Four Years In, Mississippi Lottery Surpasses $2 Billion In Sales

Written By J.R. Duren on January 23, 2024 - Last Updated on February 8, 2024
Customer Shows Off Mississippi Lottery Scratchers

The week of Thanksgiving 2019 brought Mississippi more than turkeys, family gatherings, and football. That week, the state launched the Mississippi Lottery.

Now, just over four years later, the lottery has surpassed $2 billion in gross ticket sales. Mississippi Lottery Corporation President Jeff Hewitt said in a Mississippi Lottery news statement:

“These four years have passed in a flurry of excitement and growth. Reaching the $2 billion mark is an incredible accomplishment, and we are excited about continuing our growth and success into Year 5.”

Perhaps no entity is more thrilled than the state’s Highway Fund, which has received more than $377 million in revenue as a result of lottery sales.

Mississippi roads and schools benefit from lottery sales

The Magnolia State’s lottery sales are divided up several ways, just like lotteries in other states. The biggest portion of the pot goes to pay out winning tickets, followed by contributions to the Highway Fund and Education Enhancement Fund (EEF). The smallest slice of the lottery cake goes toward administrative fees.

Specifically, the first $80 million in proceeds goes to the Highway Fund, which is used “to repair, renovate and maintain highways and bridges” state law says. Any extra proceeds above $80 million go to the EEF.

Since the MS lottery launched, the Highway Fund has received more than $377 million and the EEF’s received more than $142 million. In fiscal year 2023, the lottery sent $80 million to the Highway Fund, which was used to pay for 15 road improvement projects. The state’s EEF received $42,375,631.

The revenue generated for the state’s roads and schools and the lottery’s overall sales numbers were a collective effort, MLC Board of Directors Chairman Dr. Mike McGrevey said.

“Enthusiastic retailers, loyal players, dedicated Lottery employees, and knowledgeable vendors have all contributed to the success of the MLC,” McGrevey said. “Given the achievements so far and the plans for the future, I sincerely believe the Mississippi Lottery will continue to be a winner for Mississippi.”

$5 scratchers lead the way in Mississippi Lottery sales

The Mississippi Lottery sells two types of games: instant win (scratch-offs) and draw games (Mega Millions, Powerball, etc.).

The MLC’s fiscal year 2023 report revealed that $5 instant-win games account for the biggest chunk of sales, followed by $20 and $10 instant wins:

  • $5 scratchers: 18.9%
  • $20 scratchers: 18.3%
  • $10 scratchers: 13.4%
  • Powerball: 10.5%
  • Mega Millions: 8.8%

In total, scratch-off tickets account for more than half of all lottery sales by dollar.

Funding structure will change in five years

In 2028, the lottery will change how it divides up revenue generated from ticket sales.

Starting on July 1 of that year, all proceeds up to $80 million will go into the state’s General Fund. Anything above $80 million will go into the EEF.

Photo by Rogelio V. Solis / AP Photo
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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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