TIPPAH COUNTY • Lottery sales are off to a good start in Mississippi and Tippah County is no exception.

Roughly 1,200 convenience stores and other sites across the state began selling tickets on Monday, Nov. 25.

According to Meg Annison, Communications Director of the Mississippi Lottery Corporation, Tippah County had a little over $18,000 in ticket sales on day one. Total sales for the first week in were $67,200 in the county.

Mississippi Lottery is selling only scratch-off tickets now, but on Jan. 30, lottery ticket sellers will be able to buy Powerball and Mega Millions multi-state tickets. For now, customers will have four scratch-off tickets from which to choose: A $5, two $2 options and a $1 option.

Retailers selling the tickets get six percent of sales, and if someone hits a large jackpot.

For decades, Mississippi was one of only six states without a lottery. People in Tippah County often drove across the state line to  Tennessee to buy tickets.

In 2018, lawmakers authorized a lottery as a way to finance road maintenance and infrastructure needs. At the time, the state had been forced to close hundreds of unsafe bridges. For the first 10 years, the first $80 million a year from lottery revenue will go to infrastructure needs. After the $80 million benchmark is hit, the rest goes to education. After the 10-year period is over, the first $80 million will go to the state’s general fund, with the remainder continuing to go toward education.

Dennis Seid contributed to this article.

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