Mississippi debuts $20 lottery game with $100 million payout


They call it the $100 Million Extravaganza and this new game from Mississippi Lottery Corporation is available starting March 2 to players who want to pay the price.

This is the first $20 lottery ticket introduced in Mississippi, Meg Annison, communications director for the state lottery, said Tuesday during a Mississippi Coast Chamber of Commerce virtual event.

Why so much for a lottery ticket?

“It is filled with more than $100 million in cash prizes of all different levels,” said Tom Shaheen, president of Mississippi Lottery Corp. “In addition, this game offers lower odds and more ways to win,” he said.

Players have a chance to win up to 30 times on a ticket.

One ticket will pay $500,000 — the biggest top prize of any Mississippi instant scratch-off game to date. Thousands of prizes will pay between $50 and $500, and hundreds of prizes between $1,000 and $50,000.

These new scratch-off games are introduced the first Tuesday of the month at the 1,800 retailers around the state that sell lottery tickets.

“Players like change. Players like excitement,” Annison said.

Coast residents spent millions on lottery

Mississippi already has a nightly Cash 3 drawing and in the next few months will introduce a five digit game that she said is similar to Powerball and Mega Millions, but played in-state.

Coast residents and visitors have been playing the lottery in big numbers, Annison said, especially in January, when Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots neared or topped $1 billion.

Since the start of the state fiscal year on July 1 through mid-February, millions were spent on lottery tickets in South Mississippi counties:

  • Harrison — $22 million
  • Jackson — $20 million
  • Hancock — $3 million

Sales have been strongest in the counties with the highest populations, like Jackson, Harrison, Hines and Rankin, she said, and at stores along the Alabama border near Meridian.

Alabama is one of five states that doesn’t have a lottery, although legislators this session are considering adding one.

Lottery money helps fund bridges, highways

For years, residents of South Mississippi crossed the border to Louisiana to buy tickets when the jackpots were high. Scratch-off lottery tickets went on sale in Mississippi in November 2019, and MegaMillions and Powerball debuted in Mississippi a year ago on Jan. 30.

“We have had winners from all over the state,” Annison said.

The first big winner in Mississippi was a Gautier woman, who chose to remain anonymous after winning $2 million on Mega Millions. Her jackpot would have been $1 million, Annison said, but she paid the extra $1 for the Megaplier and doubled her jackpot.

Those who win up to $599 in the lottery redeem their tickets at any lottery retailer, she said. When the win is $600 or more, 3% state sales tax is deducted. Those who win $5,000 or more see the 3% state tax and a 24% federal tax taken out.

State bridges and highways are the big winners, she said, since the Mississippi Legislature targeted the first $80 million in proceeds to be used for repairing the infrastructure. Anything over that is directed to an education enhancement fund.

Sales were so good in January that the Lottery Corp. transferred $23 million, she said, bringing the seven-month total for the fiscal year to $75 million for transportation.

“With five months remaining in Fiscal Year 2021, we are on track to raise enough revenue for distribution to both groups,” Shaheen said.

Mary Perez is the business and casino reporter for the Sun Herald and also writes about Biloxi, jobs and the new restaurants and development coming to the Coast. She is a fourth-generation journalist.





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