North Carolina Lottery: Draw Games, Instant Win, and NC Lottery Overview

The North Carolina Lottery might be one of the youngest state lotteries in the US having not been enacted until 2005, but it has quickly become one of the biggest and most successful lotteries.

The NC lottery is unique for one very important reason: remarkably, 35% of the total money earned from the state lottery goes towards paying for the education system in North Carolina.

The state-run lottery is the most popular form of gambling in North Carolina, where alternatives are limited to just the three Native American-owned casinos and select bingo and raffle games.

North Carolina Lottery Games

At the North Carolina Education Lottery, players will have access to multiple types of games, including Draw, Keno, Multi-State Draw, and Scratch-Offs.

Within these categories, you can play in notable contests, such as Powerball and Mega Millions. Through playing these games, you can earn rewards and also take advantage of several online promotions. These include deposit bonuses, rewards point multipliers, and more.

Below, we'll go in more depth on each of these Lottery NC games, discussing what's available and any notable rules.

North Carolina Draw Games

Under the "Draw Games" section at the North Carolina Lottery site, you'll find eight games listed. These include Powerball, Mega Millions, Lucky For Life, Carolina Cash 5, 4, and 3, and more.

Each game has its own unique set of rules, so we'll touch on them each below, focusing on in-state games only.

Carolina Cash 5

With Carolina Cash 5, you'll choose five North Carolina lottery numbers and aim to take home the jackpot every night of the week.

  • βœ… Starting at just $1, you can have a chance at a jackpot at or around $100,000, which continues to increase until it's won.
  • βœ… You can also add "Double Play," which allows you to be entered into a second drawing to win more prizes.
  • βœ… In addition to Double Play, EZ Match is something else you can add that gives you a chance to win $500 instantly.

The most recent drawing results at the time of this NC State Lottery page date resulted in zero $120,000 jackpot winners, but there were 17 $250 winners. You'll win based on how many you get correct, with the lowest payout for those with two correct numbers of the five.

Carolina Pick 4

To begin playing Carolina Pick 4, you'll pickβ€”you guessed itβ€”four numbers between 0 and 9, or you can choose Quick Pick for the terminal to select for you randomly.

There are multiple ways to play Carolina Pick 4, including the following:

  • βœ… Exact: The NC lottery numbers you choose must match winning numbers in exact order.
  • βœ… Any Order: So long as you have the right NC Lottery numbers, you'll win, despite the order.
  • βœ… 50/50: This is a hybrid of the two previously mentioned styles. You can win either way.
  • βœ… Combo: An "Exact" play for any combination of NC Lottery numbers selected on a single ticket.
  • βœ… Pairs: You'll designate two numbers as a Front or Back Pair. For Front Pairs, you'll select numbers in the first two rows only, and the Back is for the last two rows. The chosen pair must match the winning pair in exact order.

For this game, you can play for either $0.50 or $1. This game also includes Fireball, which provides a chance for players to get more combinations to match and win more prizes.

This game comes with an Advanced Play, where you'll select specific future draw days, and Multidraw, which allows you to play seven consecutive days and nights.

With the most recent results, there were 400 winners that received a combined $36,525.

Carolina Pick 3

With Carolina Pick 3, you'll play North Carolina Lottery with fewer numbers to select, but at the cost of a higher payout. The payouts for the $0.50 and $1 buy-ins are about 10x less than Pick 4. With Pick 3, for example, if you play "Exact" and win, players will win $250 compared to Pick 4's $2,500.

The most recent NC State Lottery Pick 3 results were $234,908 across 2,236 players.

Fast Play

Fast Play games are reminiscent of scratch-offs because you can get the results immediately. To purchase Fast Play tickets, you can do so from any store clerk or at a self-service vending machine.

To determine if you've won, you can scan your results immediately with the ticket checker. NC Lottery prizes here include progressive jackpots and more.

For example, Lucky Clover is a Fast Play Progressive NC Play NC Lottery game. You'll be given multiple four-leaf clovers with numbers of them, and you'll find out after purchasing what your numbers are to try to match with the clover. This game aims to match numbers on all sides of the clover to win the amount of money it illustrates.

North Carolina Keno

With North Carolina Keno, you'll enter a fast-paced draw-style game with winners every four minutes or so.

There are 80 total numbers on a Keno card, and you have 20 to choose from. When you choose these numbers, you'll choose which ones you think will match.

There are multiple "Spots" to choose from in North Carolina Keno, from 1-to-10.

The prize pools for these get higher the more Spots you pick, including $2 in winnings for 1 Spot and $100,000 for a 10 spot.

O the NC Lottery site, you'll find details about the hottest and coldest numbers. These represent the frequency with some numbers chosen, which can help inform your betting decision.

Multi-State Draw Games

With Multi-State Draw Games, go outside the purview of just North Carolina. While you can play NC Mega Millions and NC Powerball, these are connected to other states. The cash jackpot results reflect that numerous states are involved, as winners can win a jackpot of nearly $100 million.

Below, we'll look at NC Powerball and NC Mega Millions.

North Carolina Powerball

To play Powerball, you'll start by choosing five numbers between 1 and 69 and a single Powerball number that scales from 1 to 26.

Like other games mentioned beforehand, you can choose Quick Play to automatically turn out numbers for you.

Powerball tickets go for $2, but if you add Power Play, it's an additional $1.

As mentioned, the most recent drawing as of this Lottery details page, didn't include a jackpot winner, but did have a sole $50,000 winner.

There are multiple ways to win at North Carolina Powerball, including matching the five balls in any order, and a "second-level" prize of $1 million if you do it exactly.

North Carolina Mega Millions

NC Mega Millions is similar to Powerball in that you'll choose five numbers and then one additional number. The first five numbers are between 1 and 70, and the final sixth number is the Mega Ball, between 1 and 25.

Like Powerball, you can also do Quick Play and add an additional $1 to the already $2 buy-in for Megaplier. You can play five sets of numbers per pay slip.

To win the Mega Millions cash jackpot, you must match the five numbers in any order in addition to the Mega Ball number. For the second cash prize of $1 million, the final result must match your five numbers, excluding the Mega Ball number.

To date, there hasn't been a Mega Millions winner since April 14, and the jackpot, at the time of creating this page, is $83 million.

Instant Win Games

Under the Instant Win NC State Lottery games, you'll find Scratch-Offs. These tickets can be purchased at local participating retailers for cash.

There are various types of Scratch-Offs and funds required to purchase them, so be sure to check out the details of each game.

According to the NC State Lottery site, new games are added every first Tuesday of the month, so check the date and see when the next drop is.

The NC State Lottery site also shows expiring games, so you'll know how long you have to get your cash and purchase those Scratch-Offs.

To play these games, you'll read the details of each, scratch away, see the results, and know if you've won the top prize/jackpot or one of the other available prizes.

The cash required for these ranges from $1 to $30, per the Scratch-Offs page to date.

North Carolina Lottery App

Yes, there's an official NC State Lottery app that you can download. It's available for both iOS (iPhone) and Android users. You can download it from the Apple App and Google Play Store.

With this app, you can check the status of your tickets to see if you've won and purchase tickets for Powerball, Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, and Cash 5.

As a player in the Lottery in North Carolina, you'll also be able to join Lucke-Rewards, which you can earn points toward with each ticket scan via the mobile app.

With the mobile app, you'll also be automatically entered into second chance drawings on eligible tickets. As you can see, there are plenty of perks to using this as a resource for all your Play NC Lottery needs.

How to Purchase Lottery Tickets in North Carolina

In North Carolina, you can purchase Lottery tickets online and in person.

Let's go over how to do this, starting with in-person.

For in-person tickets, the procedure is relatively straightforward. You'll visit a participating retailer and make your purchase with cash. You can play Keno, Scratch-Offs, and various other games here.

For online, here's what you'll do:

  1. βœ… Download the NC State Lottery app from the Google Play or Apple App Store.
  2. βœ… Create an NC Lottery account.
  3. βœ… To do this, click Sign Up in the bottom right of the mobile app.
  4. βœ… This process is done across three steps, where you'll provide information such as a username and password and provide your email.
  5. βœ… Once this is complete, check your email for a confirmation code and provide it.
  6. βœ… This takes you to the next step of creating an account. You'll supply personal information like your name, address, and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  7. βœ… From here, add money to your account, purchase from the available games, and check back on the relevant pages to see the results and whether or not you've won a jackpot.

Are there any Promo Codes for the Lottery in NC?

On the NC State Lottery Page, under the "Rewards" tab, you'll see a link to the Promotions page. Here, you'll see various offers, with some expiration dates and others ongoing.

The Promotions page, however, doesn't appear to call for promo codes. Instead, click specific links for things such as the deposit matches.

Be sure to check each promo's page to see if there are any changes or for any promos added later.

North Carolina Lottery History

One of the newer lotteries to hit the scene, the North Carolina Lottery, was established in 2005. This came after the North Carolina General Assembly passed the "North Carolina State Lottery Act" in August 2005.

Legalizing the lottery was to provide an influx of revenue to re-route to education programs. As of May 2023, and according to the "Impact" page, the lottery has generated nearly $10 billion for education programs, including $929 million in 2022.

As for scholarships, there were 27,146 administered in 2022, and 48,504 grants helped students attend a state university.

While the NC State Lottery was established in 2005, it was on March 30, 2006, that the first ticket was sold.

Overseeing the North Carolina is a nine-member committee responsible for sending profits to various education levels.

Biggest Lottery Wins in North Carolina

On the North Carolina Lottery site, you can see winners. Still, they're all relatively recent and only include $5,000 or more prizes.

However, we found some massive winners throughout the history of the NC State Lottery:

  • πŸ’° $350 million: In June 2019, a winning Powerball ticket valued at $350 million was solid at Carli C's IGA in Hope Mill,s North Carolina. The winner is unknown.
  • πŸ’° $188 million: The most significant win ever recorded in North Carolina Lottey history happened on February 22, 2015. After winning the Powerball, Marie Holmes took home a lump sum of $127 million.
  • πŸ’° $141 million: The next largest prize also comes from Powerball. The winner's name remains anonymous, but we know they were from Brunswick County. The win happened in June 2009.
  • πŸ’° $110 million: From Cash 5, a Harnett County resident took the $110 million prize in 2019. This is the largest-ever jackpot win for this game.
  • πŸ’° $88 million: In 2009, Jeff Wilson won $88 million with Powerball. After taking the cash sum and after taxes, he took home $29 million. At the time of his win, he had his "lottery freak" dad to thank.

North Carolina Lottery FAQ

Cited by leading media organizations, such as:

Scroll to top