We all want to win when we play the lottery, but of course not every ticket can be a winner. However, every non-winning ticket is still a win for Minnesotans.


Fiscal year 2021 was the lottery’s fourth straight record-setting year, with over $800 million in scratch and lotto game sales. Record sales mean bigger returns to the state of Minnesota, supporting the General Fund, creating and invigorating environmental programs, and funding important work to prevent and treat problem gambling.


The Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) is a permanent fund in the Minnesota Constitution that was established through voter approval. Funded by lottery dollars, the ENRTF holds assets that are appropriated by law “for the public purpose of protection, conservation, preservation, and enhancement of the state’s air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources.”

ENRTF funds contribute to the well-being of Minnesota’s natural resources in a variety of ways all over the state. Projects include:

-- Providing accessible fishing piers in locations that have high potential to serve new angling communities, underserved populations and anglers with physical disabilities

-- Replacing ash trees removed in response to the emerald ash borer with ecologically appropriate trees throughout the state

-- Diagnostic testing concerns regarding the health of Minnesota’s deer population

-- Research into the containment and eradication of aquatic invasive species that harm Minnesota waterways

-- Partnerships with cities, counties, and businesses to create and implement a collection, restoration, reuse, and repurpose program that diverts used household goods and building materials from entering the waste stream to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

-- Benefits to more than half of the 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas and 13 state trails over the lottery’s 30+ year history. The Minnesota State park system permanently protects some of the state’s most unique and beautiful features, including waterfalls, caves, pristine wilderness, river bluffs, and wildlife habitats.

You can check out all of the projects funded by the ENRTF here.

After you enjoy the fun of playing lottery games, even if you have a non-winning ticket, know you and everyone in the state of Minnesota are still winners every time you play.