As of this week, players have a new way to keep up with the prizes still out there for their favorite lottery games. Our web team has activated a new feature on our official website that updates the number of prizes still remaining at every level for every instant game on sale. This is something we have heard many players would like to see on our website.
To see for yourself how this new feature works, visit our website and hover over the green “Games” tab near the top of the page, then click on the “Instant Scratch Off Games” menu option. You will see a ticket graphic and description for every game you can find at NCEL retailers. Click on a specific game, scroll down, and you will see a chart, updated once per day, that lists the number of prizes that have not yet been claimed at every level.
Here in the Lucke-Zone – as well as on our Facebook page and on the player hotline (877-962-7529) – players often ask us questions about the odds of winning prizes, so now is a good opportunity to share some information about that.
The odds of winning on a particular instant game are set at the time of printing. Winning tickets at every level are distributed at random throughout the entire printing run of the game. Due to this randomness, every roll of tickets has a unique mix of winning and non-winning tickets. The mystery of where winning scratch-off tickets will surface continues as the rolls of tickets are distributed to stores across the state, tickets are sold, prizes are won, and as stores re-order tickets. Very strict security procedures are in place to make sure that the first person who finds out where a lucky ticket shows up is the lucky person who buys it and scratches it.
As is the case with instant scratch-off games anywhere, the odds of winning change continuously for the life of a game as soon as tickets go on sale. Take the $100,000 Treasure Tree game, for example. It launched a week ago on Tuesday, Oct. 18 with overall odds of winning of one in 3.77, including break-even prizes. Odds of one in 3.77 including break-even prizes for this game means that, when the game began, just better than one in four $100,000 Treasure Tree tickets sold somewhere in the state of North Carolina would win at least $5 – and could win as much as $100,000. This does *not* mean that every fourth consecutive ticket in a roll of tickets will be a winning ticket! As we mentioned before, by the nature of random winning ticket distribution throughout the entire printing run, every roll of tickets has its own unique random distribution of winning tickets. This is what makes the odds the same for players across the state, regardless of where they live or where they buy a ticket.
Another very important thing to emphasize is that these prize totals are updated daily, so they are really a “snapshot” of what was still unclaimed as of 5 p.m. the day before. We award about $2.4 million in prizes every day, so you can imagine how quickly the totals can change. As you sometimes read about in winner stories, even after someone has bought a lucky ticket, hours, days or weeks sometimes pass before they realize they have it, or before they claim the prize.
We hope you'll enjoy this new feature, and wish all our North Carolina players the best of luck.
[Note: the graphic you see with this blog entry is a "snapshot" of the prizes remaining for the $100,000 Treasure Tree game, as of when the blog was posted on Tuesday, Oct. 25. You can check that page on our website right now for the most up-to-date information available for that game]