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Understanding Myths & Odds

The more you know, the more fun you’ll have playing our games. That’s why we are here to help explain some of the most common gambling myths and help you better understand the odds.


Learning how to separate myth from fact will help you make informed decisions.

It’s possible to chase losses or ‘get even.’

FACT: It’s important to remember that it only takes one lucky ticket to win. The longer you play, the more you’re likely you are to lose. If you’re playing to chase your losses or get even, it might be a good sign to take a break.

It’s easier to win the lottery in bigger city.

FACT: Every lottery ticket has an equal chance at winning, regardless of where it was purchased. If you were to move to Raleigh, you'd have more neighbors; if you moved to a tiny town, you'd have less. But what everyone would have in common in all those places is each individual would have the exact same chance of winning a lottery prize!

Every ticket is a winner.

FACT: We wish every ticket could be a lucky one, but that is just not possible. Each time you buy a ticket, you have to beat the odds in order to win a prize. Buying multiple tickets is never a guarantee of winning. It just takes one ticket to win.

You can solve a financial challenge by playing the lottery.

FACT: The lottery is all about luck and games of chance. So there is never a guarantee you will win a prize, no matter how long or how much you play. For this reason, the lottery should never be considered a guaranteed source of income. If you’re playing in hopes to solve a financial challenge, it might be time to take a break.

You have to gamble every day to be a problem gambler.

FACT: A problem gambler may gamble frequently or infrequently. If a person’s gambling is causing psychological, financial, emotional, marital, legal or other difficulties for themselves and the people around them, then it might be time for them to take a break and seek help.

Problem gambling is not really a problem if the gambler can afford it.

FACT: If a person’s gambling is interfering with their ability to act in accordance with their values, then there is a problem. For example: too much time spent on gambling means less time to spend with family, friends and others. It can lead to relationship breakdown and loss of important friendships.

Odds-Related Myths

You can’t choose the odds for a particular game. But you can choose to be informed on how odds and probability work.

Odds Myth:
The smaller the jackpot, the better the odds.

FACT: The odds for each jackpot game remain constant, regardless of the jackpot size or how many other people play. If you buy more tickets, your odds increase, but they're still small. You can learn more about odds for each game by reviewing the How to Play information.

Odds Myth:
Buying multiple tickets at once improves odds.

FACT: Your odds don’t improve based upon the number of tickets you buy. The odds are the same for each individual ticket. The odds of winning on a scratch-off ticket are printed on the back of the ticket and are for the entire printing run of the game. If the odds are 1 in 4, it does not mean that one out of every four tickets is a winner. You could buy four tickets and lose on all four, win on all four, or somewhere in between.

Odds Myth:
Playing the same numbers increases chances of winning.

FACT: Lottery drawings are completely random events and previous results have no bearing on future drawing outcomes. This means that for every lottery drawing, each number has an equal chance of being drawn and every set of numbers has the same chance of winning.

Looking for help? You’re not alone.

If gambling has become a problem, there is hope. Free, confidential help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Is it time to take a break? We can help.

If you play our games through subscription or Play at the Pump, you always have the option to take a break. NCEL offers our players the option to voluntary exclude themselves from being able to purchase tickets. From one week to ten years or more, you can control your playing.

Buy & Scan with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App – Now with Ticket Checker!