NC Education Lottery warning people about scams as Powerball, Mega Millions jackpots soar
Posted: Jan 16, 2021 / 03:43 PM EST / Updated: Jan 16, 2021 / 03:43 PM EST
NC Education Lottery
Where I can get the latest lottery numbers?
Watch lottery drawings on FOX8! Mega Millions airs at 11 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday. Powerball airs at 10:59 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday. The NC Lottery airs at 11:22 p.m. every night.
The Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots are soaring this weekend, and the NC Education Lottery is warning people about potential scams.
One player said they had been offered $5 million and a new car. The catch? To claim the prize, they had to pay a $400 processing fee. The player recognized the scam and gave the NCEL a call.
Scammers are always trying to find new ways to fool people, but here are some tips to help you protect yourself or a loved one.
- Never pay a fee before claiming a prize. A legitimate lottery will never ask you to spend your own money in order to claim your winnings. If you receive a call or email asking you to spend money for taxes or fees on a prize, that should be a red flag.
- You can’t win a prize if you didn’t buy a ticket. If you don’t remember buying a ticket, you probably didn’t. Remember, the lottery doesn’t know who buys the winning ticket unless it’s purchased via Online Play.
- Don’t give out financial information upfront. Never give your credit card information, Social Security number, driver’s license, passport, or bank account numbers to someone who is contacting you through email, social media, or over the phone. The lottery will not ask for that information in any of these ways.
- Don’t buy winning tickets from strangers. Don’t fall victim to someone trying to sell you their winning ticket. Scammers can alter tickets to make them look like winners to the public.
- If you win a prize, always sign the back of your ticket. Whoever signs the ticket is considered the owner of that prize.
‘Still in some shock’: North Carolina COVID-19 nurse wins $1 million second-chance lottery drawing
Most people dream of winning the lottery, but making poor choices can turn your life into a nightmare. Buzz60’s Sean Dowling has more. Buzz60
When a North Carolina nurse received a phone call saying she’d won the lottery, she thought she was being scammed.
Terri Watkins, who told the North Carolina Education Lottery she works in the “COVID unit at a long-term care facility,” won a $1 million second-chance drawing. In a press release, the lottery said winners receive calls or emails informing them of their winnings.
“You’re telling a story,” Watkins said in a phone conversation with the NC Education Lottery representative who told her she won. “I don’t believe you.”
She’s still having some trouble accepting her luck.
“I thought that it was not real, couldn’t be real. It’s still something that I really don’t believe, I’m still in some shock here,” she told the lottery.
Watkins was chosen from more than 513,000 entrants in the state’s “Supreme Riches” second-chance drawing, the North Carolina education lottery said in a press release. It was the fourth and final second-chance drawing for the scratch-off.
A second-chance drawing offers extra chances to win for people who buy certain tickets, according to the lottery’s website.
“Just seeing some of the things that I’ve had to see, I am very thankful,” Watkins told the lottery. “I had been praying for something to help me with this situation. It really is a great thing. I’m very blessed.”
The Durham, North Carolina, woman had two options for her winnings: She could take a $1 million prize paid in annual installments of $50,000, or a one-time payment of $600,000. She opted for the one-time payment and took home $424,500 after taxes, the lottery reported.
Watkins told the lottery she planned to take her time figuring out what she’d do with her winnings.
“I would love a new home, but I’ve just got to take time and put it in the right place,” she said, according to the lottery.
The North Carolina Education Lottery contributed more than $709 million to education programs across the state during the 2018-2019 school year, according to the lottery’s website.
Nationwide, Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots have increased to $640 million and $750 million, respectively. Both are among the largest prizes in U.S. lottery history, though still a ways off from the $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot split by three winners in 2016.
Contributing: Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAYTerri Watkins won a $1 million drawing from the North Carolina Education Lottery, taking home more than $400,000 in cash. ]]>