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N.C. lottery to offer subscription plan to players

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T. ORTEGA GAINES - 2012 CHARLOTTE OBSERVER FILE PHOTO
When the Mega Million lottery stake hit a high of $540 million, people made their way to get a piece of the action, for only a dollar.

RALEIGH Playing the big-money games in the North Carolina Education Lottery soon may be as easy as sitting in front of a desktop or opening a laptop.

Lottery officials have announced plans to offer a service that will allow players to buy tickets for its Powerball, Mega Millions and Carolina Cash 5 games by subscription through its website.

“By making a subscription service available for players who like to buy tickets in advance, we’re making those purchases more convenient and providing better customer service,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery.

Officials hope to begin the service in November.

It’s designed for players who want to subscribe in advance to a set of numbers for multiple drawings.

Under the plan, a subscription to at least two weeks of drawings for one of the three games is required for any purchase. Players cannot use the service to buy a single draw ticket.

Like other lottery games, players can only purchase through the subscription service while inside North Carolina. The age and identity of players registered for the service will be verified to ensure they are 18 years or older before tickets are sold.

In order to participate, players would go to a secure section of their club website and register for the service.

To buy tickets from that account, players would deposit money using a debit card or an electronic fund transfer.

Players then choose which draw game they want to play, the numbers they want to use, and the drawings they wish to enter.

Subscription players can check results by monitoring purchases associated with their account. They would receive email alerts if their numbers are drawn.

The Education Lottery would join at least 11 other state lotteries, including Virginia and Georgia, that already provide a type of subscription service to their players.

Of course, steep odds for the top prizes won’t change.

The odds of hitting all of the five winning numbers in Carolina Cash 5 is 1 in 575,757.

Those odds get more challenging for the other two games. The chances of hitting the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 175.2 million. And the odds of hitting the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 175.7 million, according to the N.C. lottery’s website.

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