you will have the choice of a Cash Option or an Annual Annuity Payout. The Cash Option is a one-time, lump-sum payment that is equal to all the cash in the jackpot prize pool. The duration and payment terms will vary based on the game. See the individual game rules for details.

Powerball

How do I play Powerball?
Learn How to Play here.
Can I buy tickets for more than one drawing at a time?
Yes, you can purchase tickets in advance for up to 26 consecutive drawings. To play consecutive drawings, you need to either select the "Multi Draw" box on the play slip or ask the retailer for multiple draws at the time of purchase.
Do I have to match the numbers in exact order to be a winner?
No, as long as you have the numbers drawn listed on your ticket in a single row, it does not matter what order they are drawn. However, you do have to match the Powerball number exactly.
Can Powerball tickets be canceled?
No, a Powerball ticket CANNOT be canceled by the retailer after it is generated, so be sure to check your numbers and verify your ticket cost prior to purchase.
What is Power Play?
Adding Power Play multiplies your winning on most prize levels 2 to 10* times, with the exception of the jackpot and Match 5+0 prizes. Match 5+0 has a 2x multiplier when Power Play is added. (*10X is only available to be drawn if the advertised jackpot is $150,000,000 or less). The cost to add Power Play is $1 per play.
Who operates Powerball?
The Multi-State Lottery Association, a non-profit organization entirely owned and operated by member lotteries. The association is based in West Des Moines, Iowa, and has a staff that operates at the direction of its board of directors. The board of directors is made up of the executive directors of each member lottery. The association operates several games, one of which is Powerball.

Mega Millions

How do I play Mega Millions?
Learn How to Play here.
Can Mega Millions tickets be canceled?
No, a Mega Millions ticket CANNOT be canceled by the retailer after it is generated, so be sure to check your numbers and verify your ticket cost prior to purchase.
What is the Megaplier?
This feature allows a player to multiply their winnings on all non-jackpot prizes two to five times based on the Megaplier number randomly drawn just before the Mega Millions drawing. The cost to add Megaplier is $1 per play.
Do you have to match the numbers in exact order to be a winner?
No, as long as you have the numbers drawn listed on your ticket in a single line, it does not matter what order they are drawn.
Can I buy tickets for more than one drawing at a time?
Yes. Players can purchase a multi-draw ticket for up to 26 consecutive draws, including the current draw.

Lucky for Life

How do I play Lucky for Life?
Learn How to Play here.
Can Lucky for Life tickets be canceled?
No, a Lucky for Life ticket CANNOT be canceled by the retailer after it is generated, so be sure to check your numbers and verify your ticket cost prior to purchase.
Is there a minimum jackpot?
This is not a jackpot game. Lucky for Life has a set top prize of $1,000 a day for life and a set second prize of $25,000 a year for life.
Is there a minimum jackpot?
This is not a jackpot game. Lucky for Life has a set top prize of $1,000 a day for life and a set second prize of $25,000 a year for life.
Can I buy tickets for more than one drawing at a time?
Yes, you can purchase tickets in advance for up to 26 consecutive drawings. To play consecutive drawings, you need to either select the "Multi Draw" box on the play slip or ask the retailer for multiple draws at the time of purchase.
Do I have to match the numbers in exact order to be a winner?
No, as long as you have the numbers drawn listed on your ticket in a single row, it does not matter what order they are drawn.
What happens if there are multiple winners of the Top Prizes?
The Top Prize of $1,000 a Day for Life, the second prize of $25,000 a Year for Life and the third prize of $5,000 may become pari-mutuel*, meaning that the prize amount varies based on the number of winners, and are shared equally among all winners. See official Lucky for Life game rules for details.
What is considered "For Life"?
"For Life" prizes are guaranteed for a minimum of 20 years. A Cash Option may be available. "For Life" prize winner must be a natural person who is at least eighteen (18) years of age. Multiple individuals on one ticket and legal entities such as corporations, partnerships, trusts and estates, are only eligible to claim the guaranteed portion of the "For Life" prize without the annuity feature or elect the Cash Option. See official Lucky for Life game rules for details.

Keno

What is Carolina Keno?
Carolina Keno is a draw game that gives players the opportunity to "win every 4 minutes." Players choose from 1 to 10 numbers out of a pool of 80 numbers. Twenty numbers are draw each time. See our How To Play section for more detail.
How do I play Keno?
Learn How to Play here.
What is a "Spot"?
You choose how many numbers to play from 1-10. In Keno these are called SPOTS. The more spots you play, the more you can win.
When are the drawings held?
Carolina Keno is a fast paced draw game with drawings held every 4 minutes beginning at 5:04 am and ending at 1:44 am.
My Carolina Keno ticket has a "drawing" number. What is this?
Every Carolina Keno drawing has its own unique "draw number." The draw number is printed on your ticket and is also referenced wherever drawing results are posted. If you select consecutive draws, your selected number(s) will be played for each of the drawings printed on your ticket.
Can Carolina Keno tickets be canceled?
Yes. At your request, your Carolina Keno ticket can be canceled on the terminal where it was produced up to 6 seconds before the draw.
Where will I be able to see the Carolina Keno drawings?
You can see the Carolina Keno drawings at any Carolina Keno retailer on a special Keno monitor. To find a Keno location near you, go to our "Where to Play" page. You can also view the most recent drawings on the website.
How else can I find the winning numbers for a Carolina Keno draw?
Winning numbers are available from the following sources:
  • The lottery website at nclottery.com/Keno.
  • Visit any lottery retailer in your area for the 10 most recent Carolina Keno srawings winning numbers.
  • Scan your ticket on any retail location Ticket Checker or Touch Vending Machine to see if it's a winner.
When will prize winnings be available for payment from a retailer location after a drawing?
Prize payments will be available shortly after the drawing has been verified. Typically this occurs within 15 minutes of the draw.
How much can I win?
If you play $1, you can win up to $100,000. If you play $10, you could win up to $1 million. Check the prize chart to see all of the prize levels. The more you match, the more you can win.
What is an exchange ticket?
You do not have to wait to cash in a winning Carolina Keno ticket when you purchase a multi-draw ticket. To claim your prize, present your ticket to any lottery retailer. The retailer will cash your ticket and give you an exchange ticket in place of your original ticket. Your exchange ticket will be valid for the remaining number of draws.
How do I claim my prize?
Prizes under $600 can be claimed at your Keno retailer or any NC Lottery retailer. For prizes $600 or more, visit Claim Prizes for information on how to claim your prize.

Carolina Cash 5

How do I play Carolina Cash 5?
Learn How to Play here.
Do I have to match the numbers in exact order to be a winner?
No. Your numbers can match the winning numbers drawn in any order.
Can I play for more than one drawing?
Yes. You can play up to 28 draws in a row, but the play must include the current draw and not skip any draw in between.
Can Carolina Cash 5 tickets be canceled?
No. All sales are final, so be sure to confirm your transaction prior to purchase.
What happens if no one wins the top prize?
The money set aside for the top prize for that drawing will be added to the top prize for the next drawing.
How do you add EZ Match to your Cash 5 ticket?
Cash 5 play slips are available where tickets are sold. With each panel played you can select EZ Match by marking the EZ Match box, ask the retailer to add EZ Match or select EZ Match on the lottery vending machine.
How do I win a prize playing EZ Match?
Match your EZ Match numbers with your Cash 5 numbers. If you have one or more matching numbers, you win the prizes shown. The prizes can be claimed instantly.
How much can I win playing EZ Match?
Adding EZ Match to your Cash 5 play gives you the chance to instantly win prizes from $2 to $500.
How is it determined if I win an EZ Match prize when I add it to my Cash 5 ticket?
An EZ Match prize is an instant win. The computer randomly determines when you play the game if your EZ Match ticket is a winner. If your ticket is a winner, the computer randomly determines your prize. The matching of your EZ Match numbers to your Cash 5 numbers is where the fun and suspense comes as you determine if your ticket is a winner and the amount of your prize. This is similar to how you scratch your instant ticket to see if it is a winner and to reveal the prize you won.
Can EZ Match be selected for Multi-Draw tickets?
EZ Match can be selected for each panel of a Multi-Draw ticket, however any resulting EZ Match prize can only be claimed once.
How many chances do I have to win with EZ Match?
Each time you add EZ Match to a Cash 5 play you have a chance to instantly win a prize from $2 to $500.
If I win with EZ Match do I have to wait until the Cash 5 drawing is held to redeem my winnings?
No, you don't need to wait. If you win an EZ Match prize you can cash in your winnings at a retail location and an exchange ticket will be printed for that evening's Cash 5 drawing and for any subsequent drawings still active on the ticket.
How long do I have to claim my EZ match winnings?
EZ Match prizes must be claimed within 180 days of the first Cash 5 drawing date on the ticket.
Can I play EZ Match through Online Play?
No, EZ Match is not available through Online Play. It is only available when purchasing Cash 5 in retail locations.
Can I claim my EZ Match prize(s) at the retail location or do I have to claim at an NCEL claim center?
EZ Match winnings on a single ticket can be claimed at a retail location. If a retailer does not have the cash available to pay a claim, please ask when the retailer will be able to pay and return at that time or visit another retail location to claim your winnings. EZ Match prizes can also be claimed at any NCEL claim center in person or by mail. Visit the How To Claim page on this website, for information on how to claim your prize.
Can a Cash 5 ticket with EZ Match be canceled?
No, Cash 5 tickets cannot be canceled.
What should I do if I claim my EZ Match prize and I don't receive my exchange ticket?
Be sure to ask the retailer for your exchange ticket when you claim your EZ Match prize. If you do not receive an exchange ticket remain at the retail location and call Customer Services at 1-877-962-7529 for assistance.
Will every EZ Match ticket display a $500 prize amount?
No. Players can win from $2 to $500 with each EZ match play. The EZ Match feature always has a $500 prize available to be won. The matching of the EZ Match numbers to the Cash 5 numbers is the way you discover if you have won an EZ Match prize and how much the prize is. Visit the How to Play on this website, for information regarding the specific prize amounts and odds of winning.

Pick 4

How do I play Pick 4?
Learn How to Play here.
How do I select the afternoon or evening drawings?
Play slips are available where Pick 4 tickets are sold. These play slips offer a choice between the daytime drawing, the evening drawing, or both. Players select DAY DRAW to play daytime draws only, or choose EVENING DRAW to play evening draws only. Choosing BOTH DRAWS will allow you to play both DAY and EVENING draws.
What will happen if I forget to select a drawing?
The terminal that prints the ticket will default to the next scheduled drawing, whether daytime or evening.
What time will ticket sales stop before the drawing?
Ticket sales for the daytime drawing stop at 2:45pm and will resume at approximately 3:15pm. Ticket sales for the evening drawing stop at 11:00pm and will resume at approximately 11:30pm. These are referred to as draw breaks.
Can Carolina Pick 4 tickets be canceled?
Yes. At your request, your Carolina Pick 4 ticket can be canceled on the terminal where it was produced within 15 minutes of the purchase time or within the remaining time before the draw break, whichever occurs first.
What are the ways to play Carolina Pick 4?
You can choose to match your numbers to the winning numbers in EXACT ORDER, ANY ORDER, 50/50 (which combines EXACT and ANY ORDER plays together), COMBO, Front Pair, Back Pair, 1-OFF or SUM IT UP.
I've heard that numbers can sometimes be "sold out". Are there any limitations I should know about when picking my numbers?
Pick 4 drawings regularly sell out of number combinations. These sellouts are due to limits on potential prize payout, referred to as liability limits. If the total prize liabilities for any number combination of all types of Plays exceeds a pre-determined limit, as established by the NCEL, then no further wagers on that number shall be accepted for that drawing. Such liability limit may be modified, from time to time, at the sole discretion of the NCEL.
What is SUM IT UP?
Add SUM IT UP to your Pick 4 ticket and if the sum of the numbers you selected match the sum of the numbers drawn you win. SUM IT UP is not available for Front Pair/Back Pair. The cost for SUM IT UP equals the base cost of the ticket. Prize amounts for SUM IT UP range from $4 - $2,500 for a $0.50 play and $8 - $5,000 for a $1 play.
What does 4-Way mean?
4-Way means that you have chosen a number that has 3 digits that are alike and 1 other digit. (Example: 2777) Because of that, there are 4 ways to combine the number selected to match the numbers drawn (i.e. 2777 - 7277 - 7727 - 7772).
What does 6-Way mean?
6-Way means that you have chosen a number that has 2 pairs of digits that are alike. (Example: 4488) Because of that, there are 6 ways to combine the numbers selected to match the numbers drawn (i.e. 4488 - 4848 - 4884 - 8448 - 8484 - 8844).
What does 12-Way mean?
12-Way means that you have chosen a number that has 2 digits that are alike and 2 other digits. (Example: 3305) Because of that, there are 12 ways to combine the numbers selected to match the numbers drawn (i.e. 0335 - 0353 - 0533 - 3035 - 3053 - 3305 - 3350 - 3503 - 3530 - 5033 - 5303 - 5330).
What does 24-Way mean?
24-Way means that you have chosen a number that has 4 different digits. (Example: 0123) Because of that, there are 24 ways to combine the numbers selected to match the numbers drawn (i.e. 0123 - 0132 - 0213 - 0231 - 0312 - 0321 - 1023 - 1032 - 1203 - 1230 - 1302 - 1320 - 2013 - 2031 - 2103 - 2130 - 2301 - 2310 - 3012 - 3021 - 3102 - 3120 - 3201 - 3210).
Why are the prize payouts different for 4-Way, 6-Way, 12-Way, and 24-Way?
As the number of ways to arrange the digits increase, thereby increasing the number of ways you have to win, the prizes gradually decrease.
What is an Advance play?
Advance play allows you to select specific future draw days excluding the current drawing for whatever draw is chosen (day, evening, or both). The maximum number of future drawings using the Advance Play feature is 6. For example, if today is Monday and you'd like to play on Wednesday, mark Wednesday under the Advance Play section and you will skip Monday and Tuesday drawings.

Pick 3

How do I play Pick 3?
Learn How to Play here.
How do I select the afternoon or evening drawings?
Play slips are available where Pick 3 tickets are sold. These play slips offer a choice between the daytime drawing, the evening drawing, or both. Players select DAY DRAW to play daytime draws only, or choose EVENING DRAW to play evening draws only. Choosing BOTH DRAWS will allow you to play both DAY and EVENING draws.
What will happen if I forget to select a drawing?
The terminal that prints the ticket will default to the next scheduled drawing, whether daytime or evening.
What time will ticket sales stop before the drawing?
Ticket sales for the daytime drawing stop at 2:45pm and will resume at approximately 3:15pm. Ticket sales for the evening drawing stop at 11:00pm and will resume at approximately 11:30pm. These are referred to as draw breaks.
Can Carolina Pick 3 tickets be canceled?
Yes. At your request, your Carolina Pick 3 ticket can be canceled on the lottery terminal where it was produced within 15 minutes of the purchase time or within the remaining time before the draw break, whichever occurs first.
What are the ways to play Carolina Pick 4?
You can choose to match your numbers to the winning numbers in EXACT ORDER, ANY ORDER, 50/50 (which combines EXACT and ANY ORDER plays together), COMBO, Front Pair, Back Pair, 1-OFF or SUM IT UP.
What is SUM IT UP?
Add SUM IT UP to your Pick 4 ticket and if the sum of the numbers you selected match the sum of the numbers drawn you win. SUM IT UP is not available for Front Pair/Back Pair. The cost for SUM IT UP equals the base cost of the ticket. Prize amounts for SUM IT UP range from $4 -$2,500 for a $0.50 play and $8 - $5,000 for a $1 play. Click here for more details on SUM IT UP prize payouts.
I've heard that numbers can sometimes be "sold out". Are there any limitations I should know about when picking my numbers?
Pick 3 drawings regularly sell out of number combinations. These sellouts are due to limits on potential prize payout, referred to as liability limits. If the total prize liabilities for any number combination of all types of Plays exceeds a pre-determined limit, as established by the NCEL, then no further wagers on that number shall be accepted for that drawing. Such liability limit may be modified, from time to time, at the sole discretion of the NCEL.
What does 3-Way mean?
3-Way means that you have chosen a number that has 2 digits that are alike. (Example: 377) Because of that, there are only 3 ways to combine the numbers selected to match the numbers drawn, (i.e. 377 - 737 - 773).
What does 6-Way mean?
6-Way means that you have chosen a number that has 3 different digits. (Example: 368) Because of that, there are 6 ways to combine the numbers selected to match the numbers drawn, (i.e. 368 - 386 - 638 - 683 - 836 - 863).
Why are the prize payouts different for 3-Way and 6-Way?
As the number of ways to arrange the digits increase, thereby increasing the number of ways you have to win, the prizes gradually decrease.
What is an Advance play?
Advance play allows you to select specific future draw days excluding the current drawing for whatever draw is chosen (day, evening, or both). The maximum number of future drawings using the Advance Play feature is 6. For example, if today is Monday and you'd like to play on Wednesday, mark Wednesday under the Advance Play section and you will skip Monday and Tuesday drawings.

Fast Play

What is Fast Play?
Fast Play is an exciting new game play experience that combines instant wins with growing progressive jackpots. There are no play slips to complete and no drawings to wait for. Tickets are printed at the time of purchase and can be played right away, like a scratch-off, to determine if you are a winner, even the jackpot prize.
How many Fast Play games are there?
There will always be an assortment of games available in a variety of themes, play-styles and price points. At launch there will be six games available and new games will be added on a regular basis. Check here (nclottery.com/FastPlay) for the most current selection of games.
How much can I win instantly on Fast Play games?
Fast Play gives you the chance to instantly win cash prizes, similar to a scratch-off, and/or instantly win the progressive jackpot prize. There are a variety of games and instant win cash prizes. For information on individual game prizes and odds check back here on our website beginning September 13, 2020. The amount of the progressive jackpot you could win depends on the price of the Fast Play ticket you purchased. A $2 ticket could win 20% of the jackpot, a $5 ticket could win 50% of the jackpot and a $10 ticket could win 100% of the jackpot prize
How can I win the Fast Play progressive jackpot?
The Fast Play progressive jackpot is shared by all Fast Play games, it starts at $20,000 and grows until it is won. When the jackpot is won on a $2, $5 or $10 game, the jackpot decreases by the percentage won and continues to roll from that level.

The Fast Play progressive jackpot can be won instantly. The amount of the jackpot you could win depends on the price of the Fast Play ticket you purchased. A $2 ticket could win 20% of the jackpot, a $5 ticket could win 50% of the jackpot and a $10 ticket could win 100% of the jackpot prize.
Where can I find the current amount of Fast Play progressive jackpot?
The current estimated Fast Play progressive jackpot amount will be located at the top of each printed Fast Play game ticket. You will also be able to find the current jackpot amount at retail locations on the transaction monitor, the Fast Play jackpot sign and lottery vending machines. And don’t forget you can always find the current jackpot on the website right here beginning September 13, 2020.
How do I play Fast Play games?
Fast Play games are printed at the time of purchase and can be played immediately like a scratch-off game. You can see if you’ve won right away by following the How To Win instructions printed on each ticket. You can also find details on the games here on the website beginning September 13, 2020.
Where can I purchase Fast Play games?
Fast Play games can be purchased at most NC Lottery retailers and on all lottery self-service vending machines.
How do I know if my ticket is a winner?
Just follow the How To Win play instructions printed on each ticket to see if you are a winner. Tickets can also be checked using the NC Lottery ticket checker at each retail location or on a self-service vending machine, or by using the ticket checker on the NC Lottery mobile app.
How long do I have to collect a Fast Play prize?
Fast Play tickets must be redeemed within 180 days of the ticket purchase date which is printed on the front of the ticket.
Can Fast Play tickets be canceled?
Fast Play tickets cannot be canceled by the retailer once they have been generated by the terminal.

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