Who Benefits from Your Minnesota Lottery Ticket?

Most people don’t really think about where their money is going when they purchase their lottery tickets. We’re mostly just in it for the prize after all! But did you know that from every dollar you spend at the Minnesota Lottery, whether you play online at theLotter Minnesota, or at a retailer, nearly 25 cents will go to your fellow Minnesotans and towards preserving the state’s beautiful outdoors! Since 1990, Minnesota’s lottery has given over $3.25 BILLION to state programs that support state parks, wildlife, lakes, roads, and education to name a few! To find out exactly where your Powerball taxes go, find out how much of an impact you’re making when you play!

Minnesota's Great Outdoors

Minnesota’s state treasury established the Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) in 1988 as a way to protect, conserve, and improve the state’s environment and natural resources for the benefit of its citizens and future generations. A whopping 40% of proceeds from the Minnesota State Lottery is contributed to the fund each year! Here are just a few examples of how the ENRTF, in partnership with the State Lottery, protects and conserves Minnesota’s stunning outdoors and native wildlife with the help of your lottery ticket!

  • The Butterflies and the Bees

    Minnesota’s butterflies are having a bit of a crisis and are unfortunately on the brink of extinction. Luckily for them, the ENRTF has been the primary supporter of the Minnesota Zoo Prairie Butterfly Conservation Program since 2014. The zoo has created the world’s first breeding and rearing insurance programs for threatened and endangered prairies butterflies from around the country and of course, Minnesota State. Butterflies help flowers pollinate, they thrive off weeds we don’t always want, and they provide an important role in the food chain. Bees are also a major player in keeping up the state’s ecosystem and - Minnesota’s State Lottery and the ENRTF know it. Your lottery dollars enable programs that educate people on how to create bee-friendly gardens and preserve prairie land so that your favorite honey-making bees can keep up the good work. Did you know that a third of the food we consume relies on bee pollination?

  • One by One Saving Minnesota's Bison

    For a while now, Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources has been working on restoring the state’s dwindling bison population. Once numbering in the millions, only a fraction now remains and the Minnesota Bison Conservation Herd is determined to help them make a comeback. Thanks to contributions from the State Lottery through the ENRTF, bison have finally returned to the Minnesota State Park after more than 150 years as a result of the restoration of much-needed wetland and a handling facility. This gave the Minnesota State Park a 70% boost in visitors!

  • Hugging Trees Since 1990

    Trees play a vital role in our daily lives, from cleaner air, water, reducing the concentration of greenhouse gasses emissions to name a few. Some ENRTF programs targeting Minnesota’s greenery are restoring the forests in state parks, fighting invasive species that threaten Minnesota’s landscape, and helping the Great River Greening restore 250 acres of forest, prairie, woodland, wetland, and shoreline throughout the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area.

  • Lending a Hand to Minnesota's Lakes

    Home to almost 12,000 lakes, countless rivers, streams, and wetlands, the State of Minnesota has no shortage of water. Besides providing beautiful landscape, they’re also crucial for maintaining the wildlife habitat, recreation, economic opportunities, and aiding public health. The Minnesota Lottery wants to preserve these incredible state assets by funding programs that improve the water quality and protecting native species, including the underrated mussels.


While it may not receive as much attention as the environment, millions of lottery dollars have gone to countless educational programs that help Minnesota’s youth thrive. One recent example from 2019 is a grant the Minnesota State Lottery gave to Camp Sunrise and Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness to help them expand educational opportunities to students from diverse and underserved populations across the state. Part of the Environment & Natural Resources Fund also goes towards supporting Minnesota's Art and Cultural Heritage Fund which promotes arts education, arts access, and the preservation of the North Star State's rich history and cultural heritage.

Problem Gambling Prevention and Treatment

Problem Gambling Prevention and Treatment

While many see the lottery as all fun and games, things can get ugly when your playing gets out of hand. Since 1990, the Minnesota State Lottery has contributed almost $50 million to problem gambling prevention, treatment, and programs. One such initiative partially sponsored by the Minnesota Lottery is Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM). During the month of March, various support groups and alliances hold conferences, air Public Service Announcements, provide counselor training, host screening days, run social media campaigns, and organize many other activities to increase public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of prevention, treatment, and recovery services across the State of Minnesota.

The Minnesota State Lottery has contributed over $3.25 billion towards making this great state even better for its citizens and visitors! When you buy an official Minnesota Lottery ticket at theLotter Minnesota, you can feel proud knowing that your money is going towards state programs that will benefit Minnesota’s magnificent outdoors and your fellow Minnesotans!

Photo credit: Stock images from Shutterstock.