MS Sen. Philip Moran, of Kiln, on Thursday officially kicks off the sale of Powerball and Mega Millions tickets in Mississippi at Keith's Superstore at the harbor in Pass Christian.

This past Thursday was Mississippi’s lucky day, according to state Sen. Philip Moran, who purchased Mississippi’s first Powerball and Mega Millions tickets early that morning at Keith’s Superstore in Pass Christian.

“And today it begins,” Moran said Thursday. “You can buy the Powerball and the Mega Millions all over the great state of Mississippi. We’re looking forward to many years of folks being able to buy their Powerball tickets here, Mega Millions, without having to go across state lines like we’ve all done for so many times.”

According to the bill which the legislature passed last year and then-Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law, lottery proceeds will initially go toward infrastructure, up to $80 million annually for the first 10 years. Anything over $80 million will go into the Education Enhancement Fund, which is used for public education.

“I’m so proud to have sponsored this legislation,” Moran said, and “I’m so proud of the great state of Mississippi and the people of Mississippi.”

The state lottery commission began selling scratch-off tickets last November, but the sales of Powerball and Mega Millions tickets didn’t begin until Thursday. The scratch-off tickets have generated an average of $10 million a week for the state, lottery officials said.

Moran said that not only would the state’s lottery sales make it easier for residents to buy their tickets, it would keep the money in the state and benefit local retailers.

Mississippi was the 45th state in the U.S. to legalize the sale of lottery tickets. Only Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah now still prohibit them.

For more on the Mississippi Lottery, go to www.mslotteryhome.com.

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