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Mississippi now has the lottery - that's not good news along La.'s state line

1 year 11 months 1 week ago Tuesday, August 28 2018 Aug 28, 2018 August 28, 2018 2:50 PM August 28, 2018 in News
Source: WBRZ, Associated Press

ST. FRANCISVILLE – Long lines of people hoping to get lucky at truck stops near the state line might be a thing of the past after the Mississippi legislature passed a law to create a state lottery – the first there.

For decades, people flocked into Louisiana and stopped at the first store lottery tickets were sold. Lines built up around historic drawings. It was not unusual for people to stop at Fred’s truck stop on US 61 just south of the Mississippi state line – their last place to buy a chance at a dream before driving back into the Magnolia State.

That changed Tuesday and the state’s governor plans to sign the bill.

“This is a historic day in Mississippi,” Gov. Phil Bryant said on Twitter. “Mississippi lawmakers rose to the occasion.”

Supporters estimate a lottery could generate tens of millions of dollars for the state annually, money Bryant wants to use to help pay for repairs to crumbling highways and bridges.

Bryant has said the state’s losing millions to Louisiana or the other bordering states with a lottery - Arkansas and Tennessee.

On any given day, Fred’s in Louisiana is busy with commuters from across the state line looking for a winning ticket.

“I … bought about eight already… [I’m stopping] here before going to Natchez,” a driver told WBRZ recently in a story about the people flocking to Louisiana for record Powerball and Megamillions jackpots.

Mississippi was one of six states without a lottery.

Supporters said it would take about a year to get a lottery up and running.

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Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

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