For the First Time, This State Sells Lottery Tickets

With Mississippi going into the lottery business, now only five states don't play
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2019 5:00 PM CST
For the First Time, This State Sells Lottery Tickets
A customer points to the scratch-off ticket she wants to purchase from at a Jackson convenience store on Monday, the first day of play in Mississippi.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi residents had their first chance Monday to turn $5 into $100,000 legally. Convenience stores in the state began selling lottery tickets, ABC reports, under a law passed last year. Business was booming. A gas station manager said employees came in about 4am to prepare and sold the first ticket just before 6. "It's been wild, crazy, exciting, and I got a headache!" the manager said. By 7, the state had taken in $300,000 from scratch-off tickets, per WTOK.

More games will be in play soon, but for now, the state offers four scratch-off games. Powerball and Mega Millions will arrive in late January, per Newsweek. The first $80 million the state makes will go to improving roads and bridges, and anything on top of that will be earmarked for education. Players have to be 21 or older. Mississippi's debut leaves five states without lotteries: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. (More lottery stories.)

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