Here’s who will be in charge of Mississippi’s new lottery

The person Mississippi Lottery Corp. has hired to start and run the state’s first lottery already has the experience, chairman Mike McGrevey said in an announcement Wednesday.

Thomas Shaheen, the first president of the Mississippi lottery, was executive director of North Carolina lottery from 2005 to 2010, taking it from its start up through years of steady growth.

“His history in the leadership of lotteries will help Mississippi establish our lottery quickly and successfully,” said Gerard Gilbert, vice chairman of the Lottery Corp.

His salary is $225,000 and he will be eligible for performance incentive bonuses, the Lottery Corp. said. His appointment was approved by Gov. Phil Bryant.

The Lottery Commission previously said it hopes to have in-state lottery games by October, with Powerball and Mega Millions a few months later.

Shaheen was the CEO of the New Mexico lottery and was an executive during the startup of the Georgia lottery. He also worked with the Texas and Florida lotteries during their start.

He was previously the president of the Multi-State Lottery Association, the organization that runs Powerball.

Shaheen is a member of the Public Gaming Research Institute Hall of Fame.

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