Beginning Oct. 1, a new rewards program will allow players of the N.C. Education Lottery to earn points with non-winning instant tickets to enter weekly and monthly drawings for cash and other prizes. The program, called Lucke-Rewards, was approved by the N.C. Education Lottery Commission in March and is similar to those already offered by other lotteries including those in Tennessee and Arkansas.

“The Lucke-Rewards program will provide more value through extended play to lottery tickets with no additional costs to players,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “With most products today, consumers expect to get rewards for being loyal customers and enjoy having special relationships with their favorite brands. We are glad to give to folks who are playing the lottery the same experience and additional value they can get with other sales organizations.”

Tickets for all of the Education Lottery’s current instant games will be eligible for the program. Players can begin saving their non-winning instant tickets now. Then, on Monday, Oct. 1, they can register for the Lucke-Rewards program, enter their tickets, and get points as a reward. Weekly and monthly drawings will begin shortly afterward.

The program will be part of the Lucke-Zone, the online site started in February 2011. Players must be 18 years old to play the lottery and to belong to the Lucke-Zone. Since people under 18 are not eligible to buy lottery tickets or receive prizes, they will not be able to participate in the Lucke-Rewards program or to win prizes in the drawings.

Initially, only non-winning instant tickets will earn points, but plans are to eventually allow points to be earned by entering tickets for all Education Lottery draw games, including Powerball, Mega Millions or Carolina Cash 5. The first drawings will be for weekly prizes of $2,500 and a monthly prize of $25,000, but the amounts and types of prizes in the drawings will vary.

To join the Lucke-Zone, go to the NCEL’s website at, and click on the Lucke-Zone banner. Players can use the Lucke-Zone to enter second-chance drawings associated with instant games, sign up for email alerts on winning numbers, participate in surveys and polls to provide feedback on lottery games, read the NCEL’s blog and get other news and information about the lottery.

Other ways to interact with the NCEL are on Facebook,, and on Twitter,’nc_edulottery.