While wolves nearly became extinct in the lower 48 states in the early 1970s, they held on in northern Minnesota. An important part of Minnesota ecology, the wolf is embedded in Minnesota culture and is sacred to Native American tribes of the Great Lakes. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources,

“Minnesotans clearly value wolves. The DNR's most recent public survey shows that despite having a wide array of attitudes, Minnesotans agree that maintaining a wolf population in Minnesota is important.”


A February 10, 2022 court order again protects gray wolves under the federal Endangered Species Act as threatened in Minnesota and endangered in most remaining states. Currently the Minnesota wolf population numbers over 2,000, the largest population in the contiguous states.

Lottery dollars that fund the Minnesota Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF), have helped enable the International Wolf Center in Ely, the Voyageurs Wolf Project, and the University of Minnesota to conduct ongoing research, outreach, and education and about wolves.


For those more interested in two-legged wolves indoors on a basketball court, namely the Minnesota Timberwolves (and the WNBA Minnesota Lynx), check out our Events page for details on when you can cheer on these teams with us.


When you play the lottery you support wolves, lynx, countless other Minnesota wildlife, and access to natural resources such Minnesota’s state park system and trails, all of which have benefited from Minnesota Lottery proceeds through the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF).