Deadlines to claim lottery prizes extended

North Carolinians who couldn’t claim lottery prizes in person since March 10 due to the coronavirus outbreak will get additional time to collect their winnings.

Under legislation signed into law Monday, winners of N.C. Education Lottery prizes have until Nov. 1 to claim prizes from tickets that expire between March 10 and Aug. 1. The legislation was approved on Saturday by the N.C. General Assembly as part of COVID-19 legislation and signed into law Monday by Gov. Roy Cooper.

The N.C. Education Lottery temporarily closed its Claim Centers on Monday, March 23, under the state’s Stay At Home order to help protect the safety of the public, lottery players, and employees. The closing meant that players with prizes of $599 or less could claim those prizes as usual at a retail location where lottery tickets are sold and those with prizes of $600 or more could mail in their claims to obtain their winnings.

The lottery already extended the claim deadlines for all winning tickets that could expire during the closure and temporarily lifted the requirement that prizes of $100,000 must be claimed in person. The new law extends the deadline further.

“Anyone who has the good luck to win a lottery prize should get their prize,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “The prizes are waiting for winners to claim when it is safe to do so. We’re glad that our players have more time to collect the money they won.”

Here are the current options available to collect a lottery prize:

  • Prizes up to $599 can be cashed at retail locations.
  • Lottery tickets also can be mailed in. Winners of $100,000 or more are not required at this time to claim their prizes in person and a temporary Stay At Home Claims Process assists those with prizes of $600 or more. Claim forms can be downloaded from the lottery’s website by visiting

Under the extended deadline, players who do not prefer to mail in their claims can use the additional time to claim their prizes in person. The lottery recommends that those winners sign the back of their tickets and secure them in a safe place.

“We’re here to help you collect the prizes you have won,” said Michalko. “We appreciate your patience and understanding as we balance our responsibility to public health and to our players.”

The lottery’s Customer Services will continue to staff the toll-free helpline to assist lottery players with questions. The toll-free Customer Services line is 1-877-962-7529. It is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. till 5 p.m.