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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.