The announcement was made ahead of Wednesday’s drawing. For the first time, viewers who tuned in to 12 News were able to watch the Powerball numbers being selected at 21:59 CDT to find out if they had won.
As part of the official partnership for Central Mississippi, WHLT will also show the Powerball drawings live for Hattiesburg. Both stations will also carry the results for Mega Millions – which is drawn on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Speaking about the new deal, Jeffrey Guy, the vice president and general manager of WJTV, said: “WJTV in Jackson and WHLT in Hattiesburg are excited to be The Mississippi Lottery’s broadcast home. The 12 News Team and I have always been focused on providing positive and informative messages bringing happiness and hope to our viewers. In the midst of these extraordinary times, we feel there couldn’t have been a better time to form this partnership.”
MLC President Tom Shaheen also praised WJTV and its affiliates as fitting stations to air Powerball drawings in Central Mississippi. Similar deals are already in place in South Mississippi, with WXXV, and in the Golden Triangle, with WCBI.
The Mississippi Lottery launched in November 2019, with scratch-off games initially on sale. Tickets for Powerball and Mega Millions became available from January 30th 2020.
Games have proved immensely popular, despite the coronavirus pandemic which has forced the MLC to establish new safety precautions. More than $60 million has already been transferred to the state to help Mississippi’s roads, bridges and education.
There have also been a number of big wins in the Magnolia State, including the Mega Millions player who won $2 million last month. The Mega Millions jackpot is currently worth $83 million, while Powerball stands at $79 million.