MS lottery players fill state coffers, generating over $1 billion in sales

MS lottery players fill state coffers, generating over $1 billion in sales
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 8:54 PM CST
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FLOWOOD, Miss. (WLBT) - In November 2019, Mississippians no longer had to travel across state lines to play the lottery, starting with scratch off games.

Now players have kept that money in the state with each purchase. Every lottery ticket may not hit the jackpot, but the State of Mississippi is coming out a winner.

“It’s been received very well in the state. I think its success speaks for itself,” said Jeff Hewitt.

That success, according to the MS Lottery president, is over $1 billion dollars in lottery sales since gaming became legal in late 2019. Two-hundred-61-million dollars have been returned to the state of Mississippi.

Each fiscal year, the first $80 million dollars generated go to infrastructure. The amount above that goes to the Education Enhancement Fund.

“We’re very excited when we can hit that first $80 million and start watching that money go into the education fund,” said Hewitt. “So far this year through November, again we’ve not posted our December numbers yet, but we’ve returned $54 million dollars to the state, a little over.”

Net proceeds to the state in 2021 were over $137 million dollars. The best sellers are scratch offs.

Inside lottery headquarters winners arrive to claim their prizes, some from Alabama and Louisiana.

There are more than 1,800 retailers in the state, selling those chances that ultimately improve roads, bridges and education.

“You look at now mega millions jackpot is $325 million. You can really get caught up in the excitement of those big jackpots, but it’s very important for people to realize just to play responsibly. It only takes one ticket to win,” Hewitt added.

According to lottery officials, second chance promotions give scratch off players another opportunity to win even though they didn’t first have winning numbers. Although Mississippi has not had a jackpot winner, more than $285 million in prizes were awarded in 2021.

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