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Who plays the lottery?

September 27, 2018 Posted by NC Lottery at 6:59 AM

Have you ever wondered who plays the lottery? Turns out that, demographically, lottery players look similar to the overall population of our state.

The lottery recently surveyed North Carolinians to get a better understanding of who our players are and confirmed what we see every day: Folks who play the lottery come from all walks of life and represent a cross-section of North Carolinians. We wanted to share some of the survey results with you too.

Forty-six percent of North Carolinians, age 18 or older, said they had played a lottery game in the last year. Of those,

  • 52 percent were males and 48 percent were females.
  • 42 percent said they were between the age of 35-54.
  • 25 percent said they were university graduates.
  • 65 percent of lottery players were white, 23 percent were African-Americans, and 7 percent were Hispanic or Latino.
  • 37 percent said they had a household income of between $25,000 and $75,000.

We conducted the survey to ensure we have a good understanding of who plays our games. With that knowledge, we can do a better job of making sure we sell and market lottery games in a responsible way. You can learn more about the survey here.




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12/03/2019 06:59 - Fred S.

The bottom three quintiles in socioeconomic status spent the most on the lottery and the highest socioeconomic group spent the least on the lottery. In addition, black respondents spent significantly more money per year on the lottery than respondents in any other specific racial/ethnic group.

8/06/2019 06:43 - shirley b.

It is probably going to cost you a fortune to win on the new fortune ticket but if you do it would be well worth it.

7/04/2019 02:54 - lawrence b.

It would really be interesting to see a video if the second-chance drawing held using a random number generator I assume at the CPA's office? That would be interesting to watch and hear the commentary on.NC Lottery
Hey there Lawrence! Our second-chance and Lucke-Rewards drawings are conducted at lottery headquarters under the supervision of an auditor. All of our drawings are open to the public, so if you’re interested we’d love to have you attend and see how it works!

5/31/2019 07:54 - james m.

When you enter your tickets online for drawings they have, along after the deadline do you notify people they have won.NC Lottery
Hi James, if a player wins a Lucke-Rewards or Second Chance drawing, we contact the player using the email address in their account. If we can't reach them via email, we'll follow up by phone and certified letter.

5/28/2019 11:37 - Vincent O.

Wait soooo! Cash 5 is always 100,000 starting jackpot, but it's 43 numbers now compare to South Carolina's 38 number that starts at 100,000. Plus they have the Multiplier option!! So it's common sense where to go play... Like duh!

5/15/2019 04:51 - Mary P.

Does anyone ever win big using online play? NC Lottery
Absolutely! We've had several Cash 5 jackpot winners, some $100,000+ Powerball and Mega Millions winners, and even a $25,000 a Year for Life Lucky for Life winner--all through Online Play. Whether you play online or in-store, your odds of picking the winning numbers will always stay the same.

1/19/2019 08:40 - Sharon B.

I have collected and purchased pball tickets for over 10 years for a group of local government employees who wanted to play but did not want the job of purchasing the tickets. We have 27 members of our group, many like myself now retired. I collect once every 3 months to make my job easier. The winnings go back in our Kitty to reduce the cost for all members. Some have dropped out over the years, but no new members can be added to show respect for our loyal group. We have a dream of winning a Big jackpot sometime in the future.

1/08/2019 04:35 - Joanna K.

I am almost 40 years old,I play everyday and I have a fun, no luck but fun.

1/05/2019 05:01 - Willie B.

i am 83 years old and i play all the time and win some time

1/03/2019 03:58 - stephane d.

I play the lottery daily both pm and evening draws. I had no idea there was an ongoing survey. I would like to know how many players play both draws daily? NC Lottery
That's a great question, Stephane. Unfortunately our blog team doesn't have that information on hand. If you want to email your question to, someone here at the lottery can research it and get back to you!

12/16/2018 07:39 - michael b.

The 2nd Chance drawing for the winners how many points were entered for them to winNC Lottery
Hey Michael, That's not information that blog moderators have. It's up to each player to decide if they want to disclose how many points they've used to enter drawings. But, having just one entry gives you a chance to win as well!

12/14/2018 11:30 - Lavanda H.

Hi, I have a question about the lucky rewards/2nd chance draw game tickets. I was looking at the rules and notice a small detail that might have messed up my chances of winning prizes. Are the players suppose to log in their lucky rewards account on each day of the drawings. OR do you just scan your points and apply them on the game you wish to play and wait for the drawing and your chance to win a prize.If we are suppose to log on drawing day I have messed up big time. NC Lottery
Hi there, Lavanda. No worries! You do not have to log on the day of the draw. As long as you scan your tickets into your account, you're automatically entered into any live second-chance drawings. For Lucke-Rewards, as long as you scan you tickets, get points, and enter drawings, you are able to win! Sounds like you do that already. If you were to be a winner, the first step we take to contact you is through the email associated with your account.

11/29/2018 08:06 - Lavanda H.

Hi, I am a faithful lottery player meaning I play some type of lottery everyday whether it's scratch offs or the big games. I have won some and I have lost plenty so I know what it takes. I just find it Unfair to buy 6 or 7 $10 scratch offs from the same book back to back and none of them were winners. I know you, the person who answers these questions, can't do anything, but I just want to vent my frustration. NC Lottery
We hear you, Lavanda. You are always welcome to share how you feel here on the blog! We truly wish that every ticket could be a lucky winner, but the prizes come from non-winning tickets. We hope your next ticket is a lucky one.

11/25/2018 01:26 - Jennnifer L.

Why is it that those who win are those that live or are passing through some of the larger cities. You would think that some one would win in the smaller cities never from Lumberton ,Elizabethtown, Whiteville, or Bladenboro. What is the problem is it that only the large win tickets can be brought in those larger cities. It makes me want to stop wasting my money. NC Lottery
Jennifer-Winning lottery tickets are randomly distributed across the state. You can see exactly who's winning, and where they're from by going to our winners page.

11/23/2018 03:42 - tara b.

I can say I enjoy playing the nc lottery. I've won and I've lost! I was discouraged today when I found a YouTuber named MrBeast that buys $20,000-30,000 worth of tickets at a time. He has sponsors so that makes it easier for him to "entertain" his followers. It just sucks because MrBeast is really cutting the odds for others by purchasing so many tickets in bulk. I will continue to play in hopes that my 1 ticket is all it takes to HIT IT BIG. NC Lottery
Hi Tara, we don't advise anyone to buy so many tickets. Also, as you mention, it only ever takes one ticket to win a big prize and every ticket has the same odds of winning.

11/21/2018 09:59 - Helen R.

I think you are doing a wonderful job but the 1 dollar scratch offs needs an upgrade, they all seems to be the same as we play $1 we win $1, I personally feel like you can do a better job. Thanks for reading my comment!!!NC Lottery
Hi Helen, thanks for your suggestion. The folks who design our scratch-off games read this blog and appreciate customer feedback. Thanks!

11/10/2018 06:53 - Schmeka w.

Hi, Anna i agree i have money in my account wallet as well but it keep saying your GEO location not found in which i believe its only set up in certain places to be purchased online i was doing the samething going band and forth until i finally said forget. so if you trying to add money to your account don't because its a setup to take your money where you want be able to purchase online and you dam sure want get your money back. BE CAUTIOUS!!!!

11/02/2018 08:24 - Cathy S.

I don't see pictures of any online play winners. How do you list it in the winners section if an online purchase player won?NC Lottery
Hi Cathy, if a player won a prize over $5,000 and took a picture they would show up in the winner section of the site here: We just had an Powerball online winner for $150,000, once the winner section updates with the latest winners, that photo will be included as well and will say "Online Play" for the location. You can see that winner story here:

10/29/2018 11:53 - Edith K.

Hey hatice k. I have entered up to 5,000 entries and didnt win so dont feel aline

10/29/2018 11:49 - Edith K.

I have a problem in seeing my luck rewards entries in the drop down box. I see that there are several other inquiries about this..when will it be corrected.NC Lottery
Hey Edith, Our web team is aware of the issue with the Lucke-Rewards tab not displaying. It should be resolved soon! Thank you for your patience!

10/28/2018 08:42 - Gavin G.

I saw that as of 11/1 the minimum jackpot for the Cash 5 will start at $100k. If it was $99k, a winning ticket could be redeemed at a local office instead of having to drive to Raleigh. I don't know about anyone else, but I'd be happy with $1k less if I could take a few minutes out of my day to cash-in rather than several hours going to Raleigh. Not that I'll ever win, mind you, but with my luck it would be after the jackpot was hit and reset to the minimum, should I ever even be that fortunate! Just a thought...NC Lottery
Hey Gavin, Thanks for the feedback. From our experience, players really enjoyed our "$100K Days" promotions with Cash 5, so we decided to make that change permanent. We hope our winners won't mind the trip to claim their cash! Good luck to you.

10/27/2018 05:05 - Shika J.

Mannnn it seems that I have been scanning tickets half my life & never win anything. Naw but seriously I have been scanning at least 4 years never won nothing yet. I'm gonna continue I hope my day come that my picture will be on this website because of a big win ??

10/26/2018 11:25 - Kevon W.

Is pick4 and pick3 ever gonna be added to online play NC Lottery
Hey Kevon, At this time, there are no plans to add Pick 3 and Pick 4 to online play, but we appreciate knowing of your interest in having them added so that we can consider it for future additions to our Online Play system!

10/24/2018 04:57 - JIM B.

Thank you Anna! I was leaning that way but now i believe i'll just keep purchasing thru a brick and mortar store! I have a hard time trusting things that i can not see and when gambling is involved,you can't be too careful. Thank you from an old man that is still in the 20th century technology wise!

10/22/2018 08:11 - ANNA M.

SCAM - Just a friendly warning to everyone, the NC Lottery application is a SCAM! DO NOT DOWNLOAD!!! You can transfer money from your bank to the "Wallet" but cannot transfer anything back. Their Terms & Conditions say nothing of this, and when you try to get your money back from "Customer Service," you get the run-around. I've been going back and forth with them for a week and still can't get my money back. They claim that they have a "No Refund" policy but when nothing has been purchased a person should be able to get their money back, especially since the app is faulty, lags, and freezes. I WANT MY MONEY!!!!

10/16/2018 09:31 - Tony M.

? when I started to play lottery (powerball & mega millions), the cash value was at 60% or more of the total jackpot. Why has the cash value % dropped in recent months? NC Lottery
Hey Tony, That's a great question! The difference between the estimated annuity and the lump sum option is based upon interest levels at the time of the drawing. That means that the lump sum payout could fluctuate up or down alongside interest levels at that time.

10/15/2018 06:05 - Debra R.

It's called Gambling for a reason. U dont take your bill money or kids lunch money to gamble. U gamble with what u have extra. Set your limit and stick with it. Dont get mad if u dont win every single time u play. It's called gambling for a reason. Your taking a gamble. If your upset just stop. Don't do it. I'm from Las Vegas and playing the lottery reminds me of being at home. We go hard or go home. I always feel that its always a chance that I'll win that big one. If I dont play I'll never win. Si my philosophy is I'm going to ride this lottery train until the wheel falls off. Good luck everyone. See u in Raleigh lol

10/14/2018 02:08 - Hatice K.

I also feel NC Lottery are not fair, I have entered 1000 draws for second chance, never won even $100.00. I enter more the anyone for second chance, still do not win anything, something is not right.Maybe because I enter so much!!! I also lost my passion playing to much lottery. NC Lottery
Hey Hatice, Sorry to hear you're feeling discouraged with our second-chance drawings. Second-chance drawings can sometimes have upwards of a million entries and while we wish every entry could be a lucky one, unfortunately that is not the case.

10/12/2018 10:17 - Gary C.

Great survey !!!

10/11/2018 04:46 - Terry B.

just curious, but how many scratch-off tickets are contained in a pack? If that new MEGA game's pay off is a pack of scratch offs? NC Lottery
Hey Terry, The pack contains 60 tickets!

9/30/2018 05:41 - George M.

Your game is great to play.

9/29/2018 08:57 - charles m.

Under winners on this site You will see that 13 whites 4 blacks and 2 Hispanics and 1 latino won money. Don't take My word look and count for Yourself.the lottery is so unfair To our communities. NC Lottery
Charles, the winner page only includes winners of over $5,000 that recently took a picture at one of regional offices, it does not feature every winner.

9/29/2018 08:44 - charles m.

To all African Americans please Know that the lottery is not fair When it comes to our ethnic group. Just look at the pictures of The people who wins on this site And their geographical location Where they won the money. Week After week way more whites win Money ,and they trying to cover It up with a survey where they Surveyed mostly white people to Give us a false percentage. NC Lottery
Hi Charles, this survey used a cross section of North Carolina residents that was representative of the population of the state. You can see some more demographic info at this link:

9/29/2018 03:51 - Arthur A.

I hope this means a brand distribution of changes.

9/27/2018 02:03 - Roslyn K.


9/27/2018 12:42 - Denver G.

LZ, thanx for the survey results, I think they are spot on!! I also think there are players out there that will disagree simply because it is not what THEY THINK, or convinced themselves it to be!!!

9/27/2018 10:30 - Zachary H.

I so wish NC lottery didn’t get me addicted to gambling! I would have about $20,000.00 more dollars in my accounts!NC Lottery
Hi Zachary, We've seen you comment a lot recently about scratch-off odds and we have tried to explain it to you in a few different ways. In reading your comments, it sounds like you're no longer having fun. Lottery games are meant to be a fun form of entertainment, and if it no longer feels that way, then it might be a good time to take a break. We have other resources available to learn more about myths and odds and we encourage you to read more here:

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