The NC lottery has been around since 2005.
Van Denton, the director of corporate communications at the NC Education Lottery, said there are many people in North Carolina who have won the lottery multiple times.
“Most people who have played regularly over the last 16 years have won a lottery prize multiple times,” he said. “Last year, the lottery paid out $2.54 billion in prizes, about $6.9 million a day on average. So there are lots of winners every day across our state.”
“Some prizes make your day. Some make your week. And some are life changing. A few winners have won big prizes multiple times.”
Top prizes claimed in U.S.
The top five U.S. lottery jackpots of all time are:
- $2.040 billion, Nov. 7, 2022, Powerball drawing in California
- $1.586 billion, Jan. 13, 2016, Powerball drawings in California, Florida, Tennessee
- $1.537 billion, Oct. 23, 2018, Mega Millions drawing in South Carolina
- $1.350 billion, Jan. 13, 2023, Mega Millions drawing in Maine
- $1.337 billion, July 29, 2022, Mega Millions drawing in Illinois
In 2022, the lottery sold $10.6 million in tickets on average per day.
Denton said payment is easy for those who win.
If someone wins $599 or less, they can collect their prize from wherever lottery tickets are sold. If someone wins between $600 and $99,999, they can collect their prize at one of the lottery’s regional offices in Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Greenville or Wilmington. If someone wins $100,000 or more, they claim their prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh.
Denton said all the money raised by the lottery goes to support public education programs.
In 2022, the lottery raised $929.8 million for public education in North Carolina.
The NC General Assembly decides each year in the state budget how to use the money raised by the lottery.
This year, the budget allocates the money to the following education programs:
- Help public schools with the costs of non-instructional support personnel
- Help build, repair and renovate public schools
- Provide a free academic preschool to at-risk four-year-olds in the N.C. Pre-K program
- Makes college more affordable through scholarships and grants based on financial need
- Help public schools with the costs of school transportation.
7,075 retail locations across the state sold lottery tickets in 2022. Those retailers earned $267.9 million in sales commissions and incentives last year. Denton said the commissions play a major role in the state’s retail economy.
NC lottery jackpots
So far, seven North Carolinians have won a jackpot in either the Powerball or Mega Millions game, with jackpots ranging from $12.5 million to $344 million.
The biggest winner so far is Charles Jackson of Cumberland County who won a $344.6 million Powerball jackpot in June 2019.
A fun fact that people may not know, Denton said, is players can also win other prizes besides money. Lottery players can win fun trips and VIP experiences.