ST. PAUL — The chances of you winning a huge lottery jackpot may be one in a billion, but the chances that your lottery ticket purchase will help Minnesota’s natural resources are almost 100%.
Minnesota Lottery officials on Thursday released their report for the fiscal year ending June 30 that showed lottery sales reached $787.2 million over the 12-month period, the second-highest total in the lottery’s 33-year history, with scratch games taking the lead at $545.7 million.
Most of that money spent on lottery tickets goes back to players in prizes, and Minnesotans won $502 million in prizes from those ticket purchases.
Of the state’s lottery’s profits, $105.7 million went to the general fund, which supports education, public safety and health and human services. Another $89 million went toward programs dedicated to the protection and preservation of Minnesota’s environment and natural resources, including $52 million to the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, $18.5 million to the state Game and Fish Fund and $18.5 million to the state Natural Resources Fund and $1.5 million for programs to help prevent and treat problem gambling.
The 3,000 stores and other retailers where lottery tickets are sold earned a total of $51.9 million in commissions and incentives, an average of $17,288 per business.
Since 1990, the lottery has generated more than $3.8 billion for state programs, including more than $1.7 billion for environment and natural resources efforts.