Maine Lottery Is Giving Back To The Environment

Written By J.R. Duren on January 23, 2022
Main Lottery Money Supports Conservation Efforts

Play the lottery, save the environment. 

That’s the central tenant of the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund’s (MOHF) partnership with the Maine Lottery. The lottery has released a $3 instant scratcher game called “Wild Winners” (look for the bald eagle), through which the lottery will donate revenue directly to the MOHF. 

The game will be running through September 30 and is available wherever Maine State Lottery tickets are selling. 

Proceeds from game sales will fund a variety of conservation efforts

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (IFW) runs the MOHF. It will disburse into four categories the funds raised by Wild Winners:

  • 35% of revenue: Conservation of fisheries and wildlife, and habitat
  • 35% of revenue: Acquiring and managing public lands, wildlife conservation areas, and public access and recreation facilities. 
  • 15% of revenue: Endangered and threatened species conservation
  • 15% of revenue: Protection of public health and natural resources law enforcement

The funds will be used to award grants to groups whose projects meet specific criteria, including conserving Maine’s wildlife, habitats, and outdoor spaces.

While the categories are broad, IFW has a variety of projects within each project.

For example, “conservation of fisheries and wildlife, and habitat” includes the protection and enhancement of species affected by management gaps or habitat loss. Additionally, it provides education about fisheries and wildlife, and long-term monitoring of animals and habitats. 

In October 2021, IWF granted more than $100,000 to six different projects. One of those projects was a kids-focused educational program in the Hirundo Wildlife Refuge. 

The lottery has been donating money to the MOHF since 1996, amassing a total contribution of nearly $19 million. Most of that $19 million is generated through $1 scratcher revenue over the years, according to the lottery.

A fortune still awaits Wild Winners players

As of this week, lottery players have left plenty of Wild Winners payouts for the taking. The game has sold around 52% of its scratchers over the past four months, according to the Maine Lottery.

Furthermore, the unsold tickets represent more than $786,000 in yet-to-be-claimed prizes. Two scratchers contain $30,000 prizes, and four scratchers have $1,000 prizes, according to lottery records.

The lottery has a history of offering scratchers that feature partnerships with the MOHF. “Big Bucks” is an example of a $1 scratcher that lottery players could buy. Instant games that donate to the MOHF typically have “Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund” written across the top of the game.

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