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With over $1 billion up for grabs, remember to Play Smart

January 9, 2021 Posted by NC Lottery at 7:20 AM

Both Powerball and Mega Millions now have some soaring jackpots to start off 2021 – over $1 billion to be exact!

We’re looking at $550 million annuity, or $411.4 million cash, up for grabs in Wednesday's Powerball drawing and $600 million annuity, or $442.4 million cash, in Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing.

*Cue daydream*

What would you do if you won? Who are you telling first? What would be your first purchase?

It’s always fun to dream a little.

But with all this excitement over the dueling jackpots, you might find yourself asking a few questions about how these games work.

Keep reading for some winning tips so you can always Play Smart.

  • Do the odds change as the jackpot grows?

Nope! The odds for each jackpot game stay the same regardless of the jackpot size or how many other people play.

  • Is it easier to win on a Quick Pick or if I pick my own numbers?

Nope to both! Whether you choose a Quick Pick or you pick your own numbers, the odds of winning are the same. Over time, you’ll just see more people who win using Quick Pick since the majority of our players select that option. So, if you have that special set of numbers you love to play or prefer the ‘quicker’ option, go ahead and play it that way – that’s what makes it fun – but it won’t improve your chances of winning.

  • Does it matter where I buy my tickets?

Sure doesn’t. As long as it’s a certified lottery retailer or you’re buying tickets online or through our NC Lottery Official Mobile App, you have an equal chance of winning. Buy online, buy in-store – all give you an equal chance to take home a lottery prize!

Knowing how the games work before you play is the best of both worlds, and what we like to call playing smart

Good luck! Remember, it just takes one ticket to win!


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1/10/2021 03:27 - David B.

I can’t enter tickets to Rewards It says “To multiple invalid entry’s. Ticket entry is temporary unavailable for your account.Try back later” I’ve never seen this before and it’s never happened before. So what’s up with thisNC Lottery
Hi David, please contact our technical support team at They should best be able to assist you with this issue.

1/10/2021 02:39 - joanie m.

In it to win it also luck rewards is going really slow plz tell me i dont have to delete app and reinstalled again NC Lottery
Hi Joanie, we were having some issues with our website this morning that have now been resolved. If you continue to have issues the app, you can reach out to our tech support team and they may be able to assist.

1/10/2021 09:37 - lucinda g.

On the new hundred times the cash why is all the tickets not always letting you have a second chance drawing entry.NC Lottery
Hi Lucinda, there was a temporary issue with the New 100X The Cash Second Chance entries. We've fixed this issue now and have added Second Chance entries for any users that scanned those tickets. If you check your entry history you should see them there. If you're still having issues scanning tickets, please reach out to our technical support team at

1/10/2021 03:18 - George A.

So I would like to know, if you live in North Carolina and win Powerball or Mega Millions in South Carolina or vice or vice versa, how would the taxes be handled. I read that neither state will collect taxes from you, if you are not a legal resident of the state in which you won, but instead, your home state will tax the winnings. Is this true?NC Lottery
Hi George, as with all lottery wins, we would advise winners to consult a tax professional when claiming a large prize. We can only speak for the NC Lottery, but if a player were to win on a ticket purchased in North Carolina, NC state taxes are withheld at the time the winner claims, regardless of whether or not they are a resident of the state.

1/09/2021 09:37 - Sharonda M.

"Sponge bob voice" I'm ready one of those days the jackpot will have my name mark this to be apart of my story wooohooo

1/09/2021 08:17 - Annie D.

So if I played on line what do I have to show to collect a win? Where are the numbers that I enter for the lucke-rewards?NC Lottery
Hi Annie, when you purchase a ticket online, you can then look at your "transaction history" in your account page to view your purchased tickets. For wins under $600 the winnings are automatically depositing into your wallet, Wins under $100,000 can be claimed online, and for prizes over $100,000 you would receive an email with instructions to claim at our Raleigh claims center. Also, all tickets purchased receive Lucke Rewards points automatically.

1/09/2021 06:44 - Linda L.

If I won one of these large jackpots I would give money to two of my grandsons for them to each buy a house for their family. I would buy a large house at the beach for my family of 20 . I would give to charities, my church, my family members, etc. What a dreamer !

1/09/2021 09:36 - john a.

This morning I tried to enter a draw ticket for points. It was hard to read the code and apparently I entered the wrong numbers. When I tried again I got a message that said I couldn't enter any more tickets due to trying to enter more than once. Now it won't let me enter anything.NC Lottery
Hi John, please reach out to our online technical support team at by chat, email or phone and they can best assist you with this issue.

1/09/2021 09:36 - Michael J.

thanks! looking forward to winning!

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