While the details of Mississippi's lotto game are yet to be announced, neighboring states already offer their own versions of Lotto, and Mississippi's is likely to be similar. In Louisiana, players must match six numbers from 40 to win a starting jackpot of $250,000. Arkansas’ ‘Natural State Jackpot’ game is another traditional draw lottery that requires players to match five numbers from 39. ‘Tennessee Cash’ works slightly differently in that it asks players to choose five numbers as well as an additional ‘Cash Ball’ number between 1 and 5 for the chance to win a jackpot that starts at $200,000.
Looking further afield, it becomes evident that most states offer some form of Lotto game (even if it doesn’t officially go by that name). Most offer a similar format in which players must choose five or six numbers from a pool that ranges from anywhere between 25 and 59 balls. Obviously, the more numbers there are to choose from, the longer the odds of winning. Seven of these games have a ‘Bonus’ or ‘Extra’ ball that needs to be hit to win the jackpot, further lengthening the odds.
The value of starting jackpots is tied closely to the odds and forecasted ticket sales. For example, ‘Lotto Texas’ offers the highest starting jackpot of any state Lotto game at $5 million, but it also has some of the longest odds of winning at over 1 in 25 million and some of the highest ticket sales in the US. At the opposite end of the scale, West Virginia’s ‘Cash 25’ game only offers a starting jackpot of $25,000, but the odds of winning it are significantly lower at 1 in 177,100.
More Details About Mississippi Lotto to Follow
Whatever format it takes – five or six numbers, bonus ball or not – Mississippi’s new Lotto is certain to be easy to play and will finally mean that residents of the state will no longer have to travel miles to play their favorite lottery games.
Originally governor Phil Bryant expected the new lotto game to be up and running by January 2019, but it looks like he will have been out by a full year with games set to go ahead from early 2020. Powerball and Mega Millions have been confirmed for January 30th 2020, so a state Lotto game should soon follow.
Details about the Mississippi Lottery and the bill that enabled it were released to the public after Gov. Bryant successfully stopped the Mississippi Lottery Corporation (MLC) from being exempt from the Public Records Act and Open Meetings Act. It took a while for the exemption to be tossed and after it eventually was, Gov. Bryant was commended for taking that stance and trying to improve transparency in the government.
We will bring you more information about Mississippi Lotto as it is announced, and we’ll have all the latest Lotto numbers right here once the game is up and running. For now, you can visit the Powerball and MegaMillions pages on this website to find out how you can play those popular multi-state games in Mississippi from January 30th.
$1 Million Sweet Spot
The marketability of a Lotto that can turn its players into millionaires is a draw for many lottery providers. Over half of the state lotteries that have their own Lotto game offer a starting jackpot of $1 million or more, with Texas leading the way at $5 million.
Time will tell if Mississippi will be able to follow suit. None of the state’s neighbors offer a jackpot worth a million in their own Lotto games, partly due to the popularity of multi-state games such as Mega Millions and Powerball. They also generate much less lottery revenue than other states: Louisiana was 30th in the list of top-grossing state lotteries in 2016, while Arkansas was 31st. Tennessee fared much better in 15th place.
These statistics depend in some part on the population of each state; it stands to reason that the more residents a state has, the bigger the market for lottery games. Tennessee is the 17th-biggest state in terms of population, while Arkansas is 29th and Louisiana is 25th, which ties in closely with their respective lottery revenues. Mississippi is the 31st-biggest state in terms of population, so it can be expected that its lottery revenues will be roughly on a par with Arkansas.
Some commentators originally speculated that a state-specific Lotto will be the only draw game available in the early days of the Mississippi State Lottery, so participation could be at its highest when it first launches. This doesn’t look likely to happen as it was announced that Powerball and MegaMillions tickets will go on sale on January 30th. The state branded Lotto game would then follow, and would likely market itself as having much better odds of winning than the multi-state draws.
The MLC has already successfully applied to join the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), the entity that facilitates the operation of Mega Millions and Powerball and owns all intellectual property relating to them. Now that Mississippi is a member of the MUSL, all that's left is to set up the infrastructure in the state to be able to offer these lotteries. That's a big task, one that requires the implemenation of complex computer systems, ticket design and distribution, retailer training, and a whole lot more. Scratch-offs are comparitively simple to implement, which is why they're the first tickets available in Mississippi.