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NC Lottery To Offer Online Subscriptions To Jackpot Games

Tasnim Shamma

Rather than making the trip to the gas station for the weekly lottery ticket, North Carolina players will soon be able to try their luck at home.

Starting in November, the North Carolina Education Lottery players will be able buy and play three major jackpot games with just an internet connection.

This fall, you'll be able to go to the North Carolina Education Lottery website and sign up for an account to play one of three jackpot games online: Powerball, Mega Millions and Carolina Cash 5. You can add money using a debit card or bank account, choose the games you want to play and the numbers you want to use.

If you win any money, you'll get an e-mail alert.

But Ephraim Drummer, 33, doesn't see the appeal.

"I mean there's nothing like scratching it off for yourself and just being there first at hand, picking your numbers," Drummer says. 

Drummer just bought his regular lottery ticket at a Wilco Gas station on North Tryon. He's afraid of computer glitches with playing online, but says his friends will probably welcome the high-tech approach.  

Alice Garland, executive director of the North Carolina Education Lottery, is counting on that.

"It is much more a convenience to players than it is a way to significantly increase sales," Garland says. 

Garland only expects online players to increase lottery sales for the three games by two percent.

The larger motive is to attract new customers and promote responsible gaming:  online lottery players will be limited to spending $70 per week and they can even ban themselves from playing for a year.