May 18, 2013 5:57 PM by Zach Thaxton
Coloradans are lining up at grocery stores and gas stations across the state, buying tickets for a chance at Saturday's enormous $600 million Powerball jackpot. Odds are huge that your ticket won't be the big winner, but that doesn't necessarily mean your purchase is a waste of money. By law, profits earned by lottery sales in Colorado are distributed to Great Outdoors Colorado, the Conservation Trust Fund, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Colorado's Public School Capitol Construction Assistance Fund.
A formula approved by Colorado voters in 1992 mandates that 50 percent of lottery revenues go to Great Outdoors Colorado, known as GOCO, which builds trails, helps open recreation facilities, preserves ranchlands and view corridors, improves and expands river quality and access, and conserves wildlife habitat in every Colorado county. Money from the Colorado Lottery is the only funding source for GOCO.
40 percent of Colorado Lottery revenues go to the Conservation Trust Fund which allows towns, cities, counties and special districts to use funds for open space and land acquisition, equipment purchases, facility development, park maintenance, and for the renovation and restoration of local facilities.
10 percent of revenues go to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The state's 42 parks use those funds to facilitate trail construction and maintenance, land acquisition, equipment and facility purchases and maintenance of state parks facilities.
Any extra funds left over are mandated to go to Colorado's Public School Capitol Construction Assistance Fund, which addresses school health and safety issues.
The funding allocation for Colorado Lottery revenues can only be changed via a voter-approved ballot measure.