Frequently Asked Questions

How did the Colorado Lottery come to be?
Colorado voters approved the creation of a state lottery in 1980. The Lottery Division of the Colorado Dept. of Revenue administers the program. It is an enterprise fund that receives no tax dollars.

Why does the Colorado Lottery need to be reauthorized?
The Lottery Division is set to expire in 2024 unless extended by the General Assembly. Since Lottery dollars are used in Colorado for a variety of important purposes requiring long-term planning, it’s essential for Lottery to be reauthorized soon.

What happens if the Lottery Division is not reauthorized?
If the Lottery Division is not reauthorized, there is no entity to administer the Lottery or manage sales of Lottery tickets. That would be in contradiction to the Colorado Constitution and the desires of our state’s voters; our Legislature is charged with efficiently and effectively managing Lottery.

When will the General Assembly consider reauthorizing Lottery?
The General Assembly will consider extending the Lottery Division during its 2018 session.

Will Colorado citizens vote on this issue?
No, it is the prerogative of the Colorado General Assembly.

Where does Lottery money go?
In fiscal year 2016 (FY16), 69.5% of revenue went to prizes and retailers that sell tickets. 6.4% covered administrative costs, and 24.1% was distributed to proceeds beneficiaries.

Who are Lottery’s proceeds beneficiaries?
Each year, the Conservation Trust Fund (CTF), a program of Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), receives 40% of proceeds; Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) receives 10% for state parks; and Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) receives up to 50% (and that amount of funding is capped). Most years, the GOCO cap is met, and surplus funds go to the Colorado Department of Education’s school capital construction fund Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST).

How much money did the beneficiaries receive last year?
In FY16, GOCO received $63.7 million; CTF received $56.9 million; CPW directly received $14.3 million (and it also receives half of GOCO’s funds); and BEST received $8 million.

What do the beneficiaries do with the money?
Visit our Proceeds Partners page to learn more about the organizations listed above.

But where does the money ultimately go?
Through GOCO and CTF, Lottery proceeds help connect families to the outdoors; build and improve local trails and parks; build outdoor recreation facilities; conserve agricultural land and ranchlands, water resources, and scenic views; improve river access; and protect wildlife habitat. CPW invests its Lottery dollars in parkland acquisition, park development and operations, trail construction and maintenance, projects for non-game species, environmental education, youth intern and volunteer programs, and stewardship and natural resource management.

How are projects chosen to receive Lottery funding?
This varies depending on the beneficiary that has received the funding. For example, CTF distributes its proceeds to local parks and recreation providers on a per capita basis quarterly. GOCO, on the other hand, works with CPW each year on an investment plan to allocate half of its total funding across state parks and wildlife programs, and the organization also offers a range of competitive grant programs for parks, trails, wildlife, and open space each year.

Who’s involved in Keep It Colorado?
Keep It Colorado is a group of individuals, local government entities, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that have seen Colorado Lottery provide reliable, dedicated funding to our state’s land conservation and outdoor recreation needs for decades. We believe renewing the Lottery is critical to the state’s economy, to Coloradans’ health and happiness, and to keeping our outdoors great for generations to come.

Visit our Supporters page to see a list of the people and organizations that support reauthorization.