The Minnesota State Lottery posted record sales for the fiscal year that ended in June, preliminary reports indicate.
It appears lottery sales will total about $520 million, topping the record set the previous year by $16 million.
Lottery director Ed Van Petten expects the state will pocket about $123 million in lottery profits for the year. The lottery is a form of cheap entertainment for many people, he said. About a third of adults play state lotteries two to three times a month.
"Where else can you pay $1 or $2 for the opportunity to win large amounts of money," Van Petten said. "We don't have any reason to believe people are spending frivolously on the lottery, and we certainly don't encourage that.'"
Van Petten said lottery sales were boosted in part by the introduction of a $30 scratch ticket and increased instant-win ticket sales.
The sales gain was achieved despite 20 days of lost sales last summer, when much of state government was shut down during a budget impasse.