Frequently Asked Questions


What's New

What is new with Online Play and Lucke-Rewards?
A new and improved experience for Online Play and Lucke-Rewards is here! Learn more about what’s new here.
How do I get help for the updated app, website, or new Lucke-Rewards and Online Play experience?
If you have a question or concern about the new Lucke-Rewards and Online Play experience, including the updated app or website, please contact the NC Customer Support Center at 1-866-934-0289, start a chat by looking for the chat icon on the screen, or visit the Help page here.
What is NC Lottery Dream Makers?
NC Lottery Dream Makers from the North Carolina Education Lottery is a research initiative connecting our players with lottery decision makers regarding new products, promotions, services, messaging and more. Players who previously engaged with the lotteries' loyalty program or online game play were invited randomly to join the panel. Members will receive surveys and activities monthly.

General

Where does the money go?
The money raised by the NC Education Lottery supports education programs in all of our state's 100 counties. The money currently goes to support the operations of public schools by covering the costs of support staff such as office assistants and custodians; helps to build and repair schools; provides a free academic pre-school to "at-risk" four-year-olds; provides need-based scholarships and grants to students attending state universities and community colleges; and helps to cover school transportation costs, such as bus drivers' salaries, and fuel. For more detailed information, learn about the lottery's impact here.
Where can I buy tickets?
The NCEL currently has more than 6,800 retailers throughout North Carolina. You can recognize a Lottery retailer by the PLAY HERE signs that are posted in or around their store. Click here to locate a retailer in your area. You can also purchase online with Online Play using your verified NC Education Lottery account.
Are prizes taxable?
Yes. All prizes won are subject to Federal and State withholdings. For more specific information, please contact the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-1040 or www.irs.gov.
What happens if I lose a winning ticket?
If you lose your ticket, anyone can claim it. A ticket is a bearer instrument until signed. Unless you sign the ticket, anyone else who has the ticket can claim the prize.
How long do I have to collect a prize?
For instant scratch-off games, you have 90 days from the official announced end of game. If mailed, the ticket must be received by the NCEL within 90 days. Postmarks will not satisfy this requirement. Draw games must be redeemed within 180 days of the drawing for which the ticket was purchased.
What are the odds of winning a prize in the Lottery?
The odds of winning vary by game and are printed on the back of every instant scratch-off ticket. You can also obtain the odds of a particular game by checking the game's How to Play section on this website or by picking up a How To Play brochure at your local retailer.
What does "Overall Odds" mean?
Overall odds provide the average amount of winning tickets per game. For example, if a game has odds of 1 in 4, which means for all of the tickets in the entire game, there will be one winning ticket per every four tickets. However, because prizes are distributed randomly throughout a pack, it does not mean that there will be a winning ticket every 4th ticket.
How old do I have to be to play?
You must be at least 18 years of age or older to play.
Can I use a credit card to purchase lottery tickets?
No. Acceptable forms of payment include cash, check, debit card, and gift card at the retailer's discretion. With Online Play, you can purchase using a debit card, PayPal (using a bank account), and ACH Bank Transfer.
I think I might be playing the lottery too much. What do I do?
Looking for help? You’re not alone. If you think your play has become a problem, there is hope. Free confidential help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Talk, text or chat with a trained, licensed clinician that can provide free counseling services. Talk: 877-718-5543, Text: morethanagamenc to 53342, Online Chat: morethanagamenc.com.
I’m worried about a family member or friend playing the lottery. What do I do?
If you know of a friend or family member that might have a problem, the best thing you can do is speak up. Your words and actions make a difference. A good place to start is by calling, texting, or chatting with a trainer, licensed clinician. Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Talk: 877-718-5543, Text: morethanagamenc to 53342, Online Chat: morethanagamenc.com.
Can I buy lottery tickets through the mail?
No. North Carolina Education Lottery tickets must be purchased either at a retailer under contract with the Lottery or online via Online Play with a verified NC Education Lottery account. In addition, federal law and postal regulations do not allow an unplayed lottery ticket to be mailed across state lines.
Do I have the option of remaining anonymous with regard to the media and the public?
The NCEL will consider a winner's name, city/county, and the prize amount a matter of public record, unless the winner produces a valid protective order or Address Confidentiality Program authorization card.
How can I claim a winning ticket?
Claiming a North Carolina Education Lottery (NCEL) prize is simple. A winning ticket must be presented and verified in order to receive your prize. A NCEL ticket is a bearer instrument until signed. For tickets purchased from a retailer, prizes can be claimed as follows:
  • Prizes of less than $600, including free tickets, can be collected at any NCEL retailer or Regional Office, or by mail using a NCEL prize claim form.
  • Prizes with a value between $600 and $99,999.99 must be claimed at NCEL headquarters, any NCEL Regional Office, or by mail using a NCEL prize claim form. Prizes of $100,000 or more must be claimed in person at NCEL headquarters.
  • For all prizes of $600 and above, photo I.D. and proof of Social Security number is required.
Prizes won through Online Play may be claimed as follows:
  • Prizes of less than $600 are automatically deposited into your account;
  • Prizes of $600 up to and including $99,999 must be claimed online; and
  • Prizes of $100,000 or more must be claimed in person at NCEL Headquarters, but you will be directed to start your claim online.
Can I claim my prize by mail?
Yes.
  • Prizes of less than $600, including free tickets, can be collected at any NCEL retailer or Regional Office, or by mail using a NCEL prize claim form for Prizes $599 or less.
  • Prizes with a value between $600 and $99,999.99 must be claimed at NCEL headquarters, any NCEL Regional Office or by mail using a NCEL prize claim form for Prizes $600 or more. Prizes of $100,000 or more must be claimed in person at NCEL headquarters.
Please complete a winner claim form. Then mail the claim form, copies of identification and your signed winning ticket to:

North Carolina Education Lottery
P.O. Box 41606
Raleigh, NC 27629-1606

Be sure to provide your complete name and address information on the envelope. The North Carolina Education Lottery Corporation is not responsible for tickets which are lost by the U.S. Postal Service or any other carrier. If you have questions on how to claim, please call Player Services at (877) 962-7529.

NCLottery.com and NC Education Lottery Accounts

What is an NC Education Lottery account?
With your NC Education Lottery account, you will have exclusive access to Lucke-Rewards, Online Play, second chance drawings, game alerts and promotions. And only members have access to comment on the NC Lottery Blog. Joining is easy and free! Sign up here.
I registered but I didn’t get my confirmation email. How do I confirm my account and sign in?
You should receive a confirmation email while you are in the process of registering. The email contains a confirmation code that you use to move on to the next step in the registration process. If you did not receive the email, check your junk/spam folder. If you still don’t have the email, you can trigger another one to be sent to you here. If you received the email but the code has expired, there is a link within the email that you can click to confirm your account.
How do I sign into and out of my account?
Just click on the Sign In button in the upper right corner of the website to sign in with your username and password. New users can choose to register for an account. To sign out from the website, simply click on the Options icon in your dashboard and select Sign Out from the drop down menu. In the app, click on the hamburger menu in the upper left corner and select Sign Out at the bottom of the menu to sign out.
How does the dashboard work?
Once you're signed in, simply click on your username in the upper right corner of the screen to open your dashboard. Once your dashboard is open, you can see your balances. Click on My Account to get to a larger menu with access to all details of your account.
How can I purchase games online?
Before you can purchase online, you will want to create an NC Education Lottery account. Once you’ve registered and verified your identity by providing the last 4 digits of your social security number, you can purchase online. Visit the Online Play FAQs for questions about purchasing online.
Where do I find winners?
Big winners of draw and scratch-off games will be in the Win section of the website. This is accessible by clicking on Win in the main menu, or using the drop down menu to click on Winners.

To see winners of Lucke-Rewards drawings on the website, use the drop down for Lucke-Rewards in the main menu to select Lucke-Rewards Draws. Click on "Past Drawings and Winners" and select the drawing for which you want to see winners. The detail page for each drawing will have a button to click for winners. If the drawing is still in process, the button may say "No Winners Yet" in which case just check back later.

To see winners of 2nd Chance drawings on the website, use the drop down for Lucke-Rewards in the main menu to select 2nd Chance Draws. Click on the promotion for which you want to see winners, and then select the exact drawing based on the dates. The detail page for each drawing will have a button to click for winners. If the drawing is still in process, the button may say "No Winners Yet" in which case just check back later.
I forgot my username or password and can't sign in. What do I do?
If you have forgotten your password or username, click on "Trouble signing in?" on the Sign In page. You can reset your password by having a reset link and your username emailed to you.
What internet desktop browsers are currently supported by NCLottery.com?
We strive to keep our web experiences functioning on the latest versions of the most widely used desktop browsers. NCLottery.com currently supports the following browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Microsoft Edge. If you are viewing NCLottery.com in an unsupported browser you may experience limited functionality. We recommend downloading and installing a supported browser in order to experience all of the features of NCLottery.com.

Touch Vending Machines with Debit and Mobile Pay

What are Touch Vending Machines and where do I find them?

Touch screen vending machines are a self-service way to purchase tickets. They can be found in many retail locations across the state to offer a quick and easy way to buy your favorite games. Choose from a wide array of scratch-off games, or purchase popular draw games with Quick Pick or pick your own numbers. Prompts will walk you through the process, whether you use a play slip (if available), Quick Pick, or pick your lucky numbers on the screen.

What games can be purchased on Touch Vending Machines?

Touch Vending Machines can sell up to 28 different scratch-off games as well as Powerball, Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, Cash 5, Pick 4, and Pick 3. Please note that $0.50 plays are not available on the machines, and they do not make or give change.

Can I redeem a winning ticket for my cash prize on a Touch Vending Machine?

No, but you can check your ticket to find out if it is a winner. Each Touch Vending Machine is equipped with a ticket checker.

Can I check my tickets for winners and use a winning ticket to make a purchase on a Touch Vending Machine?

All Touch Vending Machines have a ticket checker so you scan your tickets for winners. You can reinvest your winnings, using money from a winning ticket to make additional purchases. You'll get that option with winning tickets, and can reinvest up to $60 in winnings per ticket. Just follow the prompts on the screen, and remember the machine does not give change. Please note, you cannot combine reinvestment with debit or debit mobile pay so purchases will be limited to the amount of your winnings, up to $60.

Only five winning tickets may be reinvested per session.

What are my payment options on Touch Vending Machines?

On Touch Vending Machines, you can pay with cash, debit card (VISA or MasterCard), and with debit mobile pay. No credit cards are allowed.

Are there certain amounts that I can put on the machine?

Yes. The maximum amount is $390.00 using cash, debit card or debit mobile pay.

Can I cancel purchased tickets?

If the Touch Vending Machine is in a retail location with a terminal, you can cancel your Pick 3 or Pick 4 play at the counter, within 15 minutes of your purchase or prior to the draw. No other purchases from a Touch Vending Machine may be canceled.

Can I cancel my transaction and get my money back?

No. Once you have put money in the machine you cannot get it back. When paying with cash, once you insert your money you cannot cancel your transaction to get a refund. When paying with debit card or debit mobile pay, once you swipe, insert, or tap to pay you cannot cancel your transaction.

Who do I contact if I experience problems using my debit card to make a purchase or for questions about my debit card bill summary?

Contact Customer Services by calling 877-382-4530, and selecting Option 2, then Option 5. Please note that Customer Services is available Monday through Friday, 8AM to 5PM.

What if my session on the Touch Vending Machine times out before I use my remaining funds?

Refunds will be processed by the lottery once the transaction is verified. Please note, refunds will be applied to the debit card used for the purchase and may take 8-15 business days to be received depending upon the processing time of the card issuer.

If you made a purchase with a prepaid debit card, please contact Customer Services by calling 877-382-4530, and selecting Option 2, then Option 5. Customer Services is available Monday through Friday, 8AM to 5PM.

What do I do if my debit card is declined at the Touch Vending Machine?

If your debit card is declined, you would need to contact the card issuer using the number on the back of the card.

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

Available on the
App Store
  Available for
Android