Lottery tickets on sale for 1st time in Mississippi

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi neighbors don’t have to leave the state to buy lottery tickets anymore.

Tickets are now on sale. The tickets will be available in roughly 1,200 convenience stores and other sites.

For decades, Mississippi was one of only six states without a lottery. There was strong opposition from politically powerful churches.

But the state’s lack of money for road maintenance changed that.

In 2018, lawmakers authorized a lottery as the state was forced to close hundreds of unsafe bridges. The first $80 million a year from lottery revenue will go to highways, then the rest goes to education.

Democratic state Rep. Alyce Clarke of Jackson will buy the ceremonial first ticket Monday morning at a convenience store in south Jackson.

She’s advocated for a lottery for years.

Governor Phil Bryant tweeted about the lottery kicking off in Mississippi.

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