Mississippians are winning thousands of dollars through scratch-off lottery tickets. MPB's Kobee Vance reports on how the lottery has done as it nears the end of its first month in play.
The lottery in Mississippi began last month, and after several weeks there have already been some big winners in the state. The President of the Mississippi Lottery Corporation, Tod Shaheen, says they are launching four more scratch-off tickets to expand the lottery options. He says there have already been winners of several thousand dollars, with the largest win so far; $100,000.
"The calls we do get on the phone from players, you know sometimes how to play the games. Every one of them was very excited. And each time we talked with them, we asked them how they like the games and they all say they are very excited about them. So I think it's been very well received here."
The Mississippi Lottery Corporation does want to remind ticket buyers to play responsibly. A compulsive gambler can impact the lives of 15 friends, family members and business associates, according to Betty Greer, Executive Director of The Mississippi Council on Problem and Compulsive Gambling. She says while the lottery generally isn't the largest gambling-related concern, they still want to serve as a resource for anyone struggling with addiction.
"Anybody can be a compulsive gambler or have a gambling problem. However, some of the high-risk groups are the military, attorneys, bankers or accountants, the elderly, and adolescents."
You can find the gambling addiction hotline phone number on the bottom of every lottery ticket.
Lottery officials say revenue from ticket sales for the first thirteen days was $17,000,000. From the first week, an estimated $1,900,000 will go towards state roads and bridges.