Before any Lotto specifics can be decided upon, a corporation must be formed. Bryant said “I didn’t want this to be a government program. I wanted it to be something the private market is helping drive with the responsibility to the state government”.
This latest development provides a timeframe for Mississippians to look forward to before they can start playing a lottery in state. Should the Lotto be up and running by January, then it would be fair to expect multi-state games like Powerball and Mega Millions to follow shortly after, perhaps as early as March or April.
According to Governor Bryant, over $70million dollars a year was going out of state to neighbors Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas on Lotto sales. The announcement of the new lottery and its approval will go some way to bringing a portion of that $70million back to Mississippi, which can be spent on education and infrastructure improvements, whilst also providing a potentially huge payday for lucky players.
The news of a state lottery has also been welcomed by the Mississippi Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores Association (MPMCSA). The association represents 2,773 stores and a work force of roughly 45,000 employees, and it worked to endorse a Mississippi lottery ahead of its approval over the summer.
Stores were warned that money previously spent on usual grocery store items might be diverted to lottery ticket sales, of which the store will earn less money. That was countered by a National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) study which showed 95% of lottery customers bought an additional item with their ticket and that their average spend in store was $10.35, 65% higher than that of non-lottery customers.
With multi-state games like Powerball and Mega Millions potentially coming to Mississippi, stores could also expect a large bonus should they sell a jackpot-winning ticket. In many states the retailer which sells the winning ticket receives a commission of the jackpot, which varies by state. Some have the commission capped at a certain level, some as low as $10,000, whilst others offer a percentage of the jackpot payout, up to 1%. It’s not uncommon for the Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot to reach $100million easily, which could see a store earn up to $1million just for selling a lottery ticket.