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Published September 26 2010

Ask Your Government: Reader wants information about North Dakota state lottery funds

Dear readers,

A few weeks ago, a reader called The Forum and said he wanted to know more about the North Dakota Lottery: where the money goes, number of winners, etc. A co-worker passed the word along, and I decided to use that for Ask Your Government this week.

I contacted the attorney general’s office, which worked with the Lottery Division to provide some information. Here’s what was pulled together:

The updated breakdown of each $1 lottery ticket is:

Agencies that provide oversight of the lottery are the Lottery Advisory Commission, www.lottery.nd.gov/About/Commission, Administrative Rules, www.lottery.nd.gov/about/laws, Audits www.nd.gov/auditor/reports.htm and the state Office of Management and Budget.

Since the lottery’s launch in March 2004, North Dakotans have spent about $138 million on lottery tickets. For the past five fiscal years, ticket sales were between $21.7 million and $24.4 million each year.

More than $36 million of lottery money has been transferred to the state general fund, $1.4 million to the compulsive gambling prevention and treatment fund, and about $1 million to the drug task force fund.

Retailer commissions add up to about $7 million and prize expenses to about $70 million.

The system does not track the number of people who win, only the value won.

The total value of North Dakota winning tickets as of Aug. 31 is $50,690,600. The value of North Dakota winning tickets for Jan 1. to Aug. 31 of this year is $6,397,384.

Do you have a question for a state government official or agency? Send us your question, and we’ll do our best to find an answer.

E-mail politics@wday.com (Subject: Ask your government).

You may also write to Teri Finneman, c/o Forum Communications, Press Room, State Capitol, Bismarck, ND 58505.

Please include your name, town and a phone number to reach you for verification.