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Jackpot! Minnesota State Lottery on track for a record year

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The Minnesota State Lottery is on track to deliver record proceeds to the state.

MPR News reported that preliminary data shows that sales for the lottery last year were the second-highest in its history, at $547 million. The state's proceeds from that hit a record $135.3 million.

Lottery director Ed Van Petten told MPR that sales of scratch-off games were strong, while interest in PowerBall seems to be waning.

Earlier this month, WCCO reported that the lottery changed its policy on information for winning lottery tickets after a half dozen big prizes this year have gone unclaimed. Under the new policy, lottery officials will disclose detailed information about the name, address and city of the business where a winning lottery ticket is sold.

The Star Tribune reported the new policy began when a Minnesota legislator heard about a $1 million ticket that went unclaimed. Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) backed legislation to reveal more information about winning tickets, in hopes that might jog a buyer's memory and prompt them to check their forgotten tickets.

Previously, the lottery only disclosed the county where those tickets were purchased.

Winners have one year to claim their money, then it is transferred into the state’s General Fund.

Meanwhile, the lottery will stop selling instant-play tickets at gas pumps, ATMs and over the Internet. The legislature voted to require the lottery to end those sales by Sept. 25.

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