Mississippi residents buy lottery tickets in Tennessee - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mississippi residents buy lottery tickets in Tennessee for chance at jackpot

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(WMC-TV) - Many Mid-Southerners hope to soon be millionaires with the $540 million Mega Millions jackpot, but Mississippi has no lottery.

North Mississippi residents looking to buy lottery tickets were forced to drive to Memphis.  Many said they wish that was not necessary.

Many gas stations along the Tennessee - Mississippi state line have been busy with people hoping to buy the winning ticket.  The fact that Mississippi does not have a lottery is not going to keep them from spending their money in a different state.

"Why should we have to come across the state line to play the lottery when we live here and they are getting most of our economy?" asked Olive Branch resident Ricky Lowrie.  "I think we should all be able to play it no matter where we live."

Olive Branch resident Charles Moore said he never buys lottery tickets, but the Mega Millions jackpot pulled him in.

"I haven't bought but two in my life, but I probably would buy more if it was in Mississippi," said Moore.

Gas stations on the state line appreciate the extra business from Mississippi residents as they get a cut of the tickets sold.  If the winning ticket is sold at one of them, they would also get money.

By traveling to Tennessee to buy their lottery tickets, Mississippi residents are adding to the Tennessee HOPE scholarship, which is funded by the lottery.  

Efforts to establish a lottery in Mississippi have always failed.  Opponents say it would draw money away from casino gambling.

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