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The secret to which lottery scratch-off games to play

DENVER -- When selecting scratch-off tickets, big players said they don't just select games at random.

There is a tool on the Colorado Lottery's website designed to help players choose games with the best odds of winning a top prize.

"We’ve had scratch games as long as we have been in existence and they work," lottery spokeswoman Kelly Tabor said.

Scratch Insider lists the game and how many top prizes still remain. While many big players check the site before they play, others had never heard of it.

"We try our darnedest to get people to go to our website because everything is there," Tabor said.

Tabor said the lottery puts that information online because it wants players to keep playing.

"We want winners. Ultimately, we want more winners. We want more people in Colorado to get that winning feeling. And so what better way than to say, 'Hey, here is a game that still has a lot of prizes left, you might want to try that one, try your luck on that game,'" Tabor said.

If you don't have access to a computer or smartphone, ask the store clerk to print a "prizes remaining report" at any location that sells Colorado Lottery tickets.

The report gives a rundown of all the prizes remaining, regardless of the size of the prize, in almost real time.

In 2016, the Colorado Lottery sold 87,575,574 scratch tickets, which amounted to $395 million in ticket sales. The most popular game last year was the $5 ATARI scratch game.