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Mississippi Lottery could begin funding education by 2021

Sep 29, 2020, 2:01 pm

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Lottery posts promising results after less than one year in operation

By Kate Northrop

The Mississippi Lottery's first year in operation has been an eventful one, from selling its first-ever lottery ticket in November 2019 to battling sales dips caused by COVID-19 just four months later. Yet, it's currently traveling down the road to success, having transferred $70.7 million to the state treasury in less than one year in operation.

This could very well mean that the Lottery is set up to begin funding education by 2021.

After expenses and prize payouts, the first $80 million in proceeds is allocated to the State Highway Fund that builds and maintains roadways and bridges. Proceeds that go beyond $80 million are sent to the Education Enhancement Fund for classroom supplies, upkeep of facilities, and transportation. Since the Lottery is averaging lottery ticket sales of $10 million or more a week, it is very likely that it will exceed the $80 million threshold to contribute to education in the coming fiscal year.

"The lottery has been way more successful than we anticipated," Senator Joel Carter, R-Gulfport, said.

Since the 2020 fiscal year ended on July 1, all $70.7 million of the Lottery's proceeds funded roads and bridges. Considering the statewide shutdown due to COVID-19 that chopped sales by 10% to 13% toward the beginning of the pandemic in the U.S., procuring much-needed funds for education looks even more feasible.

At the start of the new fiscal year in July, the Lottery already transferred $10.1 million in net proceeds to the state and tacked on another $8.3 million in August.

"This is a great way to start the new fiscal year," Tom Shaheen, President of the Mississippi Lottery said. "In the coming months, we look forward to raising more revenue for Mississippi's roads, bridges, and education."

Some of the net proceeds will help repay the loan taken to organize and establish the Mississippi Lottery, but the pace at which the Lottery is generating sales revenue means that it could potentially surpass the $80 million infrastructure limit around March. The rest of the dollars earned through June would then go toward the state's education fund.

The Lottery releases new scratch-off lottery games on the first Tuesday of each month. Currently, there are 43 active scratch-off games in their portfolio, with the state's first daily draw game Cash 3 recently added on Sept. 1.

As the Lottery teases a daily-4 number game and daily-5 number game in the future, players can expect more options for playing the lottery. It's a win-win for players and education.

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4 comments. Last comment 21 days ago by Bleudog101.
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United States
Member #163184
January 22, 2015
2290 Posts

Alabama voters hope you're paying attention to this.   Hope that old battleax in charge goes with the voters and or legislators if the lottery ever comes up again.

    Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
    Chief Bottle Washer
    New Jersey
    United States
    Member #1
    May 31, 2000
    25887 Posts

    I Agree!


    Check the State Lottery Report Card
    What grade did your lottery earn?


    Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
    Help eliminate computerized drawings!

      Technut's avatar - moon
      3rd Rock from Sun
      United States
      Member #159098
      September 13, 2014
      173 Posts

      I Agree! no doubt the legislation needs to pay attention to voters and not casino lobby who want to keep lottery away.

      Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery, Today is a gift that's why it's called the PRESENT! (c8

        United States
        Member #163184
        January 22, 2015
        2290 Posts

        I Agree! no doubt the legislation needs to pay attention to voters and not casino lobby who want to keep lottery away.

        Had my dog not become diabetic and requires insulin BID, I would travel on the many free flights offered.  I had every intention of writing a physical letter to the Nevada Legislature about the chokehold casinos have against a Nevada lottery.   It is in their Constitution.

        Anyway, back to 'southern lotteries' in the Bible belt.   So Georgia offers Pick 3 and Pick 4 three times a day; TX does it four times/day, six days a week.   You can guess which day they don't play.   My point is if there wasn't such a demand for these games, the lottery wouldn't offer them.