Mississippi customers hoping to win some cash got in line for scratch-off lottery tickets Monday, which went on sale at 5 a.m.
The first four scratch-off games, available at approximately 1,200 retailers statewide, range in price from $1 to $5.
David Haggard, who owns a Sunoco off the Toomsuba exit of I-20, said he sold 68 tickets in the first hour.
His Shell gas station near the Hampton Inn in Meridian sold close to 80 tickets between approximately 8:40 and 9:00 a.m., on top of earlier ticket sales.
“They’re definitely excited,” he said.
Broderick McNeal of Meridian started off with 20 tickets and won $2 plus a few extra tickets, he said.
McNeal said Mississippi should have carried the lottery a long time ago.
Five states have not authorized a lottery: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Utah and Nevada.
Customers ages 21 and older can purchase tickets at participating locations, including gas stations, convenience stores, grocery stores, tobacco and beer shops, according to Meg Annison, the director of communications for the Mississippi Lottery Corporation.
Bobby Patel, who owns a Citgo off Highway 39, said he had sold approximately 200 scratch-offs by 9:30 a.m.
“So far, doing good,” he said. “Right now, they’re doing the $1 and $2 ticket. Some customers are getting $5,” he said.
Patel said one of his customers won $40.
Beginning Jan. 30, Powerball and MegaMillions tickets will be available for purchase in Mississippi.
“This is going to change the Mississippi infrastructure and school education system,” Patel said.
First-day sales surpassed $2.5 million translating into an anticipated return of $570,000 for the state, the Mississippi Lottery Commission said on Tuesday.