See all prizes remaining for every instant game

10:05 AM


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]


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On 11/14/2011 09:39, Lucke-Zone said

@ SANDON - We don't track information that way. We can give you annual numbers on how much was won in a particular county.

On 11/14/2011 09:26, Lucke-Zone said

@ HOLLY - Please call our player hotline at 877-962-7529 to explain the specific issue you had at the Food Lion on South Cannon Blvd in Kannapolis

On 11/14/2011 09:25, Lucke-Zone said

@ BKEARNEY220 - We had a technical problem with the blog's commenting system so we are now going through the process of responding to everything. From July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011, Franklin County players won more than $6.5 million in prizes. Since the lottery began through 6/30/11, Franklin County players won more than $27.3 million

On 11/09/2011 04:23, DBOYS2014 said

what is the most profitable county this year in winning scratchers

On 11/07/2011 10:34, Lucke-Zone said

@gomom46 - We wish you the best of luck and would like to remind everyone that playing the lottery should be something one does for entertainment as there is no guarantee of winning a prize.

On 11/07/2011 09:53, holly said

i went to the food loin on south cannon bld on 11/6/2011 in kannapolis nc to buy scratch off tickets out of the machine. i pushed for the red hot millons $10 TICKET instead i got a 500,000 anniversary cash ticket and that game was non even in that machine. the store said that they could not do any thing about my money. who ever fills up the machines from the lottery they really need to double check to make sure they are putting the right tickets in the right slots. went on line to enter the ticket for the second chance drawing found out it was closed now i am out of $10 for a ticket that wasnt even in the machine to start with.

On 11/06/2011 02:21, GrannyMallard said

I liked the old way better. Isn't there some way to do it both ways? You could see at a glance what games were being discontinued and what games had been added.

On 11/04/2011 11:00, bkearney220 said

How many winners have been in Franklin County in the last year?

On 11/03/2011 04:46, Lucke-Zone said

@SmartLuck - We're always looking for new games and experiences for our players, so thanks for the suggestion!

On 11/03/2011 09:17, SmartLuck said

Do you think the NCEL could look into adding a new game like the West Virginia Cash25, where you pick 6 numbers from a field of 25?

On 11/02/2011 09:00, hamofaguy said


On 11/02/2011 03:32, gorams15 said

Joining the big loser list in nc lottery. I've played for 2 years and nothing, whats so great about. The town I live in has bad tickets and quick picks. Today another reversed number that has played allready just reversed.

On 11/02/2011 09:14, Lucke-Zone said

@ JESUTTON - Just on instant games, we've had 35 wins of $5,000 or more in Carteret, Craven, Jones, Onslow and Pamlico Counties this year. Games of chance are always a matter of luck.. Carteret County players have won more than $27 million in prizes since the lottery began.

On 11/02/2011 08:33, jesutton said

Downeast,Carteret County.

On 11/01/2011 06:27, rod said

Look for me to be at Lottery headquarters soon,Mega Millions Jackpot or Powerball will be mine Soon,,Congrats to all of the previous winners,I'll be joining you Soon.....

On 11/01/2011 08:35, Lucke-Zone said

@ MUTANTBOY - The odds of winning a particular prize at a particular level is something that can only be accurately stated at the beginning of the game, which is why the overall odds of winning are still posted with the explanation that the odds change as soon as tickets go on sale. Knowing how many prizes are still out there at a particular level is what players wanted us to add to the website, which is similar to what some other lotteries offer on their websites.

On 11/01/2011 08:34, Lucke-Zone said

@ JESUTTON - Remind us what county you're in?

On 11/01/2011 01:36, mutantboy0 said

Please bring back the odds to win a prize, I don't understand why they were removed when the remaining prizes were added, both are very helpful to have.

On 10/31/2011 10:16, jesutton said

Winning tickets are anywhere but downeast.They send big winning tickets other places .Thats not fair.All I'm doing is buying golf balls for the rich and retired.

On 10/31/2011 06:14, The Recreator said

love ya NC

On 10/31/2011 03:06, Lucke-Zone said

According to statistics online, about 1000 people live in Rich Square, North Carolina.

On 10/31/2011 03:04, Lucke-Zone said

@ JCC409 - Subscriptions to lottery games are something that is not currently allowed under North Carolina law.

On 10/31/2011 03:01, Lucke-Zone said

@1ROCK2KING - The lottery terminals that are used to sell tickets for draw games are all networked back to the secure system at HQ. As soon as drawings are finished and certified, the computer systems immediately know where tickets that matched different combinations were sold. That's how we're able to announce where winning tickets were sold for Cash 5, Powerball and Mega Millions before they're claimed. But we never know where a winning scratch-off was sold until a winner shows up to claim it :-)

On 10/31/2011 02:57, Lucke-Zone said

@ REMY - We know some folks preferred it the old way, but we added the remaining prizes at every level beacause it was something many players asked for, and something many lotteries offer on their websites. Maybe you'll grow to like the new way, we hope!

On 10/30/2011 07:20, 1rock2king said

How does the lottery terminal detects a winning ticket,what store,city it comes from? Like the ticket the other day that expired,you knew the store and time it was bought.tks

On 10/29/2011 07:31, jcc409 said

how about making a season ticket available for cash 5, mm and pb? In Mass. you can buy a season ticket, and whenever you win any amount, they send you a check.

On 10/29/2011 09:59, Remy said

Don't like the new way of checking the top prizes remaining. The old way was better! I liked being able to get a complete list of the games. I would print them off and that's how I would choose which scratch-offs to play. You ruined my strategy! Now you would have to print off a page for every game! :-(

On 10/28/2011 10:24, tom1 said

What in NC is the size of Rich Square? I never have believed in luck, I think GOD knows before we do. If you are picked you better give him his 10%.

On 10/28/2011 09:34, Lucke-Zone said

@ MACMILLION - You should talk with some other players from here in the Lucke-Zone who say that only folks from big cities win. We've said it before and we'll say it a million times again... it's all a matter of luck. We've had $1 million instant wins to players from places like Winston-Salem, Wilmington, Durham, Charlotte, Asheville and Fayetteville... not exactly the size of Rich Square!

On 10/28/2011 09:21, Lucke-Zone said

@ SANDON - We responded to your suggestion about this in the other blog; here's that response copied-and-pasted :-) ... "That's an interesting idea. We've got folks here who look at every angle when it comes how how prizes are structured for games... not sure if an upgrade feature will be added to the Cash 5 game in the future or not... but, as always, we'll forward your suggestion!"

On 10/28/2011 09:18, Lucke-Zone said

@ GRASSHOPPER - There could be new features to the Cash 5 game in the future, but what you're describing isn't in the works right now.

On 10/28/2011 09:09, Macmillion said

I have said it before...million dollar scratch offs are always found in places like "rich square". They know exactly where those types of tickets are going.

On 10/28/2011 03:51, DBOYS2014 said

how about a option on the cash 5 where we can double the prixe by paying a dollar more as a option like on the powerball and mega million.

On 10/28/2011 03:46, DBOYS2014 said

i to love the new upgrade for scratchers keep it up

On 10/27/2011 10:04, robertjr2000 said

FINALLY have this feature! Thanks! I have suggested this in multiple e-mails and "contact us" comments......never acknowledged.....just figured NCEL would never do....How about one step more.....the different ways to win(symbols etc, at prize levels) a la SCEL....i think is a good feature

On 10/27/2011 08:00, grasshopper said

Just wondering, anymore thought to the idea about getting rid of the $1 prize amount in the cash 5 and having higher 2nd 3rd place payouts?

On 10/27/2011 06:16, deana said


On 10/27/2011 03:43, Lucke-Zone said

@ BKEARNEY220 - *Very important point* - at no time did we ever say that playing in a higher population area makes you more likely to win. Any store, town or city with a higher number of winning tickets almost certainly has a proportionally higher amount of non-winning tickets to go with it. ANYWHERE you play, the odds are the same. A small store in a small town or a big place in a big city. Heck, we just had a $1 million winner from KELFORD, NC who bought his ticket in RICH SQUARE, NC... a very, very small number of people live there compared to the 9+ million people who live in North Carolina.

On 10/27/2011 02:23, bkearney220 said

yes,there are other stores but this one has more customers as it is located on main Hwy.and you guys said more population buying tickets means you are more likely to win.

On 10/27/2011 11:27, Lucke-Zone said

@ BKEARNEY220 - It is the responsibility of store owners to reorder. Are there other stores in your area that sell tickets? We recommend giving your business to stores that give you the kind of selection and service you're looking for :-)

On 10/27/2011 10:59, bkearney220 said

Do the store owners have to call for more tickets or are they just alloted so many a week.The store I go to is always out at the counter and the machine.

On 10/27/2011 09:40, jeffro389 said

This is a great feature to add.After your thorough explanation about how the tickets are printed and distributed,maybe people will stop crying conspiracy because they dont win

On 10/27/2011 09:26, Lucke-Zone said

@ LATOYA - Thank you for taking time to comment. Please give our player hotline a call with the name and location of the store so we can provide this feedback to the lottery employee who is in contact with the store owner.

On 10/27/2011 08:53, ann semaj said

I would to see the cash five midday.

On 10/27/2011 08:49, 1rock2king said

I like this,now I can pick what ticket has the most prizes left on them. when the top prize is sold out,I won't buy that one,unless the 2nd prize is 20,000 or more.

On 10/27/2011 08:29, Felipe said

Nice update! Thank you...

On 10/26/2011 10:27, winley said

i love what u do keep it up

On 10/26/2011 09:08, latoya said

someone needs to update the lottery machine in roxboro nc at fast mart the machince goes down every other day the odds of winning pick3,pick4,powerball,cash5,mega million is slim to none and thanks for the new updated instant prize page

On 10/26/2011 08:04, mutantboy0 said

I agree with papajohn, it is very important to me to see the odds of winning a certain prize at the game start to be able to compare with the amount of prizes left when making the decision on which ticket to buy. Love being able to see prizes remaining, but given the choice I would rather know the odds of winning since each game, even within the same price point, vary so greatly and that is how I decide which tickets to buy. Thank you for providing the new info, but please also include the odds. The last column relating to dollar value left seems pointless, as all you have to do is multiply the prizes left with the prize value to get that number...

On 10/26/2011 07:43, dan said

love the new concept

On 10/26/2011 03:36, Lucke-Zone said

@PAPAJOHN + @AFRT04 - Thank you for your comments/suggestions, they have been forwarded :-)

On 10/26/2011 12:24, AFRT04 said

I realize that the odds change as tickets get sold and prizes sometimes are reloaded, but it would still help if you published not just the overall odds (that doesn't really help) but the odds of winning each prize at the original time of issue. Or, you could just publish how many total tickets at original issue were released. Then, based on the number of prizes available, everyone could figure out the odds of each prize. Thank you

On 10/26/2011 12:11, papajohn920 said

while i kinda like the new feture, i like seeing the odds also. this no longer shows you the odds of winning unless you put a count of all the losing tickets left to have a total of all tickets printed. maybe you can add the cloumn back that had to overall odds of winning each prize!

On 10/26/2011 11:17, Hondaboi15 said

Thank you for the much needed update!!! You are awesome :)

On 10/26/2011 12:20, virgin1946 said

Thank goodness for the new update page! I always wondered what all the remaining prizes were! Yippeeee!

On 10/25/2011 09:16, ellenjohnson said

yes I love N.C. Lottery:::

On 10/25/2011 08:20, jesutton said

Thanks nc lottery.

On 10/25/2011 05:31, shahab said

Very good idea guys.Thanks

On 10/25/2011 04:32, Gina Elmore said

Like the new update,good to know all the prizes that remain.

On 10/25/2011 03:02, Donbinnc said

Hoooraaay!!! About time NC Lottery! You are catching with the other state lotteries.

On 10/25/2011 02:30, trulyblessed said

Thanks for this new feature! Now, we won't have to guess what scractch-offs remain! Great idea NCEL!

On 10/25/2011 01:32, irene tillman said

love the nc lottery

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