Thanks To Lottery Jackpots, CO Outdoor Fund Reaches Funding Goal Early

Written By Phil West on 06/10/2024
A woman kayaking down the Colorado River

Great Outdoors Colorado has reached its revenue goal with a month to go in Fiscal Year 2024.

The program, funded by Colorado Lottery, collected $81.8 million in the fiscal year ending June 30.

The money bolsters parks, recreation, conservation, and open space projects across the state.

Big Powerball, Mega Millions jackpots pay off for Colorado

The Colorado Lottery does not offer online play or ticket sales. However, players can purchase tickets online through Jackpocket Colorado.

Lottery officials attribute reaching the milestone to “high national jackpots in May, including two Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots that reached more than one billion dollars each.”

They also noted the “the Lottery’s scratch products, especially the popular $50 scratch tickets, significantly contributed to the organization’s consistent year-over-year growth.”

Tom Seaver, director of the Colorado Lottery, said Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) benefits both residents and tourists in the state.

“Growing revenue responsibly to support outdoor recreation, conservation and schools is why the Colorado Lottery exists today. This March, the GOCO board awarded over $117 million in grants that benefited the outdoors in Colorado, marking the largest funding cycle ever. This is just a fraction of the millions that GOCO invests annually in conservation, restoration, stewardship, and wildlife projects. This is one more reason why Colorado stands out as the greatest state in the country.”

GOCO has spent more than $1 billion from Lottery proceeds on statewide conservation, recreation, and stewardship projects, according to the GOCO website.

“Since 1992, GOCO has been investing a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces.

“Our independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created by voters, GOCO has committed more than $1.4 billion in Lottery proceeds to more than 5,600 projects in all 64 counties without a single dollar coming from taxpayers’ pockets.”

Other programs can use Lottery proceeds

Additionally, hitting the GOCO cap means the lottery will do more with funds. Specifically, the organization can “extend more support to other key proceeds partners funded by Lottery revenue.” Those include:

  • The Conservation Trust Fund will receive $78.5 million
  • Colorado Parks and Wildlife will receive $19.5 million in direct support, with an additional $4.2 million allocated to both the Wildlife Cash Fund and Parks/Outdoor Recreation Cash Fund
  • Building Excellent Schools Today will receive $8.1 million.
  • Outdoor Equity Program Fund will receive a set amount of $2.25 million as established by the legislature.

That’s part of the more than $4 billion the Colorado Lottery has distributed to outdoor projects and schools since 1983.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Phil West

Phil West is an Austin-based writer and editor who has been published in a wide range of publications throughout his career, including the Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times,, The Striker, and The Daily Dot. He's currently writing about Austin FC (and more generally, about MLS and world soccer) at Verde All Day, an independent Substack-hosted and subscriber-supported site. He's also a Senior Lecturer in The Writing Program at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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