Lottery tickets sold in Mississippi for 1st time in state's history

Residents lined up to purchase scratch-off tickets on Monday morning.

Mississippi residents lined up on Monday to buy lottery tickets for the first time in the state's history.

However, only scratch-off tickets were for sale, while jackpots such as the Powerball and Mega Millions games will be available starting Jan. 30, according to the Mississippi Lottery website.

Legislation allowing lottery games in Mississippi was passed in 2018. Winners can choose to remain anonymous as long as they provide a valid form of identification when claiming their winnings.

The decision faced strong opposition from churches that wield political power, The Associated Press reported.

Lottery tickets were available in about 1,200 convenience stores on Monday, according to AP.

The first $80 million in proceeds the lottery generates every year will go to state infrastructure, and any revenue after that will go to state education, according to the Mississippi Lottery website.

The state had generated $300,000 in ticket sales in the first two hours after the scratch-offs became available, AP reported.

Unlike other states, which sell lottery tickets as cash-only purchases, Mississippi allows people to use a credit or debit card without an additional fee, ABC Jackson, Mississippi, affiliate WAPT reported.

Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah are the five remaining states without lotteries.