Scratch-off lottery tickets are officially on sale in Mississippi.
A celebration was held at an H and R Raceway in Jackson this morning, where Rep. Alyce G. Clarke, a longtime proponent of the lottery, made a ceremonial purchase of the first lottery ticket in Mississippi.
With more than 1,200 approved retailers on board, the system activated at 5 a.m. and four scratch-off lottery tickets are now available.
“I am extremely proud of MLC President Tom Shaheen and his staff at the lottery,” said Dr. Mike McGrevey, chairman of the MLC Board. “In a short period of time, he and his team have created something truly amazing. I have watched them meticulously work through hundreds of action items.
“They created the organization from the ground up in less than six months,” he continued. “This is not only a monumental day for the MLC, but it is also an incredible day for Mississippi. Legislative members determined net proceeds from the lottery will go toward infrastructure and education needs, which are both extremely important to Mississippians.”
Retailers range from traditional convenience stores, convenience stores with gas, grocery stores, tobacco stores, casinos and even barber shops. Approved retailers have successfully submitted applications, cleared background and credit checks, attended retailer training and received lottery equipment. From start to finish, the approval process on average takes approximately 30 days.
“Today would not have been possible without our retailers,” said MLC President Tom Shaheen. “Some are so excited they are hosting their own giveaways and promotions. In the coming weeks, the retailer base will continue to grow as we continue to process applications, as well as receive new applications.”
While scratch-off tickets are now available, Powerball and Mega Millions tickets won’t go on sale until January 30, 2020.
The lottery was created during the 2018 special session of the Mississippi Legislature along with the passage of the ‘Mississippi Infrastructure Modernization Act’ as a stream of revenue. The first $80 million of net lottery annual proceeds will go toward infrastructure needs around the state. After a 10-year period, lottery proceed collections up to $80 million will go into the state’s general fund. Any net proceeds over $80 million will be sent to the Education Enhancement Fund, which helps fund pre-k and the classroom supply fund.