Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund
When you play, Minnesota wins! That’s because proceeds from the Minnesota State Lottery help finance a variety of projects that preserve, restore, and enhance our state’s environment and natural resources.
Each year, the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund receives 40 percent of Lottery net proceeds, or about 6 cents of every dollar spent on lottery tickets. The Legislature appropriated $50 million to 71 projects based on recommendations by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). Since it began in 1990, the Trust Fund has provided almost $360 million to more than 820 projects around the state.
Lottery contributions to the Trust Fund totaled $31 million in fiscal year 2012. The remaining 60 percent of net proceeds is allocated to the state General Fund to pay for programs related to public education, health and human services, and public safety, among others. Additionally, an in-lieu-of-sales tax on lottery tickets contributed another $24.4 million to environmental and natural resources programs in fiscal year 2012. This money was allocated for state and local parks and trails operations and maintenance, programs to enhance fishing and hunting, and the State’s three public zoos.
By law, the Lottery could not spend more than $29,000,000 on administrative costs in FY12. Because of operating efficiencies, the Lottery returned an additional $3.88 million to the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund and General Fund from money allocated but not spent on administrative costs.
Major administrative expenses for the past fiscal year include:
- Salaries and benefits ($10.3 million)
- Advertising ($7.5 million)
- Promotional expense ($1.9 million)
- Professional services ($1.6 million)
Ticket and Lotto Vendor Expense
During FY12 the Lottery spent almost $18.1 million on the direct costs of producing and distributing lottery tickets. This includes the cost of printing and distributing scratch tickets ($8.6 million) and the cost of managing the system that produces and records lotto tickets ($9.5 million). As these costs vary directly with sales, they are not subject to a legal limit.
Lottery retailers earn money in several different ways. First, they earn 5.5 percent of the price of every ticket they sell. Next, they earn 1 percent of the prize value of winning tickets redeemed at the store. (Prizes up to $599 can be redeemed at Lottery retailers.) Finally, they are eligible to earn more through various incentive programs offered throughout the year. During the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, Minnesota State Lottery retailers earned $31.5 million, or an average of $10,100 per store.