Published: September 18, 2021

Colorado Lottery reports record proceeds following pandemic shutdown

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO)-- The Colorado Lottery has broken its best year record for revenue in the middle of a pandemic and previous year shutdown, according to their communication manager. The Lottery is celebrating its fiscal year 2021 revenue coming in at $794.9 million. That's 21% higher than fiscal year 2020 and 17% higher than its highest revenue milestone in fiscal year 2019. In comparison, fiscal year 2020 year-end revenue was $658.8 million. Distributions to beneficiaries went up this fiscal year by 19% to $169.4 million.

Lotto representatives said a critical element of success was Lottery Scratch game sales. Which increased 32% in fiscal year 2021 to $573 million. The Lottery’s introduction of more and higher-priced games was also an important factor. 

Colorado Lottery credits a strong bounce back after the early months of the pandemic and the support of players and retailers, the Lottery was able to meet its Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) cap in April 2021 this fiscal year. Here is a breakdown of all of the proceeds distributions for this year from Colorado Lottery.

"Breaking the sales record is great, and it shows the support and commitment of our players, retailers, and our lottery staff.  But we are really here to maximize funds for our beneficiaries, so the record transfer to our partners who protect our outdoors, wildlife and schools is really the best news of all,” said Tom Seaver, director of the Colorado Lottery.  

Sales of every product category increased this fiscal year, especially the national Powerball and Mega Millions games, which both ended in a more than 30% increase due to large, dual rolling jackpots. This year Mega Millions revenue increased 52% compared to last year, and there was a 31% increase for Powerball. Here is a breakdown of all of the Lottery’s year-end revenue from Colorado Lottery.

“As Colorado grows and people enjoy being outdoors more than ever, the risk to deteriorate it increases,” added Seaver. “By increasing revenue, we are able to help our beneficiaries do more to protect, support and expand outdoor opportunities."

The Lottery is working towards increasing revenue to $1 billion by the start of fiscal year 2024. Of every dollar spent on Lottery games, 65 cents goes back to winners and 21 cents to proceeds beneficiaries. As a state agency committed to fiscal responsibility, the Lottery’s revenue is primarily focused on winners and proceeds beneficiaries.

“We work to maximize every dollar to give back to the people of Colorado,” said Executive Director Mark Ferrandino. “The growth we’ve seen is a testament to the support of the lottery and our beneficiaries, helping power the economic comeback in our state.” 

For the first time in decades, new legislation in FY21 changed the Lottery's funding distribution after the GOCO cap was met. The Colorado Legislature voted to approve the creation of the Outdoor Equity Fund. The fund, which is managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, will receive $750,000 for fiscal year 2021. In addition, the Wildlife Cash Fund will receive $2.3 million and a Parks/Outdoor Recreation Cash Fund will receive $2.3 million for the first time. Building Excellent Schools Together will receive $7.6 million.

About Colorado Lottery

Since 1983, the Colorado Lottery has returned more than $3.7 billion to outdoor projects through Great Outdoors Colorado, the Conservation Trust Fund, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Building Excellent Schools Today. Proceeds from sales of Colorado Lottery games – Scratch, Powerball, Mega Millions, Colorado Lotto+, Lucky for Life, Cash 5, and Pick 3 – enhance, protect, improve parks, trails, and open space in Colorado.

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