Frequently Asked Questions


About Online Play

What is Online Play?
Online Play allows you to purchase tickets online for Carolina Cash 5, Lucky For Life, Mega Millions, and Powerball. Simply verify your identity using your NC Education Lottery account by providing the last 4 digits of your Social Security number, complete the identity and age verification and fund your balance to experience the ease and convenience of Online Play. Purchases can be made using a debit card, PayPal, or by ACH Bank Transfer from a personal checking account. As an added convenience, you will automatically earn Lucke-Rewards points on your Online Play purchase and no additional ticket entry is required.
How can I purchase games online?
The first step to being able to purchase games online is to create an NC Education Lottery account. New users can register for an account by clicking on Sign In in the top right corner of the website (or bottom right corner of the app). This takes you to a page where you can sign in if you already have an account or click Create an Account to sign up.

There are three easy steps. You'll create a username, password, and provide your email. Once you click Continue, you will need to check your email for a confirmation code, which you'll enter on the next step. After you confirm your email, you'll provide additional information such as your name, address, and the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. And it's as easy as that! Once you have an NC Education Lottery account, you will be ready to deposit funds to your balance and purchase popular draw games online.
Who is eligible to have a verified NC Education Lottery account and purchase online?
You must be 18 years of age or older and a US resident. Additionally, we must be able to verify your identity and you must be able to deposit funds using one of the available methods, including debit card, PayPal, and ACH Bank Transfer.
Where do email notifications come from?
All notifications will arrive from play@email.nclottery.com, accounting@mail.nclottery.com, customersupport@mail.nclottery.com, onlineplay@mail.nclottery.com, and luckerewards@mail.nclottery.com, which are authorized senders for the NC Education Lottery. Please make sure you allow emails from these addresses.
I do not live in North Carolina; can I use Online Play?
Yes, but you must be physically located in North Carolina at the time that you make a deposit or purchase. (Note: All purchases and deposits must be made within North Carolina's borders and will be checked with geo location technologies.)
Can I make a purchase using my mobile device?
Yes. We recommend making purchases through the NC Lottery Official Mobile App, which is available in the App Store for Apple devices and Android users can download the app straight from the NC Education Lottery's website. You can also use your phone's web browser to purchase through our website.

In order to complete purchase on the app or website, mobile devices must have:
  • Wi-Fi turned on (not required to be connected)
  • GPS is ON
  • Location Services (iOS) or High Accuracy (Android) are enabled
  • Location Shared in the App Permissions (NC Lottery Mobile App, or Browser App)
When using the mobile app to make an Online Play purchase, I get an error stating "There was an error retrieving your geolocation." How do I resolve the error?
First verify that you are accessing the app from within North Carolina. If you are in North Carolina and still receive the error, make sure that:
  • Wi-Fi turned on (not required to be connected)
  • GPS is ON
  • Location Services (iOS) or High Accuracy (Android) are enabled
  • Location Shared in the App Permissions (NC Lottery Mobile App, or Browser App)
Will I ever be required to provide my full Social Security Number (SSN)?
Yes. Your full SSN is requested when you win $600 or more and start the claim process for the first time. After this is submitted the first time, it will not be requested again.
How do I change my NC Education Lottery account password or email?
To change your password or email (once signed in), click on your Username in the top right corner of the website. Select "Login & Security" and click on the "Edit" button next to either your email or password to make a change. When changing your email, you will be required to reconfirm your email address.

In the app, click on Account in the bottom right corner and then select your name/Account Details to access your personal information and submit a change.
How do I update my contact information?
To update your name, phone number, or mailing address, contact Customer Support by phone at 1-866-934-0289 or visit the Help page to chat with us.
I have been locked out of my account for failing the identity verification, what do I do?
Following multiple identity verification failures, you will receive an email providing a verification form and instructions on what is needed. You will need to upload the required materials to your account via the secure upload tool, mail in the materials, or visit lottery headquarters. The information is reviewed and if approved, the account will be verified.
Which lottery games can I play with Online Play?
You can play Powerball, Mega Millions, Carolina Cash 5 and Lucky for Life.
Can I cancel a purchase made in Online Play?
No. Online Play purchases cannot be canceled, nor refunded.
How do I get a receipt for an Online Play purchase?
Your receipt is emailed to you and recorded in your Transaction History with My Account.
Are transactions confidential?
Transactions will only be disclosed if required by law.
Why can't I get a refund for the deposited amount?
In deference to Federal regulations, funds deposited in the account may not be refunded unless required by law or policy dictates in the sole discretion of the NCEL.
I do not want to receive emails about my transactions. What can I do?
Currently, you cannot opt out of emails related to Online Play as they provide important information about your transactions.
Is the Online Play system available 24 hours a day?
Yes. You can access your account 24/7.
Can I still purchase Lottery tickets from a retailer?
Yes. Online Play is another option for you to play select NC Education Lottery games. It is not a replacement for retailers. Retailers also offer other draw games, such as Pick 3, Pick 4, Keno, and instant scratch-off games.
How do I know if my purchase was placed for today's drawing?
You will receive an email message, and you will be able to review the transaction in your Upcoming Purchased Draws under My Account.
I lost my internet connection while making a purchase. What do I do?
Simply sign back in and continue. Items placed in your cart will be saved until your next session.
What information is available about my (historical) activity?
Visit My Account (or Account in the app) to find the historical Online Play activity for your account under the heading Online Play History in order to see your transaction history as well as records of tax-reported prizes.

Payments, Winnings, and Withdrawals

How long does it take to set up an account?
To set up an NC Education Lottery account, it takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes, provided there are no issues verifying your identity. Please ensure that all your personal information is correct and matches your legal identity to avoid delays.
What is my bank routing number?
It is the 9-digit routing transit numbers (RTN) used in the U.S. that appears on the bottom of checks, to identify the financial institution on which it was drawn.
What is my bank account number?
It is the 6- to 17-digit bank account number that appears on the bottom of checks, to the right of the routing number.
What types of bank accounts and payment methods can be used to fund my balance?
You can use a debit card, ACH Bank Transfer with a checking account, or PayPal (using a bank account only as credit cards and debit cards are not permitted).
How long does it take for my deposit to show up in my wallet?
With debit card and PayPal deposits, your funds should be available immediately. For ACH Bank Transfer, if the deposit meets the criteria of approval, funds will be credited to the player's Online Play account immediately. It depends on the financial institution when it is debited from the bank account, but generally in 2-3 business days.
Will my bank account or other payment information be stored?
Your bank account information is not stored by the NC Education Lottery. However, such information is stored by the Online Play e-commerce provider at a secure Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant facility for your protection.
How can I identify payments on my bank statement that I made through Online Play?
The charge will show as NC Education Lottery.
Do I have to make a minimum purchase or deposit?
Yes. The minimum purchase is $1.00 and the minimum deposit is $10.00. The minimum withdrawal is $1.00.
How do I know if I am a winner after a draw purchased in Online Play?
When you win, you will receive an email notifying you that you have won. You will also be prompted to start or complete your claim online when you sign into your account following an Online Play win.
How will I claim my winnings?
You will receive an email notice stating that your winnings under $600 will automatically be placed in your NC Education Lottery balance. You may use these funds to purchase more games, or withdraw the funds. 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 need to start your claim online and then be directed to lottery headquarters to complete your claim in person.
How do I withdraw my winnings?
Available winnings between $1 and $10,000 can be withdrawn from your account via ACH, PayPal (attached to a bank account) or check payment. To process a withdrawal, sign in to your account, go to My Account (or Account in the app), and select Withdraw Funds from the menu. You can also click on Withdraw Funds in your player dashboard (viewable by clicking on your username in the upper right corner of the website).

For ACH withdrawals – The first time you process an ACH withdrawal you will be prompted to enter your bank account and other qualifying information. Withdrawals of more than $50 require you to enter a security code from your email. Please allow 48 business hours to process your request. Additional documentation may be requested. Once approved, you can typically expect funds in your account within 3-5 business days.

For PayPal withdrawals – If you have already made a deposit to your account using PayPal (associated with a bank account) you can also use PayPal to withdraw funds. To process a PayPal withdrawal, select PayPal from the drop down menu on the withdrawal screen. Withdrawals of more than $50 require you to enter a security code from your email. Please allow 48 business hours to process your request. Additional documentation may be requested. Once approved, you can typically expect funds in your account within 1 business day or less.

For Check Payment withdrawals – You may also request that a check be mailed to you by contacting Lottery Support. You should receive an email within 48 business hours that the check payment withdrawal option has been added to your account.

To initiate a check payment withdrawal, select the Check Payment option in the drop down menu of the withdrawal screen. Follow the prompts. Withdrawals of more than $50 require you to enter a security code from your email. Once submitted, you will be sent an email requesting additional documentation. Please allow 48 business hours to process your request. Once approved, you can typically expect funds in your account within 5-10 business days.
How long will it take me to receive funds after I request a withdrawal from my winnings account?
The first time you make a withdrawal request or the first withdrawal request to a specific payment method, it will take up to 2 business days once all requested documents are received. Subsequent requests to the same withdrawal method should be processed on the next business day. Here are some general guidelines for processing time:
  • ACH - Bank Transfer: Upon approval, funds are deposited within 3 - 5 business days
  • PayPal: Upon approval, funds are deposited within one (1) business day or less
  • Check: Upon approval, the check should be received via mail in 7-10 business days

Geo Location

What is geolocation and why do you have to be geo located to purchase online?
You must be physically located in North Carolina at the time that you make a purchase or deposit funds. All purchases and deposits must be made within North Carolina borders and will be checked with geo location technologies on your desktop or mobile device.

If you have trouble geo locating, please the Customer Support Center at 1-866-934-0289 or follow the troubleshooting steps outlined in the FAQs below.
What should I do if I am located close to the border and experiencing issues with being located for purchase or deposit?
If you DO NOT allow access to WIFI/GPS data sources, the geolocation result will be based on IP. In cases where you are located close to the border, the IP radius will usually breach the inclusion zone and the you will be blocked. The best solution for this result would be to enable WIFI/GPS which creates a very small radius usually does not impact the geolocation result.
What should I do if I am being incorrectly located outside of North Carolina?
If you believe that you are within North Carolina state borders and you are being restricted from purchasing or making deposits on a desktop, mobile phone or tablet, make sure that your device's Location Services are turned on. Enabling Wi-Fi (desktop and mobile), GPS and/or cellular data on a mobile device can also assist in successfully locating you.
Why does my mobile device need to see Wi-Fi/GPS/GSM Networks?
In order to play, we need to locate you within state boundaries. Our location systems require Wi-Fi, GPS, or GSM (mobile data) signals to locate you. The more network signals you have within range of your device, the more accurately we can locate you.
On which mobile devices will I be able to access Online Play?
Most mobile devices with GPS/Wi-Fi antennas, and modern web browsers are supported. Both Android and iOS devices are supported. This includes Android cell phones and tablets, and iPhones and iPads.
How do I allow Location Data Sharing on iOS?
  • Select Privacy
  • Open the iOS "Settings" menu
  • Select "Location Services" option
  • Make sure "Location Services" are ON and then select your browser
  • Choose the "While Using the App" option
  • Go Back to the Main iOS "Settings" menu and select "General" option
  • Scroll to the bottom of the list and select "Reset" option
  • Select "Reset Location and Privacy" option
  • Enter your passcode to verify security details if needed (optional)
  • Confirm you want to "Reset Settings" when prompted
  • Click here for a help video.
If I'm within North Carolina state borders on an Android phone, and haven't been accurately located within the state, is there anything else I can do to correct the error?
If you're trying to purchase or deposit on an Android device and are not being accurately located, then you may need to clear your cache from your mobile device in order to be accurately located. To do this, go to Settings > Name of app used to access gaming service (gaming app or browser app) > and select Clear Cache.
How do I allow Location Data Sharing on Windows 10?
  • Click Windows/Start menu, and type "location"
  • From list, click "Location Privacy Settings"
  • Make sure "Location Service" is ON
  • There should be no "default location" selected. If so, this needs to be cleared
  • Under "Choose apps that can use your precise location" ensure your browser is turned ON if it appears in this list. If it is not in the list it may not use Microsoft Location Services.
  • Click here for a help video.
How do I turn on my device's Wi-Fi? (Android/iOS)
How do I turn on my device's Wi-Fi? (PC/Mac)
  • For Mac, click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar > choose Turn Wi-Fi on > select a nearby Wi-Fi network from the list. If you don't see the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar, from the Apple menu > choose System Preferences > click Network in the System Preferences window > select Wi-Fi in the list of available network connections > press Turn Wi-Fi on button. Click here for a help video.
  • For Windows 7, go the Start Menu > Control Panel > in the top right of the Control Panel open the View drop-down menu > select Category > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center. If your device has a Wi-Fi adapter you will get an option to select "Change adapter settings" from the left column. If your device does not have a Wi-Fi adapter, this will likely not be present. If it does have a Wi-Fi adapter, it will appear here, right-click on your Wi-Fi adapter (will be called something like Wi-Fi or Wireless Network Connection) and select enable. Click here for a help video.
  • For Windows 8, from the Apps screen, swipe/scroll to the right and find the Windows System category > Control Panel > in the top right of the Control Panel open the View drop-down menu > select Category > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center. If your device does not have a Wi-Fi adapter, this will likely not be present. If it does have a Wi-Fi adapter, it will appear here, select "Change adapter settings" from the left column > right click on your Wi-Fi adapter (will be called something like Wi-Fi or Wireless Network Connection) and select enable. Click here for a help video.
  • For Windows 10, right-click on the Windows Logo on the bottom left > Select "Network Connections" and right-click on "Wi-Fi" > select "Connect/Disconnect" > Select "Wi-Fi" > Switch to "On". Click here for a help video.
If I have remote desktop software, such as LogMeIn or GoToMyPC actively running on my laptop or desktop, can I still be accurately geo located?
If you have remote desktop software running on your device, you will not be able to complete checkout. You will need to quit these programs and ensure they are no longer running on your device.
How Do I disable a Remote Desktop Program (RDP)?
The behavior of these programs vary, however you will first need to close all known remote desktop programs on your device.
  • For PC, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys to access the Task Manager. From the Task Manager you can force individual programs to quit.
  • For Mac, press Command+Option+Escape keys to open the Activity Monitor (Finder to Applications to Utilities). From the Activity Monitor you can force individual programs to quit.
If the problem persists, you may be required to remove the programs completely. To remove programs from the computer completely:
  • For PC, open Control Panel to Programs to Uninstall and select/remove the program from the list.
  • For Mac, locate the program in the Applications folder and drag to the trash.
If I have proxy or VPN software (such as Witopia, OpenVPN, or HMA) actively running on my laptop or desktop, can I still be accurately geo located?
If you have a proxy or VPN running on your device, you will not be able to checkout. You will need to quit these programs and ensure they are no longer running on your device. To disable a Proxy or Virtual Private Network (VPN) Connection in most cases, you will need to adjust your browser settings:
  • For Internet Explorer: Tools > Internet Options to Connections > LAN Settings > Uncheck the box for Proxy Server. Click here for a help video.
  • For Chrome: Menu > Settings > and select "disable extension" in the "Proxy" section. Click here for a help video.
  • For Firefox: Select tools > Options > Advanced Network (tab) > Settings. In the Connection Settings window, ensure that the "No Proxy" option is selected. Then click on the OK button to apply the changes. Click here for a help video.
  • Using dev tools during inspection is not allowed and player will not pass geolocation inspection.
The behavior of these processes may vary. In the case of a downloadable VPN, you will be required to shut down all running processes of such applications.
  • For PC, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys to access the Task Manager. From the Task Manager you can force individual programs to quit.
  • For Mac, press Command+Option+Escape keys to open the Activity Monitor (Finder > Applications > Utilities). From the Activity Monitor you can force individual programs to quit.
If I'm using a public Wi-Fi hotspot to access the internet, can I still be accurately geo located?
Yes, you can. However, please be aware that from time to time, when using an internet connection provided by some larger businesses, their internet connection source may be associated with a location outside of the state. To resolve this issue, you may need to try accessing the internet from another location/connection source. You can also use the NC Lottery Official Mobile App or mobile browser on a smart phone with GPS.
What is the difference between a public and private Wi-Fi connection? How could it affect my ability to be located?
A public Wi-Fi network (coffee shop, hotel, etc. where a network is shared with many other people), especially those run by larger businesses, may be associated with a location outside of the state and prevent access to deposits/checkout. To resolve this issue, try accessing the internet from another location/connection source, preferably a private, password protected, un-shared, secure Wi-Fi connection such as your home or work network.
How do I check that my computer has a Wi-Fi card?
  • For Windows 7/Vista, go the Start Menu > Control Panel > in the top-right of the Control Panel open the View drop-down menu > select Category > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center. If your device has a Wi-Fi adapter you will get an option to select "Change adapter settings" from the left column. If your device does not have a Wi-Fi adapter, this will likely not be present. Click here for a help video.
  • For Windows 8, from the Apps screen, swipe/scroll to the right and find the Windows System category > Control Panel > in the top-right of the Control Panel open the View drop-down menu > select Category > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center. If your device does not have a Wi-Fi adapter, this will likely not be present. If it does have a Wi-Fi adapter, you will get an option to select "Change adapter settings" from the left column. If your device does not have a Wi-Fi adapter, this will likely not be present. Click here for a help video.
  • For Windows 10, right-click on the Windows Logo on the bottom left > Select "Network Connections". Then, right-click on "Wi-Fi" > select "Enable". If your device doesn't have Wi-Fi adapter, "Wi-Fi" will likely not be present. Click here for a help video.
If I'm accessing the NC Lottery Official Mobile App from a mobile phone, will there be any issues with being accurately located?
Locating you from a mobile phone should not be more difficult than on a computer, as long as you have Location Services/GPS/Wi-Fi enabled on your phone.
I have a rooted/jailbroken mobile device. Can I still play?
No. In order to deposit/checkout, you must use a device with its original manufacturer settings.
How can I disable VPN?
There is a range of VPN programs. To turn off yours, open the application and click on Disconnect.

Auto-Renewal

What is Auto-Renewal?
Auto-Renewal is an optional service allowing a purchase to be made on an automatically recurring basis. You will be able to manage each Auto-Renewal by signing in to your NCEL Account and accessing your auto-renewals from the My Account menu.
How often does my purchase renew?
Your first purchase will be for the value of three weeks of draws. This builds in a one-week grace period should you have to update your account without missing a draw if there is ever an issue processing your next purchase. After your first initial auto-renew purchase of three weeks, each recurring purchase will occur every two weeks for two weeks of draws.
How do I receive my Lucke-Rewards points for auto-renew purchases?
You'll receive the points for each recurring purchase. You can see these points in your Points History after each successful payment every two weeks.
How do I cancel or view my auto-renew purchases?
Within "My Account" you can select Auto-Renew from the Draw Games menu. All of your auto-renew purchases will be listed. You can select "Cancel Auto Renewal" to cancel, select "Past Tickets" to view past plays, and select "Upcoming Draws" to see your upcoming draws.
Can I use any payment method to set up an auto-renew?
No, only debit cards can be used to set up an auto-renew.

Identification Verification

What if I do not pass the identity verification while registering for Online Play, and after calling the Customer Support Center for assistance the issue is unresolved?
You will not be able to participate in Online Play if we cannot verify your identity, but you'll still have the option to purchase tickets at a retail location. You may also continue to enjoy Lucke-Rewards and the benefits of having an NC Education Lottery account.
What is the Identification Affidavit?
If you fail the initial identity verification, you will be asked to upload a copy of your photo ID as well as a notarized copy of the Identification Affidavit. This will provide us with the information necessary to help you through the process. You can download the affidavit here.
When will the identity and age verification check be done?
This check is performed at the time you register with the last 4 digits of your Social Security number (SSN), or when you upgrade your account by providing the last 4 digits of your SSN. The check is also performed the first time you claim a win of $600 or more.
What information is required for identity verification?
We will use your personal information provided during registration, including the last 4 digits of your Social Security number, to verify your identity.
Why is an identity verification required?
We need to be able to verify your identity and age eligibility.

Limits and Exclusions

Is there a limit to how much I can play?
Yes. The maximum deposit amount is $505/day, $2,000/week, and $5,000/month.
I just changed my deposit limit. Is it effective immediately?
You may adjust your deposit limits within the maximum allowable by the NC Education Lottery. A decrease in your deposit limit will be effective immediately. An increase in your deposit limit will be effective in 48 hours.
What is my withdrawal limit?
Only winnings are available for withdrawal from your wallet. The minimum withdrawal amount is $10.00.
What is self-exclusion?
You may temporarily or permanently exclude yourself from using your NCEL Account through our responsible gaming tools or by contacting the NCEL Online Play Support Center by calling 1-866-934-0289. During an exclusion, you will not be able to sign into your NCEL Account to participate in Lucke-Rewards, second-chance drawings, promotional activities, and Online Play Services. An exclusion cannot be reversed. With the exception of a permanent exclusion, you will be able to sign into your NCEL Account with your previous credentials after the exclusion period ends.

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