North Carolina Online Lottery Overview

The North Carolina online lottery offers a wide range of games, 24/7 customer service, and a long list of bonuses. You can play instant games, local draw games, and multi-state draw games like Powerball via the official NC Lottery app or the website.

This guide explains everything you need to know about the NC online lottery. We’ll cover the sign-up process, game selection, promotions, and overall user experience.

Can you play the NC Lottery online?

Yes.

North Carolina is one of 12 states (plus Washington DC) that offer some sort of state-run online lottery purchases. The NC Lottery app launched in 2017, and digital instant games were added in November 2023. NC residents who are 18 or older can play online lottery games, provided they are physically located in North Carolina when using the app or the website.

Main facts to know about the NC online lottery – June 2024

These are the key points to familiarize yourself with before signing up for an NC online lottery account.

Does North Carolina have an online lottery?Yes
When did it launch its online lottery?2017 (digital instants added in 2023)
How can you play the NC Lottery online?Via the NC Lottery app or website
What type of games can you play?Digital instant games, North Carolina-only draw games, multi-jurisdiction draw games
Accepted payment and withdrawal methodsDebit card, PayPal, online banking, ACH bank transfer
Legal age to play18
Who regulates the NC online lottery?North Carolina State Lottery Commission

Want to play the lottery online in NC? Here’s our experience

We conducted an in-depth review of the NC Lottery site and the app. This section discusses the registration process, the user experience, the customer service, and the promotions. You will then learn more about the game variety, payment options, and how to claim prizes.

Quick and easy sign-up process

The NC online lottery registration process is straightforward and took us just a couple of minutes to complete. Follow these steps to create an account:

1

Visit the NC Lottery’s official site or download the app.

2

On the site, tap the key-in-the-circle symbol at the top right of the home page. That will get you to the sign-in page. At the bottom of that page, you’ll need to select “Create Your Account.”

If you’re using the app, tap the same key-in-the-circle symbol on the far right side of the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. Then tap “CREATE YOUR ACCOUNT” on the next page.

Screenshot circling the sign in icon on the NC online lottery home page for PlayiLottery review

3

Set up a username, choose a password, and enter your email address.

4

A verification code will be sent to your inbox. Copy that code, paste it into the box provided, and click “Continue.”

5

Enter your name, address, phone number, date of birth, and last four SSN digits. Make sure you enter the same details that are on your driver’s license or state ID card.

6

Accept the terms and click “Submit.” Your identity and age will be verified automatically, and you can then fund your account and start playing games.

Website is loaded with easy-to-access features

You can buy tickets, play instant games, check past results, and watch keno drawings at the North Carolina Lottery site. The site is packed full of information, and some pages look slightly cluttered. However, the site is easy to navigate, and the process of buying tickets is straightforward.

If you select the “Games” tab on the main toolbar menu, you will be presented with a list of categories to explore. They include digital instants, Powerball, Mega Millions, Cash 5, and so on. When you choose a game, you can browse past results, check your numbers, or read a detailed “How to Play” guide. You will also find an odds chart, which clearly highlights your chances of winning. We found this information to be very helpful and easy to understand.

Like all the top online lottery sites, NCLottery.com provides a wealth of additional features and information. You can learn more about where the money from the lottery goes, browse a gallery of recent winners, claim prizes, stay abreast of breaking news, discover the latest promotions, and much more.

We especially like the “Winning Numbers” tab on the left side of the screen. This way, you’re a literal tap away from checking winning numbers for draw games in NC at any time.

Screenshot of the NC online lottery home page for PlayiLottery review

App has poor reviews, although we had no complaints

The NC Lottery app is available for download via the App Store or Google Play. This app has an average user rating of 3.6 on Google Play, but iOS users have only given it an average rating of 1.9 stars on the App Store.

Some users have complained about the app freezing, and others have cited geolocation issues. However, it is worth noting that the NC app is typically updated each month. New instant games are added, but the team also fixes bugs and makes performance improvements, so any glitches are ironed out quickly.

When we use it, the app runs smoothly, making it quick and easy to play games. Pages also load rapidly, and the layout is easy to follow. The app is similar to the site in its layout, with a couple of key differences.

  • The toolbar at the bottom—with “HOME,” “GAMES,” “EARN,” and “REWARDS” buttons—is super helpful for quick navigation.
  • The app’s main menu (accessed in the upper left of the screen) contains more options than the website’s main menu, such as “Where to Play” for locating a retail vendor, “Check/Enter Tickets” to see if you have a winner, and “Second Chance” to access all the NC online lottery’s second-chance promotions.

The app also features a circular yellow barcode icon near the bottom of the home screen. Tap this, and you’ll be able to scan your lottery ticket to see if it’s a winner.

Screenshot of the home screen on the NC Lottery app for PlayiLottery review

Customer service has 24/7 phone support, hard-to-find live chat

The NC Lottery provides 24/7 phone support, seven days a week. That is helpful, as some state lotteries offer support only during weekday office hours.

If you need assistance, you can call 866-934-0289. This helpline is specifically for online players and is separate from the main player hotline. When we tested it at different times of the day, the representatives answered straight away. They were polite and approachable and could answer a variety of questions clearly and precisely.

The NC online lottery also has a very detailed FAQ section, so you may find the answers you need online. The site and the app also provide players with very detailed information on each game. The NC Lottery has its own YouTube channel, too, and there are video tutorials within the “How to Play” section.

We were also able to test the live chat, but it’s not easy to access. When you are buying tickets for draw games, on the final purchase screen, there is a chat bubble icon in the upper left corner. We tapped on that and were directed to an automated agent. But when we asked to speak to a human, a helpful representative contacted us within seconds.

Screenshot live chat customer service at NC online lottery for PlayiLottery review

Promotions

The NC online lottery offers a wide range of promotions. However, don’t look for a “Promotions” section. Instead, you’ll find what you’re looking for in the “Rewards” section on the site, accessible in the main menu. On the app, tap the “REWARDS” icon in the bottom toolbar or find “Lucke-Rewards Drawings” or “Second Chance” in the main menu for details of these online lottery promo offers.

These are some of the NC Lottery online promos to keep an eye out for:

  • Discounts | You will often receive a discount if you buy multiple tickets. For example, the NC Lottery recently ran a “Get Four Draw Games for the Price of Three” promo. Players could add one game of Powerball, Mega Millions, Carolina Cash 5, and Lucky For Life to the cart and automatically receive a $1 discount.
  • Free Games | These promos reward you with free plays on a digital instant game when you make a deposit. For example, a recent promo awarded players up to 35 free games on Big Crush Multiplier. There were three options: get 10 games with a $25 deposit, 20 games with a $50 deposit, or 30 games with an $80 deposit.
  • Second-Chance Drawings | Enter unsuccessful scratch tickets online to be in with a second chance of winning a prize. The NC Lottery runs a wide range of second chance drawings, with prizes of up to $1 million.

You will also earn Lucke-Rewards points with every purchase you make via the NC Lottery online. These points can be used to enter various drawings, giving you regular opportunities to win cash and other prizes.

Some promotions allow you to earn Lucke-Rewards points at 4x the usual rate by playing certain games.

Pros and cons of the NC online lottery

Pros

  • You may find it easier, quicker, and more convenient to make your plays via your phone or computer as opposed to visiting a store.
  • There are some exclusive bonuses and rewards available to NC online lottery players.
  • The NC Lottery app or website offers around 20 digital instant games, and the range continues to grow.

Cons

  • Some lottery games are unavailable online, including keno and fast play games.
  • You can use only debit cards, PayPal, or ACH bank transfers to fund an NC online lottery account.
  • The NC Lottery app offers fewer games than the Virginia Lottery app, for example, although the NC range is always expanding.

How to buy NC Lottery tickets online

It is easy to buy your NC Lottery tickets online. Follow these steps:

1

Select a game.

On the site, select the “Games” tab from the main menu. Scroll down to the draw games. Choose one of the games, and you will be presented with information about the prize distribution. There is also a “How to Play” section and information on past draws.

If you’re using the app, tap “GAMES” in the bottom toolbar and pick a draw game. You’ll be taken to a screen with the latest winning numbers, a link to “Game Info & Details,” and a “Buy Now” button.

We used Pick 4 for this example, but the process is similar for all draw games.

Screenshot of the Carolina Pick 4 page on the NC online lottery for PlayiLottery review

2

Compile your tickets.

Hit the “Buy Now” button. You will then be given two options:

  • QUICK PICK: Choose a bundle of tickets, such as four tickets or eight tickets.
  • Build My Numbers: Pick your numbers manually and choose the number of tickets you’d like to purchase.

Screenshot of quick pick options example for draw games at NC online lottery for PlayiLottery review

3

Finalize your selections.

Enter your numbers manually or select your “QUICK PICK” option. Choose the number of draws you’d like to play and the number of tickets you want to buy. For Pick 4, you can also choose the draw time, play type, and play cost, as well as whether you want to apply Fireball to your purchase.

Screenshot of screen where you finalize Pick 4 selections on the NC online lottery app for PlayiLottery review

 

4

Check out.

Click “ADD TO CART” and then hit “CHECKOUT” to complete your purchase.

How to play Powerball in North Carolina

  1. On the site, tap “Games” in the main menu and scroll down to the Powerball card on the next page. In the app, tap “GAMES” in the bottom toolbar and you’ll quickly see the Powerball card on the next page. Tap it.
  2. On the site, you’ll be directed to a page with tabs on past draws, checking numbers, and information on how to play. Scroll down and you’ll see info on prize distribution, as well. When you’re ready, tap “Buy Now.” In the app, you’ll be sent to a page with the latest winning numbers and a link to more game information. Select “Buy Now” when you’re ready.
  3. Next, choose among three options:
    1. QUICK PICK — choose to have your numbers randomly selected for you.
    2. Build My Numbers — select your numbers on your own.
    3. Combo My Numbers — play every combination of your favorite numbers.
  4. Review your number selections and tap “Add To Cart.”
  5. You then have the option to choose how many drawings you want. You can also choose whether to add the Power Play and whether to opt into Auto Renew, which will purchase tickets for you automatically every two weeks.
  6. When you’re ready, select “Checkout” and complete your purchase.

How to play Mega Millions in North Carolina

  1. Tap “Games” in the site’s main menu and scroll down to the Mega Millions card on the next page. If you’re using the app, tap “GAMES” in the bottom toolbar and tap the Mega Millions card on the next page.
  2. Site users will be directed to a page with tabs on past draws, checking numbers, and information on how to play. Scroll down to see info on prize distribution. When you’re ready, tap “Buy Now.” App users will be sent to a page with the latest winning numbers and a link to more information. Tap “Buy Now” when you’re ready.
  3. On the next page, choose among three options:
    1. QUICK PICK — have your numbers randomly selected for you.
    2. Build My Numbers — select your numbers on your own.
    3. Combo My Numbers — play every combination of your favorite numbers.
  4. Review your selections. Tap “Add To Cart.”
  5. You can then choose how many drawings you want, whether to add the Megaplier, and whether to opt into Auto Renew, which will purchase tickets automatically every two weeks for you.
  6. When you’re ready, select “Checkout” and complete your purchase.

Which NC online lottery games are available?

You can play instant games, North Carolina-only draw games, and multi-state draw games online in the Tar Heel State. These are the different options to explore.

Digital Instants

These games are similar to the scratchers that you can buy at stores and gas stations in North Carolina. They look like online slots and offer similar gameplay, but the format is closer to that of scratchers. You can play any of these online scratch-offs in demo mode if you want to try them out for free.

The NC Lottery app and website offer 20 digital instants covering various themes. Most games are playable from $0.50 to $30, although a couple of them have lower limits. They all have fixed jackpots, which you can win by revealing matching symbols on the grid, and some have progressive jackpots, too.

  • Best instant win game: For us, Bison Bonanza is the best of the instant win games at the NC online lottery. It includes a bonus wheel, and there are also three progressive jackpots, with a six-figure grand prize available. This game features sharp graphics, an engaging theme, and high-quality animations. We’ve included a screen recording of us trying the demo.

Powerball, Mega Millions

You can play popular multi-jurisdiction draw games such as Powerball, Mega Millions, and Lucky for Life via the NC lottery site or the app.

Pick 3, other draw games

In-house draw games are also playable online, including Carolina Pick 3, Carolina Pick 4, and Carolina Cash 5.

  • Best draw game: Cash 5 is the best of the in-house lottery draw games in North Carolina. Drawings are held nightly. The top prize starts at $50,000, but it rolls over if nobody wins it, so there are often six-figure jackpots. EZ Match can be added for an additional $1 per play, and this improves your chances of winning.

Games not available online in North Carolina

Some lottery games are unavailable online in NC. These are the games that can be played only in person at licensed retailers in North Carolina.

Keno

Some states, like Kentucky and Georgia, permit online keno, but it is not currently available in North Carolina. You can watch keno drawings online, but tickets can be purchased only in person.

There are, however, keno-like game options at legal online social casinos in North Carolina, such as Paintball Keno at Funzpoints and Book of Keno and Bubbles Keno Slot at Pulsz.

Fast Play

North Carolinians can buy Fast Cash lottery tickets only from a clerk at the lottery terminal or from self-service vending machines. Details of current games can be found online, but tickets can only be bought in person.

Scratch-offs

Scratch-offs can only be bought at physical stores in North Carolina. However, the instant games on the NC Lottery app and website offer similar gameplay.

Latest North Carolina Lottery industry news

North Carolina Lottery Betting On Digital Instants With Lofty FY25 Budget

June 18, 2024 | By: Drew Ellis

The North Carolina Education Lottery approved a sizable FY25 sales budget of $6.2 billion on Tuesday thanks to the success of its digital instants.

North Carolina Lottery Fastest To $1 Billion In Digital Instant Sales

June 12, 2024 | By: Drew Ellis

The North Carolina Education Lottery launched its digital instants product in mid-November, and it has already generated $1 billion in sales.

North Carolina Not Likely To Regulate Video Lottery Terminals In 2024

May 31, 2024 | By: Drew Ellis

Despite some support from lawmakers, video lottery terminal regulation is not expected to be addressed in this year's North Carolina legislative session.

Deposit and withdrawal options

You must fund your NC online lottery account before playing instant games or buying tickets on the app or website. These are the options you can use.

MethodMinimum depositMaximum deposit
Debit card 💳$10$505 per day
PayPal 💲$10$505 per day
ACH bank transfer ➡️$10$505 per day

You can deposit up to $505 per day, $2,000 per week, and $5,000 per month. Any deposited funds must be used to play games. You can withdraw winnings, but you cannot withdraw deposited funds that have not been used. These are the withdrawal options.

MethodMinimum withdrawalMaximum withdrawalWithdrawal time
Visa debit 💳$1$10,000Up to 10 business days
Online banking 🏦$1$10,000Up to 10 business days
ACH bank transfer ➡️$1$10,000Up to 10 business days
PayPal 💲$1$10,000Up to 10 business days
Check ✍️$1$10,000Up to 10 business days

It could take up to 7-10 business days for your first withdrawal to be processed, but subsequent withdrawals should be quicker.

How to claim online lottery winnings in North Carolina

  • Up to $600: Any prizes of up to $600 will be credited to your NC online lottery account automatically. You can withdraw them straight away or use them to play more games.
  • $601 to $99,999: Prizes of $601 to $99,999 must be claimed online. You will receive an email, which provides instructions on how to claim your funds.
  • $100,000 or more: Any prizes of $100,000 or more must be claimed in person at the NC Lottery headquarters in Raleigh. You will be directed to begin your claim online. A follow-up notification will then arrive, typically within 2-5 business days, and you can then head to Raleigh to collect the prize.

Playing the NC Lottery online vs. in person

There are many similarities between playing lottery games online and in person in North Carolina, but there are also some noteworthy differences.

Online lotteryRetail lottery
Age minimum of 18✔️✔️
Play via phone✔️
Sign-up required✔️
Full range of games✔️
Scratch-offs available✔️
Promotions available✔️✔️
Second-chance drawings✔️

Where can I buy a lottery ticket in North Carolina?

If you do not want to buy your lottery tickets online, there are more than 7,000 licensed retailers in North Carolina. Look out for the “PLAY HERE” signs that will be posted in or around the store. These are some of the participating retailers:

  • Convenience stores
  • Drug stores
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores

The NC Lottery site has a Where to Play section, so you can enter your ZIP code or county to find your nearest participating locations.

Checking lottery tickets online or via the North Carolina Lottery app

It is easy to check lottery tickets online in North Carolina. Head to the site, select your chosen game, and click “Past Draws.” You will then be presented with recent results. You can also select the “Winning Numbers” tab on the left side of the home screen, which immediately shows you all the latest winning numbers.

Alternatively, you can use the NC Lottery app to scan a physical lottery ticket and see if you are holding a winner. Tap the yellow circular barcode icon near the bottom of the screen. Then, point your phone’s camera at the ticket, and the app will do the rest.

Responsible gaming in North Carolina

There is a comprehensive responsible gaming section called “Play Smart” on the NC Lottery site and the app. This section explains that the lottery is a form of entertainment, not a means to fulfill a financial need, and it urges North Carolinians to balance their play with other fun activities.

There is a spending calculator, which can help you budget and prevent you from spending too much. You will also find tips on how to gamble responsibly and some busted myths associated with lottery games. There is also a self-assessment screener.

If you need help, you can call 877-718-5543 for confidential support on a 24/7 basis. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services also organizes problem gambling prevention, education, outreach, and treatment programs. Visit the dedicated NC Problem Gambling Program page for more information.

You can also access our responsible gaming hub for more resources.

NC online lottery FAQ

How do you enter the second-chance drawing for the NC online lottery?

After signing into your online account, you can enter a second-chance drawing by typing in the 12-digit number on the back of your ticket. Alternatively, you can use the app to scan the bar code on your ticket, which makes it even quicker to enter a second-chance drawing for the NC online lottery.

What is the minimum age to play the lottery in North Carolina?

You must be 18 or older to play the lottery in North Carolina. If you buy tickets in-person, you may be required to show ID to prove your age. When signing up online, you must provide personal details, including your date of birth, address, and last four SSN digits, and they will be used to verify your age.

Is there an NC Lottery app?

Yes, there is an official NC lottery app. You can download it via the App Store on an iOS device, or you can download the NC lottery app through Google Play on an Android phone. Make sure you switch on location services to prove you are physically located in North Carolina when using the app.

Do I have to pay taxes on NC Lottery winnings?

Yes, all NC lottery prizes are subject to federal and state withholdings. The rate you pay will be determined by your tax band. Winnings will be added to other income earned over the course of the year, and you will be taxed accordingly. For specific information, you can contact the IRS at 800-829-1040.

Can I play Powerball online in North Carolina?

Yes, you can play Powerball online in North Carolina. It is quick and easy to purchase Powerball plays via the NC Lottery site or the app. You can opt for “QUICK PICK,” which assigns you random numbers, or you can pick your own numbers.

Can I play Mega Millions online in North Carolina?

Yes, any North Carolinians who are 18 or older can play Mega Millions online. Simply visit the NC Lottery site or download the NC Lottery app. They both allow you to play Mega Millions, with “QUICK PICK” options available if you are in a rush.

Does the NC Lottery offer online slots?

No, the NC Lottery does not offer online slots. However, you can play digital instants, which offer a similar experience. These games look like slots, and they have features such as bonus rounds and multipliers, but they are actually closer to scratchers.

About the Author

Martin Green

Martin Green

Martin Green is an experienced writer with a specialist focus on online lotteries, casinos, and sportsbooks. He spent five years working for William Hill before becoming a journalist in 2009. He is also an avid lottery player, with plenty of first-hand knowledge, experience, and insight to pass along. You can email him at [email protected].
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