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Mississippi Lottery Start Date: Where to Buy Lottery Tickets and Scratch-Off Games in Mississippi?

Mississippi residents will soon be able to purchase tickets for the Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries, with the lottery becoming legal in the state on January 30, 2020. On November 25, 2019, the state of Mississippi introduced scratch-off tickets and announced that national lottery tickets would soon become available to purchase in-state.

Mississippi initially launched four kinds of scratch-offs, but now sell 12, with jackpots ranging from $2,000 to $200,000. Since launching in late November, the scratch-off sales have exceeded $80 million and players have claimed more than $44 million in prizes.

The Mississippi Lottery Corporation (MLC) announced on Wednesday, January 22, that it had transferred its first payment to the state. MLC transferred $7,621,232.37 in net proceeds to the Lottery Proceeds Fund in the Mississippi State Treasury.

Tom Shaheen, MLC President, said in a statement: “We are very pleased with these early results. Retailer and player support have been fantastic in our collective efforts to raise money for roads, bridges and education needs for the state of Mississippi.”

Shaheen added: “On January 7, the MLC introduced its first $10 game with a top prize of $200,000. Player interest has been extremely high. We look forward to our first $200,000 winning ticket being claimed.”

Where to buy lottery tickets in Mississippi? Mississippi Lottery Retailers

Since launching the lottery in November, retailers across Mississippi have registered to sell scratch-offs and lottery tickets. According to Shaheen, the MLC has more than 1,400 retailers and expects to have around 1,500 retailers by the time Mega Millions and Powerball tickets go on sale on January 30.

You can find your nearest licensed lottery retailer in Mississippi using the store locator. Tickets must be purchased at a retailer and cannot be bought online. Additionally, players must be 21 or older to purchase a ticket.

There will be a Mega Millions draw on Friday, January 31, and a Powerball draw on Saturday, February 1.

Prizes won with the Mississippi Scratch-Off Tickets

Major prizes have been won with the Mississippi scratch-off tickets since they went on sale in late November. As of January 18, two people have claimed $100,000 prizes, 18 people have claimed $20,000 prizes and one person has claimed a $15,000 prize. Six people have claimed $5,000 prizes, 11 people have claimed $3,000 prizes, one person has claimed a $2,500 prize and 63 people have claimed a $2,000 prize. Additionally, 730 people have claimed $500 prizes.

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Earlier this month, two Mississippi residents were arrested after trying to cash in a forged scratch-off ticket. Odis Latham, 47, and Russell Sparks, 48, tried to cash in a $100,000 ticket that had numbers glued on. The pair attached a piece of a second ticket to make it look as though they had won the grand prize.

Since when does Mississippi have a lottery?

Mississippi was one of six states that banned the lottery, joining Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah. The Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries are currently available in the other 44 states, plus Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Powerball lottery is available in Puerto Rico, too.

On August 31, 2018, Mississippi passed a law authorizing the lottery and established the MLC. The state previously objected to the lottery due to religious beliefs, which is also the reason why Alabama and Utah have banned the lottery.

Another reason why the state didn’t previously allow the lottery is due to its riverboat gambling and casino cruise industry. This is why Nevada doesn’t allow the lottery, as it could impact its gambling industry.

Mississippi launched scratch-off tickets in November and the state’s residents will soon get to play both Mega Millions and Powerball.

‘I will probably scream if I win’: Lottery tickets now on sale in Mississippi

Mississippi Lottery scratch-off tickets sales began today. A celebration was held at the RaceWay on Highway 18 in south Jackson. Mississippi Clarion Ledger

Escorted from a vehicle by an Elvis impersonator, a brass band playing music and surrounded by members of the Sweet Potato Queens, State Rep. Alyce Clarke purchased two scratch-off lottery tickets Monday morning.

She wasn’t the first lottery ticket buyer, but Clarke ceremonially kicked off the start of Mississippi’s lottery with lawmakers, state lottery officials and others at the Raceway gas station on Mississippi 18 West in Jackson.

Scratch-off lottery tickets went on sale Monday. Powerball and Mega Million lottery tickets go on sale in January.

Ricky Singh, owner of the Raceway gas station, said of the lottery: “I’m very excited. This is the best thing that could have happened to Mississippi.”

Clarke, D-Jackson, was a leading proponent of a state lottery and pushed for the state to create one for more than 20 years. The state’s lottery law is named in honor of Clarke.

“I’m proud Mississippi has a lottery,” Clarke said. “I’m proud the money will go to infrastructure and education.”

Clarke borrowed a couple dollars from a lottery official to buy her tickets.

Customers flooded into the Raceway early Monday to buy scratch-off lottery tickets.

Velma Myers of Yazoo was one of the many people at Raceway buying tickets.

“I want to win the first day,” Myers said.

And if she wins, Myers said “I will probably scream I guess.”

But Myers said the most important thing is that the lottery is a win for Mississippi.

State Rep. Michael Ted Evans, D-Preston, said he left home at 3 a.m. to attend the lottery ceremony at Raceway.

“I feel good about us passing this for Mississippi,” Evans said, after he purchased lottery tickets.

About 1,200 retailers across the state are selling lottery tickets. Retailers range from traditional convenience stores, convenience stores with gas, grocery stores, tobacco stores, casinos and even barber shops. Approved retailers successfully submitted applications, cleared background and credit checks, attended retailer training and received lottery equipment, lottery officials said.

From start to finish, the approval process on average for a retailer takes approximately 30 days.

Four types of scratch-off tickets are being sold initially. Purchasers must be 21 or older. The cost and type of tickets are:

  • $1: 3 Time Lucky
  • $2: Triple 777
  • $2: Happy Holidays Y’all
  • $5: $100,000 Jackpot

For the next decade, up to $80 million a year from lottery proceeds will help fund state roads and bridges or to match federal infrastructure money. Any revenue above $80 million would go to public education, the Education Enhancement Fund.

After decades of debate, lawmakers in a summer special session last year approved a state lottery. It’s expected to net the state about $40 million the first year, then $80 million to $100 million a year thereafter.

Retailers keep 6% of lottery ticket sales.

State Rep. Alyce G. Clarke, D-Jackson, purchased scratch-off lottery game sold on Monday, Nov.25, 2019 at the Raceway on Highway 18 in south Jackson. (Photo: Sarah Warnock, Clarion Ledger)

Mississippi's lottery is expected to net the state about $40 million the first year, then $80 million to $100 million a year thereafter. ]]>