So how did we end up with a surplus?

The easy answer, of course: More money coming in than going out. The state's relatively low unemployment rate (compared with many other states) surely helped boost tax revenues. And, in case you're wondering, the surplus won't change the debate over the Vikings stadium, at least that's what lawmakers are saying.

So how did the state end up with a projected $876 million surplus anyway? Economists credit higher-than-expected tax revenue and lower-than-expected social service costs, according to KARE 11.

One thing surely helping that tax flow is the state's relatively low unemployment rate. The Washington Post, which is calling it the "Minnesota miracle," points out the state has so far regained a third of the jobs lost during the recession.

And just in case the thought crossed your mind, no, the surplus won't be a boost for the Vikings stadium, at least according to this report in the Pioneer Press.

Regardless, it's a rosier picture than many people had in mind, with earlier forecasts showing another deficit of up to $1 billion.

Don't expect any big changes. Forum Communications' Don Davis says the money will stay in the bank, and that's where the state's economist says it should be.

If you ran the state, what would you do with the unexpected leftovers? Share your thoughts with us below.

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