JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - State Senator Philip Moran (R-Kiln) estimates Mississippi is missing out on $10 million to $15 million this week alone on lottery-ticket sales as people buy tickets in states that already have the lottery. With the Mega Millions jackpot swelling to over $800 million and the Powerball to over $400 million, ticket sales are brisk.
Moran authored the bill passed by the legislature in a special session in August that establishes a state lottery, but he says it will be a while before Mississippians can play the games of chance without crossing state lines. He’s hopeful that scratch-off games will be available by late spring or early summer 2019, and that Powerball and Mega Millions will be available here by the end of 2019.
Moran says several things must happen before all the games are up and running:
- Governor Phil Bryant appoints a five-member board to oversee the process
- Board hires an executive director
- Board contracts with an outside company to run the lottery system
- Company installs lottery equipment in business that wish to sell tickets.
Moran says the state must apply for membership in the Powerball and Mega Millions systems and that 44 other states are currently members. He says the companies will be watching as Mississippi sets us its lottery infrastructure in determining whether to admit the state as their newest member.