Powerball and Mega Millions Launch in Mississippi in January

Wednesday December 4th 2019

Mississippians will be able to play Powerball and Mega Millions in the state for the first time on January 30th, 2020. The Mississippi Lottery began selling its first-ever tickets for four scratch-off games on November 25th. 

In August, the state paved the way to offer Powerball and Mega Millions when it became a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the games.

“Mississippians will no longer have to cross into neighboring states to participate in these drawing-style games,” said Tom Shaheen, president of the Mississippi Lottery Corporation. “They will soon have the opportunity for a chance to play big jackpot games four times per week, as well as many secondary prizes.”

Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots start at $40 million and sometimes climb above $1 billion. The games are each drawn twice a week:

  • Powerball drawings: Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59pm ET in Tallahassee, Florida.
  • Mega Millions drawings: Tuesdays and Fridays at 10:59pm ET in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Mississippi Lottery has already gotten off to a great start after tickets went on sale at 5:00am CT on November 25th at almost 1,200 retailers spread over 80 of the state's 82 counties. Sales from four scratch-off games generated over $2.5 million on the first day alone.

Approximately $570,000 of that revenue will be allocated to the State Highway Fund to maintain the state's roads and bridges. State infrastructure will continue to receive up to $80 million in lottery funding every year, with any additional money going towards education.

“We believe Mississippi has more than exceeded expectations,” said Tom Shaheen. “We knew Mississippians were ready to play the lottery. We did not foresee the level of their excitement! Next, onto Powerball and Mega Millions!”

State residents aren't just buying tickets; there have already been several big wins. The first was 65-year-old David Bond, of Wiggins. He purchased five tickets before a deer hunting trip on Monday, November 25th, the first day scratch-offs went on sale. “I went to town for supplies at the Jr Food Mart in Wiggins and bought five tickets, all Triple 7s. Then, I went hunting," he explained.

When Bond came home from hunting, he got a cup of coffee and started to scratch the $2 tickets. “I knew I won. I went back to the store and let the clerk run it through the machine. The first thing she told me was that I needed to sign the back of this ticket and go to Jackson,” he recalled.

Then he broke the big news to his wife. “I called my wife and told her I won $2,000. She got so excited. I cannot believe this happened. It’s not the biggest win to hit; but, I think it’s cool to be the first one.”

Bond didn't have any luck on his hunting trip, but he laughed and said he’d bagged a 2,000-pound buck with his winning ticket.

The latest big winner was announced on Tuesday, December 3rd, when the Mississippi Lottery revealed that a player who wanted to remain anonymous had scored a prize of $15,000.

With the launch of Powerball and Mega Millions in January, plus Lotto America, Cash 4 Life, and a three-, four-, and five-digit game in the first quarter of 2020, there's sure to be lots more lottery excitement for Mississippians in the New Year.

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