New NC lottery game has cash and pizza prizes

Starting Tuesday, North Carolina lottery players may find that instead of cash, they’ve won a free pizza.

The N.C. Education Lottery has teamed up with Papa John’s for a new scratch-off game that is the first of its kind for a state lottery.

While the lottery has bought the rights to use product names and logos before, this time Papa John’s is a full partner in the game, providing $3 million in free food and discounts through bonus codes. Each $2 ticket will include a redeemable code for a free or discounted Papa John’s menu item, usable with online orders at North Carolina Papa John’s stores.

The Papa John’s scratch-off tickets will have cash prizes of up to $20,000. Players who don’t win can enter for a second-chance drawing in the lottery’s players’ club at Lucke-Zone.com, where prizes will include free pizza for a year for five winners and pizza parties for 15 winners.

Mike Smith, operations vice president for Papa John’s, proposed the game to the lottery because of their common sponsorship of Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“Papa John’s sponsors many of the same events as the lottery across North Carolina, like this week’s Bank of America 500 weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway,” Smith said. “We thought, ‘Why not work together on a game? This could be fun for everyone.’”

Alice Garland, the lottery’s executive director, agreed, because of the game’s novelty and appeal to a broader audience.

“Teaming up with Papa John’s on this ticket is part of our strategy to achieve our goal of $1.9 billion in sales this year,” Garland said.

This year, net lottery proceeds will be used for salaries of teachers and teacher assistants, for pre-kindergarten programs for at-risk 4-year-olds, school construction and repair, and need-based college scholarships and financial aid.

Since the lottery was started in 2006, it has raised more than $3.4 billion for the state.