Parks, Recreation Benefit From Colorado Lottery

DENVER (CBS4) – Someone in Colorado is quite a bit richer today.

No, that lucky person — or people — didn’t win the grand prize in Wednesday’s $587.5 million Powerball drawing, but they did match five of the numbers. That means they’ll win $2 million.

Powerball tickets sold in Arizona and at a convenience store in the Missouri town of Dearborn share the big jackpot. So far it’s not clear who those winners are. They have 180 days to come forward.

The interest in Powerball this week had some wondering how Colorado benefits from having the numbers game here.

Half of the total money raised from the lottery games in the state becomes a profit for the state.

Powerball is also played in 43 other states, and Colorado is unique in how it spends it’s cut of cash — which has amounted to about $2.3 billion since the state started playing in 1983.

“We are the only state that returns proceeds to parks and recreation. Most states do return the money to education,” Colorado Lottery spokeswoman Heather Black said.

The lottery funds break out this way in Colorado:

– 50 percent of the proceeds go to the Great Outdoors Colorado trust fund. The fund money helps to build trails, open rec centers and it conserves wildlife habitats.
– 40 percent goes to the Conservation Trust Fund. That’s divided up among counties to be used for parks and open space.
– The final 10 percent is for the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife.

The decision on how to split up the profit was decided by voters in 1992.

“The only way that would change is if it goes back on the ballot and the people of Colorado vote to change that,” Black said.

It’s not just Coloradans who pitch in. Border towns like Carr next to the Wyoming border often see players lining up from Wyoming — all in hopes of a winning ticket.

LINK: Colorado Lottery: Where the Money Goes


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