Lottery commission gets progress update

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JACKSON, Miss. (WTOK) - We're more than 100 days away from the first lottery tickets being sold in Mississippi.

The Mississippi Lottery Corporation is preparing for a launch Dec. 1. Its board met Tuesday and got an update on retailer applications.

Retailer applications were made available starting August 2. The state has received eight so far but has commitments from at least 386 stores that are planning to apply to sell lottery tickets.

All of those are chain stores, many of which have experience selling tickets in other states.

"For comparison sakes, the state of Arkansas has 1900 retailers currently," said Gerard Gibert, vice-chairman of the Mississippi Lottery Commission. "We think we'll approach somewhere between 1500 and a couple of thousand before it's all over with."

The first part of the lottery to go live will be scratch-off tickets by Dec. 1.

Gibert says the target is to have at least 500 retailers ready to go by then. And MLC hopes to generate at least $125 million in the first year and a couple of hundred million by the second year.