North Mississippi retailers prepare to sell lottery tickets

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TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Mississippi lottery tickets go on sale in less than two weeks and all types of businesses are signing up to be lottery retailers.

As soon as retailers could send in applications to sell Mississippi lottery tickets, Adam Watson turned in all the paperwork.

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Watson had his first experience with a lottery years ago in Texas.

“You develop your business on what you like, so 18, 19 years old, bought a $2 scratch and win in Texas and won $1,000, ever since that day I’ve loved gaming and wanted to bring that to the business because I enjoy it,” Watson said.

Watson opened Game Day Haircuts and Spa two years ago in Tupelo. The business has developed a loyal customer base with its sports-related environment.

“We’ve got a great team of stylists, sports on TV, foosball, free beer and now we have the lottery, everything you would want in a great, fun atmosphere,” said Watson.

For Watson, offering the lottery in his business is all about customer convenience. He is not worried that a customer may come in, and spend money on a lottery ticket instead of a haircut, in fact, he says a customer could come in,buy a winning ticket, redeem it and spend even more money at Gameday Haircuts.

“It’s very possible for someone to come in spend a dollar, two dollars on lottery tickets, and win enough money to cover this trip and next five trips that they come to our store,” he said.

Watson doesn’t plan on adding staff to handle lottery ticket sales, but he said that could change, if demand is high enough. Sales of scratch-off tickets start on November 25.

Currently, more than 1,000 retailers across the state have been approved to sell lottery tickets. Most freestanding businesses can apply to sell lottery tickets. However, state law does not allow liquor stores to sell lottery tickets. Also, you must be 21 to play the lottery.

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