October 28, 2020

Mississippi hits jackpot as state lottery ticket sales exceed expectations

Sales of Mississippi lottery tickets are surpassing estimates, with proceeds averaging about $10 million or more a week statewide.

Since the budget year started July 1, the lottery has brought in $18.3 million for the state, after money taken out to pay out winnings and other expenses, the Sun Herald reported.

Mississippi began selling lottery tickets Nov. 25 and Powerball and Mega Millions national lottery games Jan. 30.

From November through June, Mississippi Lottery Corporation transferred $70.7 million in net proceeds to the state treasury, even with the coronavirus shutdown reducing sales by 10% to 13% in the early weeks. Some of the net proceeds in the beginning months were used to repay the loan taken to set up the Mississippi Lottery Corporation.

Under Mississippi law, the lottery helps raise money for the infrastructure and education systems.

The first $80 million after expenses and paying winnings per fiscal year goes to the State Highway Fund to build and maintain roads and bridges through June 2028. Anything over $80 million in net proceeds is deposited into the Education Enhancement Fund for classroom supplies and other uses. Other sources bring in larger amounts of money for highways and schools.