JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Lottery Corp. has chosen a Jackson-based firm to handle advertising and marketing.

Maris West and Baker is receiving a three-year contract that includes creating and buying ads for the lottery, which is on track to start selling tickets in December.

The lottery communications director, Meg Annison, says payments to the firm will vary by year, equaling about 11.5% of the lottery's advertising and marketing budget. The current budget is for the year that ends June 30. It has an estimated $3.5 million for advertising and marketing, which translates into $402,500 this year for Maris West and Baker.

Legislators met in special session last year and authorized Mississippi to become the 45th state with a lottery. Money raised by the games of chance will help pay for highway improvements.

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