The Mississippi Lottery Corporation (MLC) President Tom Shaheen has announced he will retire on June 30 of this year.
Shaheen, who will turn 68 in May, retires from his position after joining the MLC’s Board of Directors in May 2019, before he began work as the first employee of the lottery in June that same year.
Shaheen said on his retirement: “This is a tough decision for me. 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. I believe this has been one of the most successful start-ups in the history of US lotteries, if not the most.
“I would like to especially thank the MLC Board of Directors for selecting me to lead the start-up of the Mississippi Lottery. 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.”
The MLC sold its first instant ticket in November 2019 and began offering Powerball and Megamillions games in January 2020. During Shaheen’s time with the lottery, it has transferred $70.7m for FY2020 (seven months) and $84.9m through February FY2021 to the state to benefit Mississippi’s roads, bridges and educational needs.
Mike McGrevey, Chairman of the MLC Board of Directors, said Shaheen’s leadership style is unbeatable, commenting: “Tom Shaheen has done an extraordinary job as president of the Mississippi Lottery.
“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.”
Before MLC, Shaheen previously worked as Vice President and Chief Policy Officer of the lottery technology company, Linq3. He was also the North Carolina Education Lottery’s Executive Director from 2005 to 2010 and the CEO of the New Mexico Lottery. He has worked for lotteries in Georgia, Texas and Florida as they were starting as well.
The Board of Directors will now search for a new President and will aim to pick Shaheen’s successor before his retirement.