The state of Colorado has been running a successful lottery enterprise since 1982, when the first lottery ticket was sold. Today, the Lottery is a proud member of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) and offers the biggest draws, such as Powerball, Mega Millions, and Lucky for Life, with jackpots worth hundreds of millions.
Over the past 40 years, the Colorado Lottery has given more than $3.5 billion back to state parks, trails, open spaces and recreation facilities under their proceeds distribution scheme. To be precise, the Lottery proceeds go to Great Outdoors Colorado, Conservation Trust Fund, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Once the GOCO cap is met, what is left goes to the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) fund.
In this article, you will find all the information regarding the Colorado Lottery — what games you can play, how to purchase tickets, when different draws start, and other useful intel — so read on.
Purchase lottery tickets online in Colorado
Colorado online lottery
For the time being, you cannot buy scratch cards or lottery tickets online in Colorado using the Colorado lottery app. However, there are several functions and services you can use for the Colorado Lottery app.
The Colorado Lottery app brings players numerous useful features, including the ability to scan your lottery and scratch tickets to check if you have a winner. The app also sends mobile alerts to keep you up to date with all the information related to draw times and results. Also, you can locate the nearest retailer. Players who register MyLottery profiles can assign lucky numbers and get notifications about new lotteries, events, and promotions.
The biggest advantage of the proprietary Colorado Lottery mobile app is the ability to enter bonus draws, known as the second-chance prize draws. If you scan your non-winning lottery and scratch tickets, they will automatically enter the bonus draws. The prizes in those bonus draws can at times be worth as much as the initial lottery draws.
The apps also give access to the ‘Free Play Zone’, where you can find digital games based on popular scratch cards and online lottery games, such as Frogger and Infinite Luck. You can play these games free.
Although the Colorado Lottery app doesn’t let you buy lottery tickets online, you can purchase your tickets through a regulated courier lottery app called ‘Jackpocket’. The app allows players from Colorado to buy lottery tickets for Powerball, Mega Millions, and Lucky for Life, as well as for Colorado’s own ‘Cash 5’ and ‘Pick 3’ lottery draws, right from their mobile devices.
How does Jackpocket work?
Jackpocket is one of the first third-party lottery apps that US players can use to purchase tickets online from licensed retailers.
The entire process of buying your lottery ticket via the Jackpocket app is quite straightforward. First of all, you need to select your game and numbers. If you want the app to do the number picking for you, you can opt for the ‘Quick Pick’ feature, and the app will produce random numbers. After you’ve made sure everything is according to your liking, you need to confirm the order, and Jackpot will obtain your ticket from a licensed retailer. The ticket will be scanned and sent to you through the app. If you are the lucky winner, you will receive a notification with further instructions on how to claim your prize.
If the winnings are worth $599 or less, they will be automatically credited to your account. In case of a larger win, Jackpocket will ship the actual physical ticket to you, together with instructions on how to claim the prize from the Colorado State Lottery. With the help of Jackpocket, you will never have to worry about losing your ticket and leaving the potential jackpots unclaimed.
Colorado residents can fund their Jackpocket accounts via PayPal, secure bank login, and e-checks. A small deposit fee will be charged for the services. However, that is the only fee you will ever have to pay for using Jackpocket. Whatever you win is yours to keep.
What lottery games can I play in Colorado?
The Colorado State Lottery is jam-packed with exciting multi-state and local lottery games and scratch cards, such as Powerball, Mega Millions, Colorado Lotto+, and many others.
The biggest wins can be expected from the multi-state lotteries, but the local ones shouldn’t be overlooked either.
There are also 80 different scratch cards you can choose from, which offer jackpots worth up to $3 million.
Colorado Lottery multi-state draw games
Residents of the Centennial State have been playing Powerball since 2001. The state also joined Mega Millions on May 16, 2011, on the same date as South Dakota. The Lucky for Life lottery draws began in 2016, and Colorado was the 24th state to offer the game.
Powerball is a super-popular lottery available in 45 states, including Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. The payout potential of the Powerball lottery can be worth billions, and Colorado residents have had their fair share of that prize pool.
Powerball is a pretty simple lottery game, which is another reason why players love it so much. First of all, you need to choose five from 69 numbers located in the upper part of the ticket. Then, you need to select one of 26 numbers for the ‘Powerball’ located in the lower part of the ticket. The cost of each Powerball ticket is $2. However, for an extra $1, you can add the ‘Power Play’ option and multiply your winnings (except the jackpot and Match 5 prize) up to 10x times and get jackpot amounts of $40 million to $150 million.
Colorado State Lottery allows you to buy tickets for multiple draws in advance by using the ‘Advance Play’ feature. You can purchase tickets for up to 26 drawings or 13 weeks. However, you should note that you will be playing the same numbers for each of these draws.
The biggest ever Powerball jackpot won in Colorado was $133.2 million. The lucky ticket was bought at the Lucky Me convenience store in Grand Junction in 2017.
Colorado Powerball key points:
- The cost of the Powerball ticket is $2.
- You can use the ‘Advance Play’ option and purchase tickets for 26 consecutive draws.
- The biggest Powerball jackpot won in Colorado was $133.2 million.
Colorado Mega Millions
The Mega Millions multi-state lottery has been played in Colorado since 2011 and is one of the most popular lotteries in the state. It’s no wonder why, since it has such a huge payout potential measured in hundreds of millions of dollars.
To partake in a Mega Millions draw, you need to choose five from 70 numbers from the upper section of the payslip and one of 25 numbers for Mega Ball. If you want the teller to pick the numbers for you, you need to use the ‘Quick Pick’ box on the payslip.
Ticket buyers need to pay $2 to buy a ticket. For $1 more, they can add the ‘Megaplier’ option and multiply potential winnings up to five times the original amount (jackpot excluded). The ‘Advance Play’ feature is also available for the Mega Millions draws at all participating retailers. Most retailers will give you the opportunity to use the ‘Advance Play’ mode as well and buy tickets for 26 consecutive draws.
Colorado Mega Millions key points:
- You need to guess all six numbers to win the jackpot.
- The ‘Megaplier’ option multiplies your win up to five times.
- The price of a single ticket is set at $2.
Colorado Lucky for Life
Ever since the Colorado State Lottery signed the agreement to include Lucky for Life lottery in its offer, the sales of lottery tickets have only gone up. For instance, according to the report issued by the Department of Revenue, the sales of Lucky for Life tickets amounted to $16 million in 2017 alone.
Lucky for Life is quite unique, as its jackpot winners get $1,000 every day for the rest of their lives. The estimated cash value of the prize is around $6 million.
For a chance to be a lucky winner for life, you need to select five out of 48 numbers and one out of 18 for the ‘Lucky Ball’. You need to guess all six numbers to get the jackpot prize. You can purchase the tickets for $2 from the majority of licensed Colorado retailers.
Colorado residents have been quite lucky playing this lottery. Although the ultimate jackpot has not been won yet, the second-best jackpot of the lottery, worth $25,000 a year, has been won several times. On one occasion, a winning lottery ticket was purchased in Castle Rock in 2019. However, it was left unclaimed, which resulted in the Colorado Lottery claiming the winnings for itself.
Colorado Lucky for Life key points:
- The jackpot winner will get $1,000 a day for the rest of their lives.
- The price of the ticket is $2.
- Colorado residents have won the $25,000 a year payouts on several occasions.
Colorado multi-state lottery draw times
The draws for the Powerball lottery are on Wednesdays and Saturdays at approximately 9:00 PM local time. The Mega Millions draws take place on Tuesdays and Fridays at around 9:00 PM, while the Lucky for Life draws are scheduled on Mondays and Thursdays at approximately 8:38 PM.
Colorado State Lottery draw games
In addition to the lottery games administered by Colorado State Lottery and under the auspices of the Multi-State Lottery Association, Colorado also has three of its own lottery games. Let’s check them out.
Colorado Lotto+ is the State Lottery’s original game that offers a minimum jackpot of $1 million. For your chance to get that coveted prize, you need to choose six out of 40 numbers and guess them correctly. The price of the ticket is $2, but for $1 extra, you can activate the ‘Plus’ option.
With this option, the numbers you have selected will also be used for an additional draw, that takes place immediately after the first one. If all six of your numbers match the drawn numbers, you will be looking at a jackpot worth $250,000. Matching between three and five numbers will generate winnings multiplied by the multiplier shown on the ticket (2x, 3x, 4x, 5x).
The largest-ever Colorado Lotto win was $27 million. It was won by a Boulder college student, Kim Walker, on March 25, 1992.
Cash 5 is another popular local lottery from Colorado, where players have to select five out of 32 numbers to win jackpots worth tens of thousands of dollars. The ticket price is $2, but if you chip in an extra $1, you can play the ‘EZ Match’ bonus game and win from $2 to $500 instantly. Your Cash 5 ‘EZ Match’ ticket will contain your original numbers and your ‘EZ Match’ numbers. If any of the numbers match, you’ll instantly win the prize listed next to the ‘EZ Match’ number.
The Pick 3 lottery is a simple game with very good winning odds. Basically, you only need to select three numbers from zero to nine. You can choose unique numbers or duplicate them — the choice is all yours. The betting options you can choose for $0.50 per wager are:
- Exact — Your numbers need to match the numbers drawn in the exact order.
- Any order — You win if your numbers match the winning ones in any order.
- Front pair — You win if the first two winning numbers match your first two numbers in the combination.
- Back pair — You win if the last two winning numbers match your last two numbers in the combination.
If you want to place a $1, $2, or $5 wager, you can use the same bets as with the $0.50 wager, plus the ‘Exact Order + Any Order’ bet.
Colorado State draw times
The draw times for the Colorado Lotto+ lottery are Wednesdays and Saturdays at approximately 7:35 PM, while the draws for Cash 5 take place daily at around 7:35 PM. The drawings for the Pick 3 game happen twice a day, seven days a week, at around 1:30 PM and 7:30 PM.
Colorado scratch tickets
The Colorado State Lottery has one of the most diverse offers of scratch cards nationwide. Namely, there are 80 different kinds to choose from, categorized according to their prices and jackpots. There are $1, $2, $3, $5, $10, $20, and $50 games, and the most expensive ones are the doorway to the biggest jackpots. The top prizes in Mega Money, Black Titanium, and $3 Million Jackpot scratch cards are set at a whopping $3 million.
Other gambling options in Colorado
As we have pointed out before, Colorado is a fairly restricted state where gambling is concerned. Under the law, the only legal forms of gambling in the state are the lottery, live and off-track betting on horse racing events, bingo and raffles, limited gaming, and sports betting.
While most of these gambling forms are pretty self-explanatory, limited gaming and sports betting may need some clarification.
Limited gaming refers to casinos in Colorado offering slots, blackjack, poker, craps, and roulette in historic districts in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek, as well as on the tribal reservation lands in Southwest Colorado.
As for sports betting in Colorado, it is the only online form of gambling approved. Of course, retail sports wagering is also allowed.
Colorado Lottery history
The 1980 referendum revised the Colorado Constitution and saw the birth of state-supervised lottery games. The Senate Bill 82-119 created the Lottery Commission under the Department of Revenue. This commission is in charge of managing and controlling the lottery in the state. Over the years, the Lottery has introduced Powerball, Mega Millions, Lucky for Life and other multi-state draws.
The Colorado State Lottery became a member of the World Lottery Association in 2018, which has improved its responsible gaming program considerably. Namely, the WLA gave the Colorado Lottery a Level 2 certification for its responsible gaming policies.
The Colorado State Lottery is a business enterprise that is completely self-funded, which means not a single tax dollar goes into its funding. In fact, the state is among the main beneficiaries of the lottery revenue, together with retailers and winners. After the operational costs have been paid and the winners have gotten their share, the net lottery proceeds go to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, which receives 10% of the profits. Furthermore, the Colorado Conservation Trust Fund gets 40%, and up to 50% goes to Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO).
Since 1983, more than $3.5 billion has been invested in the protection of Colorado wilderness and nature.