Where do the proceeds from Minnesota lottery tickets go?

The dream of winning billions has Minnesotans shelling out millions.

“Through the course of the run of both Powerball and Mega Millions, sales have been have been almost $30 million,” said Robert Doty, the Minnesota Lottery executive director.  

From this jackpot run alone nearly $4 million is going directly into the state’s general fund to pay for schools, services and roads. About $2 million will go into the environment and natural resources trust fund.

“Right now that fund is over a billion dollars right now,” said Doty. “That is where it’s sitting.  So Again, the stakes are high for a lot of reasons, but the stakes are high for our environment as well so, this is a big deal.”

The state Legislature this year approved and Governor Mark Dayton signed into law 67 environmental projects, which totaled nearly $46 million.

Among the projects already paid for with the environment trust fund include the return of bison to Minneopa State Park and the re-breeding and re-integration of native prairie butterflies in grasslands across the state. Trust fund money has also gone to restore 60 school forests for kids to learn about the environment. Some of the trust fund has also helped the DNR re-establish the mussel population in Lake City, Minn. to help filter and clean the river water. They’re all examples of environmental programs striking mega benefits from players hoping to strike mega millions.

“That’s all people are talking about,” said Doty. “When I go to the gym people are asking, ‘What’s up with the Powerball, what’s going on with Mega Millions?’ And I’m like, it only takes one ticket and you got to buy it because it helps Minnesota.”