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Keeping you informed

March 18, 2020 Posted by NC Lottery at 7:17 PM

We know many of you have had some questions about how the lottery is operating as our state deals with the public health emergency due to the coronavirus. 

All lottery drawings are being held as scheduled.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. Understandably, things might be different for a bit, including your interactions with us and our claims centers. 

The one thing that will not change is that if you win a prize, you will get paid. That is the last thing we want any of you to worry about. If you can’t make it into a retail location or to one of our claim centers right now, do not worry. Sign the back of your ticket and either hold on to it, or redeem your prize by mail. 

You can find the winner claim form for prizes under $100,000 here.

At this time, all of our claim centers are open and operating under normal hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The only difference you will notice is that we are asking for your help with practicing social distancing by limiting the number of people in our claim centers to 10 at a time. We have also increased the frequency of our cleaning and sanitation procedures at all claim centers so those that do visit us feel safe to do so.

As for draw game questions, all drawings are ongoing as scheduled. Remember, you can also purchase tickets for Powerball, Mega Millions, Lucky For Life, and Cash 5 online through Online Play.

We are continuing to monitor this ever-changing situation and will update you right here and on our social channels if we have more news.

We are here to help answer any questions you might have. You can ask questions below or call us at 877-962-7529 (9NC-PLAY) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

In the meantime, we will continue to spread some good cheer by sharing winner stories.  


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5/21/2020 06:33 - Janet T.

When will you be picking a winner for school hero contest? NC Lottery
Hi Janet, The coronavirus outbreak has created pressing issues for schools right now. Since celebrating the new class of NC School Heroes requires the assistance of schools, we plan to delay the announcement of the winners until circumstances allow. We'll post updates as we have them at

5/19/2020 12:28 - Robert R.

do retailers have a "say" as to which scratch off tickets they want to sell ? some stores i go to only have 2 different $1 tickets to sell. is this their way to sell higher-priced tickets by not having the other $1 tickets ? seems strange to me.NC Lottery
It is up to each individual retailer to decide which tickets they wish to carry in their store. At any given time, we have more scratch-off games available than will fit in our standard retailer display, so they choose which tickets they wish to carry.

5/17/2020 07:16 - Lisa P.

If u click on button that says keep me informed and it takes you to a claim form then what exactly does that mean?? Good I am hoping??NC Lottery
Hi Lisa, The button above links to a claim form for wins under $100,000 for folks who are interested in mailing in their ticket to claim.

5/04/2020 12:06 - Genease M.

What about the 2nd chance drwing that supposed to been held on April 8thNC Lottery
Hi there, Our second-chance and Lucke-Rewards drawings have been postponed until the stay-at-home order has been lifted. You can stay up-to-date on any changes to lottery operations at

4/29/2020 10:33 - Lori Q.

Hi Lori, The announcement of the winners of the NC School Heroes contest has been postponed. The coronavirus outbreak has created pressing issues for schools right now. Since celebrating the new class of NC School Heroes requires the assistance of schools, we plan to delay the announcement of the winners until circumstances allow. You can vsit for more information.

4/25/2020 06:42 - Patricia S.

I am signed in and have entered second-chance drawing tickets. And I deposited $10.00. Does this equate to my being “a member of the Players Club?”NC Lottery
Hi Patricia, Yes it sounds like you have joined Lucke-Rewards. Best of luck to you in the second-chance drawings and any online play purchases!

4/16/2020 08:26 - Betty R.

whats the latest on the fourth winner of "wheel of fortune" ? will a 4th ever be named ? i know the 1st pick refused to claim... has the 2nd refused also ?NC Lottery
Hi Betty, We are in the process of notifying an alternate winner, but since our claim centers are temporarily closed right now they haven't been able to claim. We will update the website with the winner's name as soon as we are able to.

4/10/2020 01:52 - Blair C.

I sure wish you would go back to no minimum online as I want spent $5.00 at one time, If I just want to spend $1.00 on 1 cash 5 ticket. And right now staying away from stores for walk in purchase. I BET you might see if you look back how much sales have been decreased from online play since this bad decision to change thanks. NC Lottery
Hey Blair, After receiving feedback from our players on this, we decided to remove the $5 minimum for Online Play. You can purchase as little as $1 online.

4/09/2020 07:53 - Dennis T.

So nobody won jackpot/powerball and you still lowered prize. Seems sketchy, I have talked to a few retail store managers and lottery sales are the same if not higher. SOMETHING ISN'T ADDING UP.NC Lottery
Hey Dennis! It actually looks like a lucky person in New Jersey won last night's Powerball jackpot.

4/06/2020 11:26 - JIM B.

I thought the pick 3-pick 4 and cash 5 were all floating ball processing or whatever you call it. Are the 3 I mentioned RNG selected? I don't watch the drawings-don't have cable so I gots lot's of money to play the lottery!NC Lottery
Hi Jim, Sorry for the confusion. Our second-chance and Lucke-Rewards drawings are conducted using a certified random number generator. Our daily draw games like Pick 3, Pick 4, and Cash 5 are drawn using a ball machine live on telivision.

4/06/2020 12:57 - Betty R.

the employees and auditors are present for pick 3 & 4 and cash 5 drawings... yes ? NC Lottery
Hi Betty. That's right. Transparency in our drawings are of utmost importance, which is why we have strict procedures in place to ensure fairness in all of the drawings. Our security team conducts the drawings in the presence of an independent auditor.

4/06/2020 11:44 - Betty R.

if i can claim a winning ticket by mail, then why cant you go ahead with the weekly and monthly drawing and claim them by mail also ?NC Lottery
Hey Betty, As we work to comply with the Governor's Stay At Home Executive Order, we have decided to postpone those drawings to protect the health and safety of the lottery employees and auditors who are required to be present during these drawings.

4/05/2020 05:29 - Terrance E.

wondering what percentage the payout is on a scratch off compared to the amount taken in if i did my math right on the extreme cash game you guys are keeping 77 percent while only paying out 23 i would say that is extreme NC Lottery
Hi Terrance, the top prize on Extreme Cash is $1 million, which is paid out as an annuity in 20 annual $50,000 payments. Alternatively, a winner can select a lump sum of $600,000. Either way, we are required by law to withhold taxes on the winning amount. The current tax rates are 24% federal and 5.25% state.

4/04/2020 09:59 - George R.

im worried that with the claim centers closed, persons that maybe in failing health (non coronavirus) that have winning tickets wont be able to cash in their tickets before they die.NC Lottery
Hi George, While we certainly hope that this won't happen, we hear you, and we wanted to let you know that the prize would be a part of the estate of the person who passed away and would be dispersed once estate documentation has been provided to us (i.e., copy of death certificate, letters of authority designating the executor of the estate).

4/04/2020 08:35 - Robert R.

id like to see the claim centers reopen by appointment only during this time.NC Lottery
Hi Robert, thanks for your feedback. We haven't opened the claims centers by appointment at this time, but check back on our site and social media accounts for updates as they become available in the coming weeks.

4/02/2020 03:26 - BARRY C.

ALL of us have the power to change PB and MM to what we want. Stop buying every game and see how long it takes the lottery geniuses to come to the table for negotiations. 1 chance in 300 MILLION!!?? Odds are better getting eaten by a shark on the moon.

3/31/2020 05:10 - Patricia B.

So can you tell me how are y'all doing the second chance drawing if you are a winner? And are you all still having the drawing on time like posted? NC Lottery
Hi Patricia, At this time we have made the decision to postpone the draw dates for all upcoming second-chance and Lucke-Rewards drawings. However, we want to assure you that this will not affect your previous or future entries and prizes won. You can continue to enter all drawings as normal, and new drawings will still be announced for you to enter. All postponed drawings will take place as soon as possible after the Governor's stay-at-home order is lifted.

3/28/2020 08:00 - Richard B.

How does the stay at home order affect claims for larger prizes? NC Lottery
Hi Richard, that's a great question. Currently all of our lottery claim centers are closed. Lottery tickets with prizes up to $599 can still be cashed at retail locations. Lottery tickets with prizes of $600 or more can be claimed via mail but winners should expect delays in the processing. Winners of prizes of $100,000 or more must still claim their prize in person when our claim centers reopen. We're asking folks to sign their tickets and store them in a safe place until that time.

3/25/2020 04:33 - Thomas J.

Why can't users stay logged in to their accounts they decide to sign out?NC Lottery
Hi there Thomas, One of our primary concerns is to keep the private information of our players safe. This means that your account will automatically sign out after several minutes of inactivity. This is a measure that will help protect your information.

3/24/2020 07:08 - Isalene J.

Hi, We are in bad times as everyone can see Just do what you are told until this is taken care of. Together we will get thought this God bless us all. And we can still play our games Thanks N.C Lottery And I also have a Question. Why is the scratch-off ticket be ending before all big prize is gone NC Lottery
Thanks for your question. The top prizes remaining aren't the only thing that dictates whether or not a game is ended. The game's popularity and sales have an effect, as well. If a game isn't performing well in stores, it sometimes makes sense to end it and replace it with something new that contains more prizes for players. Thanks for playing!

3/24/2020 12:32 - William D.

since hardly no warning is going to be given. What will be planned for advance tickets purchased but the game has been temporarily stopped?? If you do not have an answer yet, just say "we don't know yet" ThanksNC Lottery
We are developing contingency plans in the event our state has to take even more aggressive steps to control the coronavirus outbreak. The lottery will continue to evaluate operations and follow the advice of state and federal officials as we make those decisions. Right now all lottery drawings will continue as scheduled.

3/23/2020 07:30 - Karen W.

if you play the multiplier for the keno game; how does the 1x pay out?NC Lottery
Just like you take a chance to win a prize, you're taking a chance to see if that prize might be multiplied! If the 1X Multiplier is drawn, any prize won will stay the same.

3/23/2020 01:21 - Sheila I.

@nclottery, Food lion is doing the same as Harris Teeter via my previous message to you. The rep stated more money needs to ordered until then they can't pay out winnings. They have to hold on to whatever $$$ is in the store.....smh NC Lottery
We understand that can be frustrating. Some retail locations are experiencing higher than usual demand right now due to the coronavirus, like grocery stores. This might mean that the places that you normally claim your prizes under $600 might not be able to process lottery payouts at this time. We recommend calling the location before venturing out to see. If you can’t get your prize money at a retail location, sign the back of your ticket and secure it in a safe place. Your prize will be waiting for you after the coronavirus outbreak.

3/22/2020 10:44 - Jean W.

I am having trouble cashing in my winning tickets. Most store are not doing this. What can I do? NC Lottery
Hi Jean, Please sign the back of your winning ticket and hold onto your ticket while we research this issues. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope you have an answer soon.

3/21/2020 10:39 - Sheila I.

@nclottery. The customer service reps at Harris Teeter are telling me that....they are no longer granting winnings over $100. Normally it's $500. What should we do now???? If our winnings are over $100. NC Lottery
Hi Sheila. Harris Teeter has made it company policy not to redeem lottery tickets over $100 right now. Please visit our other retailers to redeem tickets over $100. Also, make sure to sign the back of your winning ticket and hold onto it until you can find a retailer to redeem it. Sorry for the inconvenience.

3/20/2020 10:09 - William D.

so many people play with the truth.

3/20/2020 05:21 - Mark Z.

Thank you.

3/20/2020 01:37 - Amy H.

Thank you for the update. Stay safe and I hope all of you start illness free (:

3/19/2020 07:19 - Sheila I.

@nclottery what happened to all the hype surrounding the "Spin" scratch off? Are sales down?NC Lottery
Hey there Sheila, The blog team doesn't have recent sales numbers on-hand, but it's safe to say that new games are popular with our players, so it's no surprise that new games have several big winners in the first few months after it's released.

3/19/2020 03:38 - Gloria C.

Thank you for all the information.

3/19/2020 10:46 - Brenda S.

Thanks for updates.

3/19/2020 10:14 - William D.

i play a lot of advance plays. So i can adjust my plays, how much time will be given that the draw games will stop? Also if no warnings are given what happens to the advance play tickets?NC Lottery
Hi William, No need to worry. All draw games will continue to be drawn as normal, so you won't need to make any adjustments to your play.

3/19/2020 10:01 - Ronald C.

I receive annuity payments from NCEL May 15 every year.I think past commitments for this year should be paid.NC Lottery
Hi Ronald, All prizes will continue to be paid as normal.

3/19/2020 09:50 - Schmeka w.

North Carolina lottery I have a Question can y'all do a green or red ball draw for the pick 4 like you do on the pick 3 NC Lottery
Hey Schmeka! We don't have any plans for a Pick 4 promotion right now, but we will pass your suggestion along to the folks who are in charge of creating our games for possible future promotions.

3/19/2020 08:05 - mike m.

Why does the Lucke-Rewards Points Ticket Entry is not working??? I click to enter my tickets and all I get is "loading" with the waiting circle GIF. I have had this problem for a couple of weeks now. Please check into this problem. Thanks!NC Lottery
Hey there Mike! Please try clearing your browser cache and restarting. If this continues, our support team is here to help. You can reach them 24/7 at

3/18/2020 11:29 - NORA D.

Please make Pick 3 and Pick 4 available online NOW! You can and should do this if you want to continue selling these games.NC Lottery
Thanks for the feedback, Nora, and we hear you. Unfortunately at this time the lottery commission has only approved the sale of Powerball, Mega Millions, Lucky For Life, and Cash 5 through Online Play.

3/18/2020 10:10 - Tawana H.

My only question is why isn't there an easy easy match button for the Cash 5 game? Just like Mega Millions and Powerball has the megaplier and powerplay yes or no buttons on there. NC Lottery
That's a great question, Tawana. Cash 5 EZ Match was created for traditional retailers, not Online Play. Our current Online Play system does not have the capability to add that option, but we will let our developers know you are interested in seeing that added.

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