Mississippi Lottery President Tom Shaheen to retire

The Mississippi Lottery Corporation (MLC) President Tom Shaheen, on Wednesday, March 24, announced he will retire June 30 of this year. 

“This is a tough decision for me,” said Shaheen. “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. I will forever value the experience of being a part of the MLC family and living in Mississippi.

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

Mississippi Lottery Commission President Tom Shaheen (Courtesy photo)

On May 7, 2019, the MLC Board of Directors hired Shaheen, who will turn 68 in May. He began work as the first employee of the MLC on June 1, 2019.

“I would like to especially thank the MLC Board of Directors for selecting me to lead the start-up of the Mississippi Lottery,” said Shaheen. “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,” said McGrevey, “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,” continued McGrevey.

Since start-up, the lottery staff has grown to 74. The lottery sold its first instant ticket on November 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 FY 2020 (7 months) and $84.9 million through February FY 2021 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. 

The MLC was legislatively created in 2018 by the Alyce G. Clarke Mississippi Lottery Law, Senate Bill 2001. Visit online at www.mslotteryhome.com.

Mississippi Lottery Commission news release

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob is also heard on 95.3 The Rebel twice a week with sports updates and high school football play-by-play broadcasts in the fall. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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