Where money goes when buying lottery ticket in Colorado

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DENVER -- What would you do with $1.4 billion? That's where the Powerball jackpot stands as of Monday night. It could get bigger since the drawing doesn't happen until Wednesday night.

But while you're dreaming of the money, leaders of Colorado's parks, trails and open spaces are planning what they're going to do with their money.

Twenty-four cents of every dollar spent on Colorado lottery tickets goes back to the state.

“Our state park system receives no tax revenue. It's entirely funded through gate receipts and lottery-funded,” said Lise Aangeenbrug, exeuctive director of Great Outdoors Colorado.

In the three decades Coloradans have been trying their luck on the lottery, the state's lottery said it has invested nearly $3 billion back into the state.

“You can thank Colorado lottery players every time you use a trail or a dog park or a skate park,” said Brooke Christopher, Colorado Lottery communications manager.

Great Outdoors Colorado is the state’s biggest beneficiary of lottery proceeds.

“We’ve funded city parks, all the major city trails in the Denver metro area,” Aangeenbrug said.

Fifty percent of ticket revenue or up to $62 million every year goes directly to GOCO. The organization has helped build more than 900 miles of trails, 1,000 parks, skate parks, ball fields and playgrounds, and helped preserve more than 700 miles of Colorado rivers.

“You're buying a ticket that returns something that you can use every day in Colorado for your health and wellness and enjoyment of the outdoors," Aangeenburg said. "Other proceeds go to the conservation trust fund, parks and wildlife and the Department of Education."

Last year, those three partners received more than $80 million.​

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