July 29, 2013 – Director of the Minnesota Lottery Ed Van Petten told Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) Monday that “everything seems to be solid,” after reporting that the Lottery had posted record sales and profits for the sixth year in a row.
Van Petten said that total sales this year were about $560 million, about a 7.7 percent increase – $40 million – over last year’s sales numbers.
Minnesota will likely get $139 million deposited into its general fund and funds for environmental spending, an increase of about 12 percent over last year’s $123.6 million returns to state programs.
Van Petten told MPR that the increase in sales was partly due to two large Powerball jackpot runs, as well as the rising popularity of the Mega Millions game with Minnesota players.
He also said that scratch-off sales “remained strong”. One estimate in the Star-Tribune put scratch-off sales near $358 million this year, just shy of 64 percent of the Minnesota Lottery’s total revenue.
MPR reported that nearly 70 percent of Minnesotans play the lottery, and almost a third play every week.
The Minnesota Lottery returns more than 60 percent of the money spent on lottery tickets as prize money. Less than 10 percent is used to pay for operating costs, while about 24 percent goes towards environmental spending and the general fund.
Over about 23 years, the Minnesota Lottery has raised more than $2.2 billion for its beneficiary programs, which include the Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund, the Game & Fish Fund, Education programs, and many more.
You can learn more about how the money bet on lottery tickets helps the state of Minnesota on their “Where The Money Goes” webpage.