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Mississippi Lottery president to step down in June

JACKSON — The Mississippi Lottery Corporation President Tom Shaheen announced Wednesday he will retire on June 30.

“This is a tough decision for me,” Shaheen said. “After spending more than 32 years in the lottery industry, it is time for me to take a step back and spend time with family. Thank you to all of our hard-working employees, loyal retailers, diligent vendor partners, several state lotteries that provided unlimited support during start-up, and our dedicated board of directors.

“I believe this has been one of the most successful start-ups in the history of U.S. lotteries, if not the most.”

Shaheen was named the lottery’s president in May 2019.

“I would like to especially thank the MLC Board of Directors for selecting me to lead the start-up of the Mississippi Lottery,” Shaheen said. “It has been my sincere pleasure to work with a board whose tireless contributions were extremely instrumental to the success of start-up, along with the ongoing development of the lottery.”

Mike McGrevey, chairman of the MLC Board of Directors, said Shaheen’s leadership style is unbeatable.

“Tom Shaheen has done an extraordinary job as president of the Mississippi Lottery,” McGrevey said. “When he informed us in January he was contemplating retirement, we knew he would leave massive shoes to fill. Tom’s leadership has been instrumental to the smooth and successful start-up of the lottery, and we are immensely grateful for his time with us.

“While we are sad to see him leave, we wish him the best as he enters his well-earned retirement.”

Since start-up, the lottery staff has grown to 74 employees. The lottery sold its first instant ticket on Nov. 25, 2019, and began offering Powerball® and Megamillions® on Jan. 30, 2020. During Shaheen’s time with the MLC, the lottery has transferred $70.7 million for FY2020 and $84.9 million through February FY2021 to the state to benefit Mississippi’s roads, bridges and educational needs.

The Board of Directors will conduct a search for a new president with the goal of making a selection prior to Shaheen’s retirement.