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Powerball Could be Heading to Mississippi After Historic Bill Is Passed

Powerball Could be Heading to Mississippi After Historic Bill Is Passed

Powerball could soon be offered in Mississippi after a bill was passed by the House of Representatives to introduce a state lottery. Governor Phil Bryant described it is a ‘historic day’ after pushing hard for lawmakers to back his decision, and early reports suggest the state lottery could be up and running within a year.

The Mississippi Lottery Story So Far

Mississippi is one of only six states in the U.S. not to have its own state lottery, along with Alabama, Utah, Nevada, Hawaii and Alaska. A lot of the opposition to a lottery has stemmed from politically powerful religious groups, who have insisted that gambling is not the answer to economic problems in one of the poorest states in the country.

Residents of the Magnolia State have previously had to cross the border to play games such as Powerball elsewhere, and Bryant has been calling for a lottery for some time. It has long been his view that a lottery would help to fund vital building work on state roads, as well as supporting other good causes such as education.

Governor Bryant ordered a special session this week to discuss the condition of Mississippi’s bridges and highways, and one of the items on the agenda for was a vote on the lottery. The bill passed the Senate on Monday night but it was initially opposed in the House of Representatives by a 60-54 margin. Another vote was requested and was successful in changing the minds of enough lawmakers so that the final outcome was 58-54 in favour of a lottery. Delighted with the result, the Governor took to social media to say: “Mississippi lawmakers rose to the occasion.”

What Happens Now?

The bill now goes to the Governor for it to be signed into law, and a state lottery could be in place within 12 months. It will be up to the operator to decide on the products they want to offer, but most states run a combination of their own lotteries and multi-state games.

Powerball is currently available in every state which has its own lottery and it seems almost certain that it will be one of the games that Mississippi will provide once everything has been set up. Wyoming was the most recent state to launch its own lottery. This was established in 2013, and players in the state started playing Powerball in August 2014.

Supporters of a lottery in Mississippi have suggested that around $40 million could be generated for the state in its first year of operation, followed by $80 million in subsequent years. The extra players will also be good for the game, with ticket sales helping the jackpot to grow even more quickly.

Page Last Updated: 8/29/2018 3:31:07 PM