When you play the lottery,PlaySmart Logo

Know the Game

The best offense is a good defense. Understanding odds and knowing how lottery games really work are among the strongest strategies you’ve got in this game. So, read up. If you choose to get in the game, remember to have fun!

Understanding Odds

Whether you’re trying your luck on a draw game or a scratch-off, each play is random, and prior results don’t mean a thing. So keep that in mind the next time you think you’re due for a win.

Can I still win if a lot of people are playing?

Yes! The odds of winning for each jackpot game, say Powerball or Mega Millions, stay the same regardless of the jackpot size – big or small – or how many other people play.

Will I win if I buy four tickets in a row?

Nope! If the odds of winning a prize are 1 in 4, it does not mean you’re guaranteed to win a prize if you buy four tickets in a row, it just means that 25% of all tickets printed for that game have a prize on them. That means if you were to buy four tickets in a row, you could lose on all four, win on all four or fall somewhere in between.

Will I win more if I pick my own numbers?

Nope! Whether you pick your own numbers or choose a Quick Pick, the odds of winning are the same. 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.

We believe that the more you know, the more fun you’ll have playing our games responsibly.

Check the Playbook

The lottery’s playbook provides all the tools you need to be informed and play smart. Let’s put it into perspective. You wouldn’t buy a new car or computer without first doing your homework. Just like you choose to be informed with other decisions in your life, you can also choose to be informed when you play the lottery.

Game odds

We share odds of winning on the back of all of our scratch-off tickets, in our advertisements and on our website, nclottery.com/Play.

Prizes Remaining

You can see prizes remaining for your favorite scratch-off games on our website. Head on over to nclottery.com/ScratchOff, select a game and you're off to the races.

How to Play

We provide detailed How to Play brochures and flipbooks at play centers at our over 7,000 retailers and on our website, nclottery.com/Play. Just select which game you want to learn about. From there, you’ll find all the information you need to Play Smart.

No longer just a game?

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.

Call 877-718-5543
Text "morethanagamenc" to 53342
Chat morethanagame.nc.gov

Buy, Scan, and Check tickets with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App.