The East Grand Forks Holiday gas station was ranked in the top 10 for lottery sales in Minnesota in the latest fiscal year.

The East Grand Forks store ranked eighth in the state for lottery sales from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019. There are more than 3,000 retail locations in Minnesota that sell lottery tickets. In Moorhead, two stores were in the top 10. The top store was out of St. Paul.

A ceremony was held at the store, 1010 Central Ave. N.E., on Tuesday, Oct. 22, to recognize the store and its manager, Kelley Bakken.

The store also was recognized for reaching $1 million in lottery sales for the first time, making it one of about a dozen stores to cross that threshold since 1990, when the lottery began.

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The lottery as a whole had more than $600 million worth of sales in the past fiscal year for the first time.

While many may think that stores in Minneapolis, St. Cloud or Duluth may hold all the top rankings, Lottery Executive Director Adam Prock said the East Grand Forks store has been a good partner with the lottery. It’s also across the river from another state, which helps, he said.

“The Minnesota Lottery sells some different products than the North Dakota lottery, so we do get some help from our friends across the border who try some of the Minnesota lottery products as well,” he said.

Money from the Minnesota Lottery goes to support environmental projects, Prock said.

“These are projects that help make sure that we have clean air and help keep out invasive species and do all of the great things that we as Minnesotans have grown to love,” he said. “What’s great about today is that we wouldn’t be able to do all of those things without the help of our fantastic retail partners like the Holiday station store here in East Grand Forks.”

Where the money goes

Since 1990, the lottery has generated more than $3 billion. According to its website, the lottery has contributed:

-- $1.7 billion to Minnesota’s general fund,

-- $827.7 million for the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund,

-- $220,7 million for the Game and Fish Fund,

-- $220.7 million for the Natural Resources Fund,

-- $47.8 million for the Problem Gambling Prevention and Treatment program,

-- $36.8 million for other state programs.