North Carolina Lottery

The North Carolina Education Lottery supports great causes while giving players the chance to strike it rich! Check this page for the latest Lottery information and news, including the draw schedule and how to claim prizes if you're lucky enough to win.

The NCEL was created in 2005, making it one of the newer lotteries in the country. Under state law, all net proceeds - over $8 billion and counting - directly support local education, including building schools and providing financial aid for college and Pre-K for at-risk children.

Current lottery games include: Powerball - Mega Millions - North Carolina Cash 5 - Pick 3 Evening - Pick 3 Midday - Pick 4 Evening - Pick 4 Midday - Lucky for Life.

Mega Millions
Next Estimated Jackpot:
$97 Million
Time left to buy tickets
Buy Tickets

Buying Lottery Tickets

Want to join in on the fun? You'll need to visit an authorized North Carolina Lottery retailer in the state to buy your tickets.

North Carolina Drawing Schedule

View the timetable for all the exciting NC games so that you never miss a drawing - there are chances to win every day of the week:

Game Draw Days Draw Times* Ticket Sales Close At*
Powerball Monday, Wednesday & Saturday 10:59 PM 9:59 PM
Mega Millions Tuesday & Friday 11:00 PM 10:45 PM
Lucky for Life Daily 10:38 PM 9:30 PM
Pick 3 Daily 3:00 PM & 11:22 PM 2:45 PM & 10:59 PM
Pick 4 Daily 3:00 PM & 11:22 PM 2:45 PM & 10:59 PM
Cash 5 Daily 11:22 PM 10:59 PM
*Times are shown in EST.

Game Information

North Carolina residents can play Powerball and Mega Millions as well as a host of in-state games.

Pick 3

Pick 3 features two draws every day where you can win cash payouts of up to $500. There are a variety of fun play types to try your luck on. Just choose three digits between 0 and 9 and pay $0.50 or $1 to play. The Fireball option is also available, providing more ways to win. With Fireball, an extra number is drawn and this can be used to replace any of the drawn numbers. It significantly improves the odds of winning and you just need to mark the box to add it on.

Pick 4

Pick 4 offers a day and evening draw seven days a week for a shot at prizes of up to $5,000. To start playing, simply select four lucky numbers from 0 to 9, choose a play type, and wager $0.50 or $1. Add the Fireball and you will be able to swap out any of the winning numbers for the Fireball number that is drawn. This creates lots more winning combinations, although the cost of playing is doubled.

Carolina Cash 5

Cash 5 is a daily draw game with a minimum jackpot of $100,000 that rolls over until someone wins! Tickets cost $1 per line and players simply choose five numbers from 1 to 43 - match 'em all to snap up the top prize. Add the Double Play and EZMatch add-ons for more ways to win.

Other NC Games

If you're looking for some instant gratification, why not try scratch-offs offered by the North Carolina Lottery? You can buy these games from any authorized retailer and instantly get the chance to win a stunning variety of cash prizes.

Another great option are Fast Play games. There are a range of these instant games at different prices; they all print on demand from the terminal and offer lots of great cash prizes or a rolling jackpot you can win on the spot.

Keno is fast-moving game offering cash payouts with draws held every four minutes. Choose how many numbers from 1 to 10 (called Spots) you want to try to match and how much you want to wager - from $1 to $10 per play. In each Keno drawing, 20 numbers out of a pool of 80 will be randomly picked as the winning numbers.

Claiming Prizes

If you won a prize in a draw game, you'll have 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim your winnings. If you won a prize in an instant scratch-off game, you'll have 90 days from the game's date of closure to redeem your prize.

Any North Carolina Lottery prize worth $599 or less can be redeemed at any authorized retailer, while prizes worth between $600 and $99,999.99 can be claimed by mail or at the North Carolina Lottery headquarters. If you're lucky enough to win $100,000 or more, you'll need to claim your prize in person at lottery headquarters in Raleigh.

Won a prize worth more than $5,000? The federal government will withhold 24% in taxes and North Carolina will administer a tax of 5.25%.

If you have questions, contact the Lottery's toll-free customer service number at 1-877-962-7529 from 8am-5pm Monday through Friday. You can also get in touch by email: customersupport@mail.nclottery.com.

Claim a prize by mail

To claim a prize of $600 to $99,999 by mail, you'll need the following documents:

  1. Original signed ticket
  2. Completed claim form
  3. Copy of photo ID with your name, signature and age
  4. Copy of your Social Security card

Mail to:

NCEL
PO Box 41606
Raleigh, NC 27629-1606

Expect delays to claim processing due to high mail volume.

History of the North Carolina Lottery

The North Carolina Education Lottery was established in 2005 through an act of the North Carolina legislature. Its primary goal is to raise vital funding for education from the pre-school to college levels. The lottery began selling Powerball tickets in 2006 and joined Mega Millions in 2010.

In 2014, the North Carolina Lottery teamed up with popular pizza chain Papa John's to offer a scratchcard that gives players the chance to win up to £20,000. In addition to the cash, players could earn a slice of free Papa John's menu items, discounts on orders and the chance to win pizza parties or free pizza for a year.

Today, the North Carolina Lottery sells tickets for in-state and multi-state games to give players a shot at winning great prizes while helping strengthen the state's education system. Currently, nearly $4 billion has been allocated to paying classroom teachers, constructing schools and providing need-based aid to college students. When you play North Carolina Lottery games, everyone in the state wins!

Rules

If you want to play North Carolina Lottery games, you'll need to be at least 18 years old.