The Colorado Lottery has broken its best year record for revenue in the middle of a pandemic and previous year shutdown. The Lottery is celebrating its fiscal year 2021 revenue coming in at $794.9 million, 21% higher than fiscal year 2020 and 17% higher than its highest revenue milestone in fiscal year 2019. In comparison, fiscal year 2020 year-end revenue was $658.8 million.
A renewed focus on industry best practices and listening to players are critical components of this year’s Lottery success. While Coloradans’ shopping habits normalized soon after the shutdown ended, a critical element of success was Lottery Scratch game sales, increasing 32% in fiscal year 2021 to $573 million. The Lottery’s introduction of more and higher-priced games was an important factor.
Thanks to a strong bounceback after the early months of the pandemic and the support of players and retailers, the Lottery was able to meet its Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) cap in April 2021 this fiscal year. Distributions to beneficiaries went up this fiscal year by 19% to $169.4 million. Here is a breakdown of all of the proceeds distributions for this year.
“Breaking the sales record is great, and it shows the support and commitment of our players, retailers, and our lottery staff. But we are really here to maximize funds for our beneficiaries, so the record transfer to our partners who protect our outdoors, wildlife and schools is really the best news of all,” said Tom Seaver, director of the Colorado Lottery.
Another element to success this year, Lottery players love having a Colorado-only option to win, which is part of why Colorado Lotto+ increased revenue 46% in fiscal year 2021 as well, to $48 million. Sales of every product category increased this fiscal year, especially the national Powerball and Mega Millions games, which both ended in a more than 30% increase due to large, dual rolling jackpots. This year Mega Millions revenue increased 52% compared to last year, and there was a 31% increase for Powerball. Here is a breakdown of all of the Lottery’s year-end revenue.
“As Colorado grows and people enjoy being outdoors more than ever, our state risks loving our outdoors to death,” added Seaver. “By increasing revenue, we are able to help our beneficiaries do more to protect, support and expand outdoor opportunities.”
The Lottery is working towards increasing revenue to $1 billion by the start of fiscal year 2024. Of every dollar spent on Lottery games, 65 cents goes back to winners and 21 cents to proceeds beneficiaries. As a state agency committed to fiscal responsibility, the Lottery’s revenue is primarily focused on winners and proceeds beneficiaries.
“We work to maximize every dollar to give back to the people of Colorado,” said Executive Director Mark Ferrandino. “The growth we’ve seen is a testament to the support of the lottery and our beneficiaries, helping power the economic comeback in our state.”
New legislation in FY21 changed the Lottery’s spillover funding distribution for the first time in decades. The Colorado Legislature voted to approve the creation of the Outdoor Equity Fund. The fund, which is managed by CPW. The fund, which is managed by CPW, will receive $750,000 for fiscal year 2021. In addition, the Wildlife Cash Fund will receive $2.3 million and a Parks/Outdoor Recreation Cash Fund will receive $2.3 million for the first time.BEST will receive $7.6 million.