$2.5 million in sales on first day of Mississippi lottery

JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Lottery Corporation says people bought a total of $2.5 million in lottery tickets on the first day of sales.

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In a news release, lottery officials said that translates into $570,000 for the state.

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Tickets went on sale at 5 a.m. Monday. The tickets are available at nearly 1,200 retailers in 80 of the state’s 82 counties.

Rep. Alyce Clarke, D-Jackson (right), flanked by Mississippi Lottery Corporation president Thomas Shaheen, purchases the state's first "ceremonial" scratch-off ticket. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

The lottery’s president, Tom Shaheen, says the state has exceeded expectations.

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For decades, the state resisted a lottery. But in 2018, lawmakers authorized it as a way to pay for road maintenance and infrastructure needs.

For 10 years, the first $80 million goes to infrastructure needs and when the 10 years is over, that money goes to the general fund. Anything over $80 million goes to education.