DENVER (CBS4)– Coloradans watched as the Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots broke records last month. Together, the jackpots were worth a total of $1.7 billion. From Jan. 2 to 22 (when the Mega Millions was won), the Colorado Lottery sold $33,624,612 worth of Powerball and Mega Millions tickets.
That’s a 526% increase from the same time last year. On CBSN Denver, we talked to the director of the Colorado Lottery, Tom Seaver.READ MORE: Blue Angels Jet Makes Emergency Landing At Great Colorado Air Show
“These jackpots are a really big deal because they help a number of different audiences,” says Seaver. “It’s really exciting for our players. It’s also exciting for our beneficiaries because all of them received over $13 million in additional revenue. Finally, it’s good for our retailers, because they receive commissions on the tickets they sell, and they received over $2 million in additional commission.”
A total of $13,113,599 from ticket sales will go directly to Lottery beneficiaries. Of that, Great Outdoors Colorado receives half ($6,556,800), the Conservation Trust Fund gets 40% ($5,245,440), and Colorado Parks and Wildlife receives 10% (1,311,359). Once Great Outdoors Colorado reaches its cap of funding from the lottery, remaining funds go to Building Excellent Schools Today.READ MORE: Marijuana Social Equity Fair Seeks To Level The Playing Field For Communities Of Color
Businesses that sell the tickets are big winners too.
“We have about 3,000 retailers around Colorado that sell lottery tickets and they can get a commission when they sell a lottery ticket. They also can get additional commission when they pay out prizes. So, there are a couple of ways that being a lottery retailer is good for their business.”
Colorado has not had a big Mega Millions winner since its inception, but it has had three Powerball jackpot winners. Someone in Clifton won $133 million in 2017, a winner in Rifle got $90 million in 2014, and a winning ticket sold in Westminster got the winner $20 million back in 2007.MORE NEWS: Hikers Discouraged From Climbing Kit Carson Peak As Madeline Baharlou-Quivey's Body Recovered
“It’s just tremendously good for Colorado when we have these big jackpots. It’s also important. Remember though, we have our own in state game: Colorado Lotto Plus. The jackpot is $3.4 billion for tomorrow night. And while that’s not as exciting as $700 million, it still could make a big difference in somebody’s life.”