Batesville tops in area for lottery sales

Published 4:29 pm Thursday, January 23, 2020

By Jeremy Weldon

More lottery tickets were sold in Batesville and Panola County during the first month the scratch-offs were available than in any neighboring county. A lot more.

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Figures released by the Mississippi Lottery Corporation show that total sales were $705,000 in the 15 locations where lottery tickets are sold in Panola County for the period of Nov. 25 to Dec. 31, 2019.

The average per day spent on lottery tickets in Panola County for the time period was $19,583.33, a remarkable for a county with fewer than 34,000 residents.

Meg Annison, director of communications for the Mississippi Lottery, said total sales in Mississippi the first 36 days were more than $54 million with more than $28 million paid in prize and validations.

How much prize money was paid in individual counties was not available.

Figures from neighboring counties show that tickets were sold here at a much higher rate. Lafayette County has 14 retailers and reported sales of $429,600, Tate County has eight retailers and sales of $291,000, and Quitman County’s two ticket retailers sold $71,700 worth.

Tallahatchie County had sales of $247,500, Yalobusha County had sales of $295,500, and Grenada County reported sales of $719,400. Leflore County (Greenwood) sold $1,045,200 worth of tickets.

Batesville’s location on I-55, and Grenada’s also, likely accounts for some of the extra sales because of the added interstate traffic, although that theory doesn’t explain how Panola County had almost three times the sales of Tate, with its county seat of Senatobia also located on the interstate.

Also surprising to some local observers is that citizens of Batesville and other communities of Panola, had disposable income of nearly three quarters of a million dollars for games of chance during the Christmas shopping season.

The Panolian will update lottery sales numbers periodically. Only scratch-off tickets are sold now in the state, but Jan. 30 will mark the day that Mississippians can purchase tickets in the national Powerball and Mega Millions games.

“Mississippians will no longer have to cross into neighboring states to participate in these drawing-style games,” said Tom Shaheen, president of the Mississippi Lottery Corporation (MLC). “They will soon have the opportunity for a chance to play big jackpot games four times per week, as well as many secondary prizes.”

Accepted into the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) in August, the MLC will be the newest lottery member to sell Powerball  and Mega Millions once sales commence Jan. 30.

Drawings for both games occur twice per week and have had jackpots reaching more than $1 billion. Powerball® drawings occur on Wednesdays and Saturdays, while Mega Millions drawings take place on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The first $80 million of net lottery annual proceeds will go toward infrastructure needs around the state. After that 10-year period, lottery proceed collections up to $80 million will go into the state’s general fund.

Any net proceeds over $80 million will be sent to the Education Enhancement Fund, which helps fund pre-k and the classroom supply fund.

The Multi-State Lottery Association is a non-profit, government benefit, voluntary association that is entirely owned and operated by its member lotteries. Each MUSL member lottery offers one or more multi-jurisdictional lottery games administered with the assistance of MUSL.

All profits are retained by the individual lotteries and are used to fund projects or purposes approved by their authorizing legislatures.