In the lottery world, four zeros can win a lot of money.
More than 2,000 players won the Pick 4 lottery in North Carolina on Saturday when they all chose the winning numbers 0-0-0-0.
About half the 2,014 winners bought $1 tickets and will get $5,000, while the other half got 50-cent tickets and will receive $2,500, lottery officials said.
The total payout, including other winners, will be about $7.8 million, the largest ever for the Pick 4 in the state.
The NC Education Lottery said that picking four of the same number in the game is known to players as choosing "Quads", and is a popular practice. In 2012 $7.5 million had to be paid out when players picked 1-1-1-1.
Biggest Carolina #Pick4 payout ever! 2,014 tickets matched 0️⃣-0️⃣-0️⃣-0️⃣ and players won over $7.8 million in today's drawing. Did you hit the quad? https://t.co/I4ZJAeM98C pic.twitter.com/IlsMH18bzH— NC Education Lottery (@nclottery) June 22, 2019
For Stephen Carter, picking 0-0-0-0 was the luck of a single moment.
"I've never played 0-0-0-0 before," said Carter. "My wife Veronica is the lucky one, she's always picking lucky numbers, and she picked these."
Carter played 0-0-0-0 on a 50 cent ticket and won $2,500.
"We've got a family reunion coming up," said Carter. "We're excited to show off our big check there!"
The lottery said the odds of correctly matching all four numbers in a Pick 4 drawing stand at 1 in 10,000.
Prizes for the drawing can be claimed at one of the six lottery's regional offices during regular business hours (weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m). Players must bring a Photo ID and proof of their Social Security number to complete their claims. Prizes can also be claimed by mail.
The lottery warned players to expect extended wait times to get their money because of the massive number of winners.
"Due to the large number of winners, players should expect extended waiting times to complete their claims if they choose to visit a regional office on Monday and Tuesday," Saturday's news release said.
Players have six months to claim their prize.
The lottery's regional offices are at:
- 2728 Capital Blvd. in Raleigh.
- 16-G Regent Park Blvd. in Asheville.
- 5029-A W. W.T. Harris Blvd. in Charlotte.
- 20A Oak Branch Drive in Greensboro.
- 2790 Dickinson Ave., Suite A in Greenville.
- 123 N. Cardinal Ext. Drive, Suite 140 in Wilmington.
Drawings in the Carolina Pick 4 game are held twice a day, at 3 p.m. and at 11:22 p.m. Players can either pick their own numbers or select a Quick Pick by allowing the lottery terminal to generate a set of four numbers for them.
WTG NC players. Will have to see what their liability limit is (state); if they don't have one they'll definitely institute one to prevent this from benefiting the players.
Congratulations to the North Carolina Education Lottery! They must love all this publicity.
Definitely a Lucky day for the players as well.
I seriously doubt they are going to say "sorry, you're payout is less because of our liability limit".
If they have a liability limit, it would be in the form of cutting off sales of a particular number before the draw.
In Texas, there are no payout limits or liability limits when quads are drawn.
Lotteries know that on the rare occasion when a quad is drawn they are going to lose money, but.....they also know they are going to make money on every other draw to make up for the rare quad that is drawn. Lotteries do like people to win, it's great publicity.
Unlike other states, their liability rule does not specify an amount that would be their cut-off amount. It says it is predetermined and can be adjusted accordingly. In any case glad they didn't short change the players!
The lotteries typically don't need to adjust payouts in Pick 3 and Pick 4 because they have already managed the liability by limiting the number of tickets available for sale for each combination.
Typically a Quad is drawn once in one thousand drawings:
With some of the negative posts folks from NC have put out there was afraid 'they' would say, oh, we've got to cut it off, too many winners. So maybe things aren't so bad there?
"they'll definitely institute one to prevent this from benefiting the players."
There's not much reason to do that, because it all works out in the long run. The reason that quads have unusually large payouts is that a disproportionately high number of people play them. The corollary is that fewer people play the other numbers, so those payouts are lower. When a quad is drawn a lot more than 1 of every 10,000 tickets win, and for the other 9,990 of every 10,000 drawings less than 1 of every 10,000 tickets wins. In the long run probability works the way it should and the overall payout is pretty close to 1 of every 10,000 tickets.
The only benefit to having a cap is that it makes the revenue stream a bit more uniform. The occasional high payouts would be reduced, but the profit on all the other days would go down. Players who don't get to play the quads would either play other numbers or not play at all. With the former the income remains the same while the payouts go up, and with the latter the income goes down while the payouts remain the same.
See, I told you all it’s way too easy to win lotteries in North Carolina!
When did you specifically tell us that prior to winning, winning the lottery in N.C. was easy? I am calling your bluff jj!
Lots of players play straight/box so I'm wondering how many of the NC players bet $2 or more on the quad. The NC Lottery does have prize liability and it's obviously at least $8 million.
Limitations of prize liability. If the total prize liabilities for any number in combination of all types of Plays exceed a pre-determined limit, as established by the NCEL, then no further wagers on that number shall be accepted for that drawing. Such liability limit may be modified, from time to time, at the sole discretion of the NCEL.
Very closely worded about liability to KY lottery's and we're a much older lottery. Still neither one stipulates the actual amount, so since it happens so infrequently with quads maybe they just don't bother.
Cashball 225 OTOH here is capped out a million dollars.
The NC Education Lottery said that picking four of the same number in the game is known to players as choosing "Quads", and is apopular practice. In 2012 $7.5 million had to be paid out when players picked 1-1-1-1.
The NC Education Lottery sure know/observe their customers well, it seems..
From the KY Lottery FAQ: Pick 3 and Pick 4 offer set prize payouts. Therefore, for each drawing, the Lottery has established a $1.5 million liability limit for Pick 3 for any particular three-digit number, and a $1.5 million liability limit for Pick 4 for any particular four-digit number.