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Lottery in North Carolina 2024

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Lottery in North Carolina is one of the youngest lotteries in the United States. It was only established in 2005 when the Governor Mike Easley put his signature on the North Carolina State Lottery Act.

When it was launched, it was with the stipulation that 100 percent of all proceeds would go towards building schools and generally benefiting the state’s educational system. For this reason, it was dubbed the North Carolina Education Lottery (NCLE). To date, the state lottery has contributed over USD 5 billion towards this goal and continues to do so every day.

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Last Updated on 23/05/2024
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Bonus Offers - No welcome bonus but plenty to enjoy at the NC Lottery

The North Carolina Lottery site doesn’t have any regular welcome bonuses, but that’s not to say that this site doesn’t have plenty of cool deals. For example, if you buy a $5 keno draw game ticket, then you could potentially win a pack of Keno scratch-offs. Deals like this can routinely work out to be better value for money than any standard sign up offer. So be sure to see what the NC Lottery site is offering.

Usability, Look & Feel - Online features & services under review

We’ve already covered a great deal of what’s offered by the online site of NC lottery but it doesn’t hurt to make a short summary once again and put it all in one place. As mentioned several times, the state currently only offers a subscription model, whereby players can subscribe for future draws for major draws such as Mega Millions, Cash for Life, and Powerball. Lottery tickets North Carolina for local draws like Carolina Cash 5 aren’t available and there are no scratch cards on offer online. Players can also use the site to watch NC lottery live draws.

Payments - How to use NC Lottery site

To be able to use the NC lottery online services, you’ll first need to register your basic account by filling in the required details. Then, you’ll need to send in the required documents, confirming you’re of legal age and have a physical address in North Carolina as only residents of the state can take advantage of online services.

With the upgraded account, you’ll be able to subscribe to up to 104 upcoming draws and pay for it all using your debit card or bank transfer. According to current North Carolina lottery laws, you can only buy up to three tickets for any individual draw, which is somewhat low compared to many other states, where players can buy up to 10 tickets.

When it comes to winnings, all wins up to USD 600 will be paid to your online account and you’ll be able to withdraw them back to your bank. However, for higher amounts, you’ll need to visit your local lottery office or the lottery headquarters to accept your prize in person. This is a pretty common procedure in most states for all bigger jackpots although exact amounts vary from one state to another.

Customer Support - 24/7 customer care at the NC Lottery site

The North Carolina Lottery site has some of the best customer support that we’ve come across. Not only does it feature a live chat service, but this is open 24/7 too. Beyond this, you’ll find the regular email and telephone support options. The NC Lottery customer care agents can also be reached at the regional offers in Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte, Wilmington and Greenville. Plus with social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and a useful FAQ, you’ll get all of the help you need here.

License & Security - Legal information overview for North Carolina

North Carolina Lottery: Playing Offline

Since it was first established in 2005, lottery North Carolina has been offering a number of multi-state as well as in-state draws as well as lottery scratchers. All of these are available to players in various retail stores across the state.

There are no special rules or stipulations that would make lottery games in North Carolina much different from those offered in other states. While NC may have been somewhat late to the party, they copied already successful models from other states and built on those models. As already mentioned all proceeds from lottery sales go towards the education.

North Carolina Lottery: Playing Online

While the NC lottery online site was launches shortly after the lottery had been established, it wasn’t until late 2013 that the state started offering players a chance to actually buy subscriptions online instead of having to purchase tickets in the shops. This was done based on the 2011 interpretation of the Wire Act by the DOJ, which stated that lotteries aren’t forbidden under Act’s provision.

Having said that, players from North Carolina can only buy subscriptions for inter-state draws on the site. You won’t be able to buy tickets for any state-only drawings or scratchers on the lottery site as these are still kept in-store only.

Additional Rewards - Special offers & drawings

While many state lotteries have a practice where they organize special drawings and games on special occasions, North Carolina isn’t one of them. There are no special games outside of regular drawings. Of course, this could change in the future if people behind lottery for North Carolina see this as a marketing opportunity and a chance to create even more interest among players.

North Carolina Lottery: History

For a long time, North Carolina was the only East Coast state without a lottery. The main reason for this was a strong political opposition against the idea as a lottery was traditionally seen as a sort of regressive tax that mostly influenced the poor. That’s the main reason it took until 2005 for the state to finally pass the required constitutional amendments.

Even then, there was a lot of controversy surrounding the lottery law. Namely, the act was passed during the August 30, 2005 session, when two of the strongest lottery opponents announced their absences. Those looking to set things in motion arranged for special vote on that day and managed to barely pass the new law, with the Governor breaking the tie. This finally gave the green light for the start of sale of lottery tickets North Carolina.

North Carolina Lotteries 2024 - Plenty to play for

The North Carolina lottery offers a good range of multi-state lottery drawings. If you’re interested in chasing big, eight and even nine-figure jackpots, they have you covered. You’ll be able to buy all your North Carolina lottery tickets without any issues and get involved for as much as you like every time there is a major draw.

  • Mega Millions is a multi-state lottery offered in 44 US states, North Carolina being one of them. Like in all other states, tickets are sold at USD 2 a piece with an option to buy a win multiplier for USD 1 per play. The Megaplier can boost all your non-jackpot winnings up to five times.

The Mega Millions jackpot starts at USD 40,000,000 and grows with every draw there isn’t the winner. To scoop the main jackpot, you need to correctly predict all five numbers and the Mega Ball number and you’re up against it as odds are about 1 in 302 million. Draws take place two times a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays.

  • The Powerball lottery in North Carolina is another hugely popular drawing that happens twice a week, every Wednesday and Saturday evening. Like Mega Millions, tickets are sold at USD 2 each and there is the option to buy the prize multiplier for each play for additional USD 1 per play. With Powerball, however, your multiplier can go as high as 10x.

Odds of winning the main Powerball jackpot, which also seeds at USD 40 million, are about 1 in 292,000,000, so it is still a long shot, although a slightly more likely one than Mega Millions. To win the jackpot, players need to correctly predict all five numbers as well as the number on the Power Ball. Powerball is available in 46 US states.

  • Another major draw offered by the North Carolina state lottery is Lucky for Life. Offered in 25 states and the District of Columbia, the game offers two very attractive jackpots. The first one is a chance to win $1,000 paid every day for the rest of your life, while the second one is $25,000 paid every year for the rest of your life (with the minimum of 20 years for both).

Lucky for Life tickets are also sold for USD 2 and can be bought at land-based retail locations and online. NC live lottery draws are held on Mondays and Thursdays. Odds of winning the main jackpot are around 1 in 30.8 million, while the odds for the second prize are about 1 in 1.8 million.

North Carolina Lottery: Carolina Cash 5

Residents of NC can participate in a special North Carolina lotto game called Carolina Cash 5. In this lotto-style game, the goal is to correctly guess five out of total of 43 numbers. The jackpot for Carolina Cash 5 starts at USD 100,000 and it carries over to the next draw every time there is no main winner. The jackpot is pari-mutual, meaning it is divided equally among winners if there are more than one in any individual draw.

Tickets are sold at USD 1 but are only available at physical retail locations and not online. This exclusive North Carolina lottery drawing first launched in October of 2006 and since then, it’s been taking place every night of the week. The odds of winning the main lottery jackpot are around 1 in 963,000.

Like with all other draws, all players have to be at least 18 years of age to participate. While this lottery doesn’t have a huge jackpot like some of the multi-state games, the odds of winning are much more realistic, which makes the game very appealing and quite popular among NC players.

Syndicates - Team up to get that NC Lottery win

It’s thought that about one in five lottery wins are won by syndicates. As such, it might be worth teaming up with friends or co-workers so that you can buy more tickets to boost your chances of winning. There aren't any group-play tools on the North Carolina Lottery site, so you’ll have to organize yourself to make sure that everyone gets paid their equal share of whatever winnings you might make!

Additional Games - Games & scratchcards at the NC Lottery

Beyond these main draws, the NC Carolina lottery also offers a couple of smaller draws as well as a great range of scratch cards. In fact, scratch cards are quite popular in North Carolina and some of them feature huge potential wins, offering jackpots as high as USD 10,000,000.

  • Carolina Pick 3 is a NC lottery drawing that happens twice a day, every day of the week. Players can place bets on three numbers drawn to appear in the exact or any order. The main jackpot for correctly guessing all three numbers in the correct order is 500 times the bet.
  • Carolina Pick 4 was launched in 2009, about two and a half years after Pick 3. The principle of this NC lotto game is pretty much the same, except players need to correctly guess four numbers. The jackpot is 5,000 times the bet and odds of winning are about 1 in 10,000.

As mentioned, there is also a great range of lottery scratchers available in the state. These sell at various prices, starting as low as USD 1 per scratcher and going as high as USD 20 for a NC lottery ticket. Of course, the bigger the price, the bigger the potential prize amounts players stand to win.

Scratch cards are very popular in North Carolina and their sales are quite big in the state. However, at this point in time, these scratchers are only offered in retail locations while players can’t buy them online.

Limits - Games for every budget

The North Carolina Lottery site has such a broad variety of games that you’re sure to find something within your budget. Don’t want to spend $20 as the minimum stake for playing Premier Cash? Then try other scratch-offs like Neon $ that can be played for just a dollar. Don’t forget that you can also play some of the biggest lotteries in the US like Powerball for just a couple of bucks.

Conclusion - Sign up to the North Carolina Lottery site!

If you live in North Carolina, you certainly won’t be lacking options when it comes to lottery draws you can participate in. The state offers all major lottery tickets for sale both online and in live retail locations so you just need to pick your winners and keep your fingers crossed. On top of this, you’ll find heaps of great scratchers with really big potential prizes, although these can only be bought in stores and not online.

North Carolina Lottery Online FAQs

How to buy lottery tickets in North Carolina online?

You can purchase lottery tickets in North Carolina using the lottery site but only for multi-state draws like Mega Millions, Cash for Life, or Powerball. The site doesn’t feature any local draws and you can’t buy any scratch cards online.

Can you play the lottery online in North Carolina?

You can play the lottery online in NC as long as you register on the site and have a local address. Namely, only players who actually live in North Carolina can participate in online draws and make online purchases using their debit cards or bank transfers.

How much are lottery winnings taxed in North Carolina?

According to new and improved lottery taxes in North Carolina, all lottery winners who win a prize in excess of USD 5,000 need to pay 25 percent federal tax as well as flat 5.8 percent state tax. This new structure came instead of the progressive taxation scheme that was in force previously.

What is the North Carolina-only lottery draw?

North Carolina hosts a special lottery drawing available only to NC residents. The lottery is called Carolina Cash 5 and draws take place every night. The jackpot starts at USD 100,000 and grows over time with every drawing with no jackpot winner.

How to claim lottery anonymously in North Carolina?

According to current laws and rules, lottery winners can’t remain anonymous in North Carolina. The basic information about all winners who win a prize in excess of USD 600 is public record in the state.

❓What are the North Carolina Lottery results?

Read our guide to the North Carolina Lottery  to see where’s the best place to find the latest lottery results in NC. We’ll reveal what kinds of lottery games you can play on this site as well as how you can actually buy the lottery tickets. Plus all of our online gambling reviews examine each site’s safety features so that you’ll know exactly what online security the North Carolina Lottery has to offer.

👀Are there any NC Powerball games?

Powerball is easily one of the most popular lottery games in the US. Not only can you play it from just $2, but it’s available in 45 US states. That’s way more than even the best online sportsbooks in the US! So be sure to read our guide to using the North Carolina Lottery site where we examine whether you can play the Powerball lottery here and explore what other kinds of games you can play here.

✨How do I play North Carolina Lottery Pick 4 games?

Make sure that you read our guide to using the NC Lottery to get expert advice on playing Pick 4 games. Our guide will reveal what Pick 4 games are and how they compare to the games you’ll normally find at the best online casinos in the US. From here we will examine the best ways that you can play Pick 4 games and even show you what kinds of prize winnings you could make.

💰How much can I win with North Carolina Pick 3 games?

Check out our review of the North Carolina Lottery site to see what kinds of Pick 3 games are on offer and how much you can win by playing them. Don’t forget that we’ll also keep you updated with our US legal gambling news so that you can figure out things like how old you have to be to play Pick 3 games and even learn more about what you can legally wager on in North Carolina and beyond.

✅How can I trust NC Lottery results?

We won’t recommend any online lottery sites in the US unless we knew that they could be trusted. This is why all of our lottery reviews carefully examine everything from the fairness of the games on offer to what the lottery site does to protect your personal data. Make sure that you read our North Carolina Lottery review to see how safe you’ll be here and how much you can trust its lottery results.  

Overall Conclusion - Why you should play at the NC Lottery!

All things considered, the state lottery in NC is a pretty good one, offering plenty of great opportunities for the players, from local to multi-state drawings and games, NC live lottery coverage, and much more. However, there is always some room for improvement and there are definitely things North Carolina could and should implement moving forward.

The biggest thing we’d like to see is ability to purchase tickets for all sorts of draws, not just the multi-state ones, as well as some online scratchers. These are definitely some of the improvements that would benefit the players. However, there is some pushback from land-based retailers who are afraid this could adversely affect their sales, which is the last thing they want as all stores receive a certain percentage of winnings from tickets sold in their places of business.


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North Carolina Education Lottery Lotto
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