The Colorado Lottery began on January 24, 1983, initially selling only scratch tickets. Its first drawing took place on April 23, 1983.
Colorado Lottery games include Cash 5 (with a 5-of-32 matrix), Pick 3, Colorado Lotto, Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, and Powerball; it also sells scratch tickets. Colorado has offered fewer drawing games than most U.S. lotteries even though it began in the early 1980s; Powerball was not available in Colorado until 2001. Colorado joined Mega Millions on May 16, 2010 (the same day as South Dakota) as part of the MUSL cross-selling agreement involving both major jackpot games.
Colorado Lottery revenues are directed, by a state constitutional amendment approved by voters in 1992, to outdoor recreation, parks, trails, rivers, wildlife, and open space. The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Trust Fund  distributes 50 percent of Lottery proceeds through competitive grants to local governments and land trusts, while 40 percent is distributed to the Conservation Trust Fund, and 10 percent goes to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. After the GOCO cap is met, proceeds fall into the BEST fund (Building Excellent Schools Today).
Current draw games
In-house draw games
Pick 3 began in April 2013. It draws three digits, each 0 through 9; wagers are of 50 cents to $5.00. Wager types include Exact Order, Any Order, Front Pair, and Back Pair. A 50-cent Exact Order bet can win $250.
Cash 5 began in 1996. It draws 5 of 32 numbers. The minimum jackpot is $20,000.
On January 24, 1989, Colorado Lotto began. Initially it was drawn Saturdays. On July 18, 1990, Wednesday drawings were added. Six of 42 numbers are chosen. The minimum jackpot is $1 million (annuity with cash option); games cost $1. The largest Colorado Lotto was $27 million, won by Kim Walker of Boulder in 1992.
Lucky for Life
Begun in Connecticut in 2009 as Lucky-4-Life, it has changed it double matrix three times, and expanded to a regional game and then "quasi-national." It also began giving "lifetime" winners the option of cash in lieu of the annuity.
Players choose 5 of 48 "white balls", and a green "Lucky Ball" from a second pool, of 18 numbers. There are ten prize tiers, including two that have a "lifetime" prize. Drawings remain in Connecticut.
Since April 2001, Colorado has been a member of MUSL. Powerball's jackpots begin at $40 million; it is drawn Wednesday and Saturday nights. Players pick 5 numbers from 1 to 69, and 1 number out of 26.
The largest Powerball jackpot won in Colorado was $133 million in September 2017.
On October 13, 2009 the Mega Millions consortium and MUSL reached an agreement in principle to cross-sell Mega Millions and Powerball in U.S. lottery jurisdictions. Most lotteries with either game began selling tickets for both on January 31, 2010. Mega Millions tickets have been sold in Colorado since May 16, 2010. The Colorado Lottery has not yet had a Mega Millions jackpot winner.
Plays are $1 each, or $2 with the Megaplier; the latter multiplier non-jackpot prizes.
Mega Millions will change its format in October 2017; plays will be $2 each, or $3 with the Megaplier.
MatchPlay (ended June 29, 2012)
MatchPlay was drawn on Tuesdays and Fridays. Games were $2 each; each play consisted of three sets of six numbers. The first set could either be chosen by the player, or as a computer-generated "quick pick"; the other two always were quick picks. Six of 38 numbers were drawn. Prizes were won in two ways: "line play" (matching enough numbers in any of the six-number sets), or "combination play" (if enough of the 18 numbers across the three sets were matched. Some $2 plays won in both categories.)
An example of a game similar to MatchPlay is Pennsylvania's Match 6.
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- "Colorado (CO) Lottery – Winning Numbers & Results". www.lotteryusa.com. Retrieved 2016-05-09.