The scammers have been around the system of the new state lottery of Mississippi, just two months after it began operations. Two local residents were arrested Monday for trying to collect a scratched ticket that had been altered, Mssissippi Lottery Corp (MLC) reported.
The couple of criminals attempted to collect a $ 100,000 bill at the MLC headquarters in Flowood, but lottery officials detected the fraud immediately.
MLC spokeswoman Meg Annison, quoted by local media, said authorities were able to detect the adulterated ticket for what they immediately called the police.
Shortly after the two residents of Russell Sparks and Columbus Odis Latham, were arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit crimes and file a counterfeit instrument for more than $ 1,000,000. For these serious crimes they could receive a prison sentence of 20 years.
At the end of November the MLC began operating by offering scratch tickets and number draw games, after being authorized by the legislation passed in 2018. Mississippi along with a small group consisting of Utah, Hawaii, Nevada and Alabama, were the only states without a state lottery.
However, the change came after a slow and cautious road traveled by Mississippi to approve the lottery. Sales of MLC products are restricted to people 21 and older, as well as to participate in physical casino games in the state. The other states mostly establish an age of 18 years or more.
Since its approval, some 1,200 Mississippi retail businesses have received approval to sell lottery products. Mega Millions and Powerball tickets will be available to players starting January 30, after the state’s entry into the Multiple State Lottery Association approved in August last year.
In the first five weeks, MLC operations totaled $ 54 million. Of these, approximately $ 11 million was revenue. The lottery reported that in the first 10 years of operation, most of the revenue will go to the infrastructure of the ruined state.