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Your play raises most money ever for education - $936 million

August 10, 2021 Posted by NC Lottery at 4:56 PM

Your lottery just completed its latest year of business and can report a record amount raised for education - $936 million – thanks to your play.

But that wasn’t the only record set. We also paid out more money in prizes than ever before. From those tickets you brought, $2.4 billion went right back to you in prizes. On average, players received $6.7 million a day in prizes.

Looking back at some of the fun of the year, we started our new Fast Play games last fall; saw life-changing jackpots, including a $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot in January; and delivered an array of fun scratch-offs to stores.

So which games were the most popular? Based on sales, here are the Top 5:

  1. Scratch-offs.
  2. Carolina Pick 3
  3. Carolina Pick 4
  4. Powerball
  5. Mega Millions

For every dollar spent on the lottery, here’s a breakdown of how that money was used:

  • 65 cents went to prizes.
  • 24 cents were the earnings for education, adding up to $936 million.
  • 7 cents went to retailers as commissions for selling tickets
  • 4 cents covered the lottery’s business expenses.

Most of the money raised for education went right to work and supported last year education programs in all 100 counties. That money helped:

  • Build new schools and repair and improve existing ones.
  • Make college more affordable through scholarships and grants based on financial need.
  • Support all school systems with the costs of school workers and transportation.
  • Provide a free academic prekindergarten program for at-risk four-year-olds in the NC Pre-K program.

You can see how the money makes a difference in your community on our website at Or you can pick up a brochure that shows the benefits of our state having a lottery the next time you are in a store.

Congratulations to all the prize winners, big and small. And thanks for helping to raise money for a great cause.


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1/12/2022 01:45 - Jason R.

Thank. Eve one

12/27/2021 09:46 - Jason b.

Great job ladies and gentlemen

12/04/2021 01:05 - joanie m.

Fantastic Job NCEL and all of us who play for raising millions for NC school district I am excited to see what new games are coming up 2022

11/09/2021 06:51 - DONNIE S.

how can i scan my non winning tickets for points. i have chrome book.NC Lottery
Hi Donnie! If you are on a laptop and using a web browser, select your username in the top right corner of our site and select "Ticket Entry" to enter your tickets. Hope this helps!

10/08/2021 12:13 - Marilyn D.

Why have the October 06, 2nd chance winner drawings not been publishedNC Lottery
Hi Marilyn! Are you referring to the 2021 Multiply the Cash drawing from October 6? The winners are posted on our website - if you click on the draw and click on "Winners" you will be able to see who won. Hope this helps!

9/21/2021 02:12 - william k.

First off..Get rid of the break even prizes i'm not looking to get my money back...And second with the money you say the schools get all the kids should have a gold lap top.

9/02/2021 03:49 - Demarcus P.

Just a bunch of scams and lies. Sorry but you guys are making way more money than you are paying out because you guys print 4 million or more $20 tickets at $20 a piece while a lot of tickets are small or losers. I have been playing for over 10 years and have never won over $1000 on scratch offs but have scratched over 1000 $20-$30 tickets. Why can’t we get a total number on how many tickets there are including losers???NC Lottery
Hi Demarcus, thanks for the helpful feedback. To approximately determine the total number of tickets printed, you can add up the total number of prizes and then multiply that number by the breakeven odds of the game. Good luck!

8/22/2021 03:30 - Sheila I.

Isn't the government helping as well. Maybe you should add more winning to games...common sense!

8/19/2021 12:32 - James F.

Love this man school is everything

8/12/2021 03:45 - James D.

I have a question, why don't you publish the cash value of larger scratch off tickets? for example the new premier $20 ticket has a $2,000,000 top prize if taken over 20 years, what is the cash value if you want the winnings now? Virginia as an example lists the cash values for their scratch off ticketsNC Lottery
Hi James, the lump sum option for a $2,000,000 scratch-off prize is $1,200,000. The lump sum on a $1 million prize is $600,000. I hope that helps to clear things up.

8/12/2021 01:04 - Rose A.

I have played alot of the scratch off tickets .the most I have one is 100 or maybe 5 or 10 how much do I need to spend to get the big money I mean it seems like the morei do spend the less I get .

8/11/2021 10:55 - Tony T.

FACT: LOT better chance LOSING than winning on ANY tickets, why spend so much to win maybe only 500 bucks?! smh

8/11/2021 01:33 - Angela A.

I just want to add to @William A. comments. These scratch off games are getting worst. There are three tickets that come to mind. "50 or 100", "100 or 200", and the "500 Loaded". I thought the "500 Loaded" would be a good ticket, but the stores I have gone too seem to never get one of the lucky packs, because everyone I have talked to said they have not even seen a prize of "$500" it is more like the "$5 Loaded" That is all I win after buying 8 or 9 tickets in a row. It is time for NCEL to give the players a game we can enjoy and win. The players need a game that will give more than the cost of the ticket and not cost $25 to play.

8/11/2021 07:59 - Ronald C.

I thought this was the goverments job.

8/11/2021 12:59 - Gloria C.

Congratulations to all winners. Thanks for this great informations.

8/10/2021 07:43 - William A.

It would be nice to keep higher prizes like the $20 dollar tickets now going to 2 million instead of 4 million. It would also be nice if the lottery would pick up tickets with no grand prizes and quit dumping new RUNS on to old tickets! It's easy to gets to record profits when the prizes are smaller and you start dumping new runs onto older ones. Thanks

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