As the Mississippi lottery looms, local vendors are arming themselves with lotto kiosks and nerves of steel.
The Mississippi Lottery Corporation announced last month that scratch-off tickets will go on sale at participating retailers Monday and that large-prize games will begin early next year. Vendors applied to participate earlier this year, with at least 20 Laurel businesses having been approved by the corporation, according to the Mississippi Lottery Corporation website.
Gas and service stations are the main vendors, and some have even erected displays early. Managers and franchisees are saying the same thing: Everyone is excited. The freshly cleaned linoleum floors are not, however.
“There’s going to be a lot of foot traffic, but we’ll be OK,” said Heather Murry, manager of the Exxon station at Interstate 59 and Highway 15.
Murry said customers and employees have been asking about the scratch-off tickets.
“I’m a little excited, a little not,” she said. “We’re going to have all types, like truck drivers and everything else. We’re just going to see how it is.”
Cherish Williams, manager of Circle-K on Chantilly Street, made similar statements and noted her employees have particularly been excited.
“We’ll probably be busy Monday, but I’ll be off that day,” she laughed. “They got the whole (kiosk) set up over there three weeks ago, and a lot of people have been asking about it. I’ll probably buy one.”
The Mississippi Lottery Corporation formed in 2018 during the Mississippi Legislature and is a legislatively-created corporation. Gov. Phil Bryant appointed its board members. The first $80 million in earnings, the MLC said, will go into the state’s infrastructure. The second $80 million will be invested in education.
On mslotteryhome.com, as of Nov. 14, there are currently more than 1,000 registered vendors in the state who will carry scratch-off tickets starting Monday.
Basic requirements for business applications include the applicant being older than 21, having no plans to sell the tickets exclusively, paying all state taxes and willing to submit to a background check. With a 6 percent sales commission, vendors must pay out all winnings under $600 themselves. The Mississippi Lottery Corporation will pay anything greater.
A LIST OF REGISTERED LOTTERY VENDORS IN LAUREL AS OF NOV. 14:
Alliance Energy, 3648 Highway 15 N.
Big B, 608 Chantilly St.
Blue’s, 1725 Susie B Ruffin Ave.
Circle-K, 905 Chantilly St.
Clark Oil Co., 1304 Chantilly St.
Clark Oil Co., 708 Chantilly St.
Clark Oil Co., 3200 Audubon Dr.
Clark Oil Co., 3705 Highway 15 N.
Clark Oil Co., 2831 Highway 84 W.
Clark Oil Co., 320 South 16th Ave.
Clark Oil Co., 2515 Ellisville Blvd.
Clark Oil Co., 2521 Ellisville Blvd.
Dandy Dan’s, 2006 Highway 15 N.
George’s Discount Tobacco, 309 N. 16th Ave.
Murphy Oil U.S.A., 1598 Highway 15 N.
Quick Save, 868 S. 16th Ave.
Ramco Minit Mart, 460 Highway 15 S.
Rapad Express, 205 S. 16th Ave.
Shady Grove Chevron, 4525 Highway 15