Pick 3 and Pick 4: How to Win in NC

By: Mike Sullivan
Pick 3 and Pick 4 Lottery Balls

Key Takeaways

  • Draw games like Pick 3 and Pick 4 have random results
  • Make sure to understand the Play Types before you play
  • Pick 3 and Pick 4 games have a bit of their own lingo

When playing Pick 3 and Pick 4 games, there’s no magic formula to winning. Draw games are random drawings. So, it’s just you and your favorite numbers, or a secret pin number, maybe a little astrology comes into play, or you go rogue, choose a Quick Pick and let the lottery terminal select the numbers for you. Whatever the case, how you pick your numbers is up to you the rest is up to the “Odds gods.” (We should trademark that.)

How to win Pick 3 in NC?

While the drawing is random and up to the Odds gods, there’s still an art to the way you can play with the odds to improve your chances of winning. Once you’ve selected your numbers or grabbed your Quick Pick, that’s when things get interesting. And it’s all in the types of play you choose. Pick 3 offers gamers 6 different Play Types:

EXACT:  Match the winning numbers in exact order to win.

(This one has the toughest odds, so it comes with the highest payout)

ANY ORDER:  Match the winning numbers in any order to win.                          

(This has better odds than Exact, so it comes with a lower payout)

50/50 (Exact + Any):  Combines Exact and Any Order plays so that you win either way the numbers are drawn.  If numbers match exactly, you win both prizes. 

(This Play Type combines Exact and Any Order plays, so you get the best odds of both worlds.)

COMBO: Pick three numbers and a Straight bet is placed on every possible three-digit combination of those numbers. 

(The ticket price is higher as more combinations are played.)

PAIRS: Match the first two numbers in exact order [front pair] or the last two numbers in exact order [back pair]. 

(Better odds/ lower payout)

Now that you’ve selected your Play Type there are still a couple of ways to improve your chances of winning:


You can also improve your odds of winning by adding Fireball as an option. Fireball fives you get an extra drawn number for more combinations to match and win. The Fireball number can replace any other Pick 3 or Pick 4 drawn number to allow for more chances to win.


If you like to play your numbers every day, this option makes sure you don’t miss out on your numbers coming in. With Multiple Drawings you can play your numbers for up to 7 consecutive drawing dates on the same ticket. Just tell the cashier at the time of your purchase or mark the Multi Play box on your selection slip.

How do you win Pick 4 NC?

You win at Pick 4 the same way you win at Pick 3 the only difference here is you get a fourth number to play with.

Lottery Lingo: What does a Box/Any Win mean?

There are all sorts of winning combinations with both Pick 3 and Pick 4 and each has its own nickname. When we say, “Box/Any Win”, we are referring to a type of winning combination. It simply means that the numbers you pick can be in any order to win a prize. This contrasts with a “Straight/Exact Win” where the numbers must be in the exact order as drawn.

Obviously, a Straight/Exact win is a little trickier to do so the lower odds are balanced off with a higher payout.

There you have it, your LOTTO EDGE. Two great games for Carolinians to play and lots of different ways to play them. When it comes to all thing’s lottery, we’ve got your back. So, keep on coming back.