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How Colorado benefits when jackpots skyrocket

Even you don't win the Mega Millions or Powerball jackpot, you're not throwing away that money. It benefits various outdoor agencies in our state.

KUSA — Tuesday night's Mega Millions jackpot is worth $1.6 billion, and while many have dreams of winning the jackpot, the reality is most tickets won't be worth anything after the drawing.

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It doesn't mean, however, that you've wasted your money. Think of it as a donation. Colorado sees a lot of benefits from lottery ticket sales, especially when the jackpot grows into record territory.

"Yesterday (Monday), we had almost $3 million worth of sales," said Tom Seaver with the Colorado Lottery. "Twenty-four cents of that [of every dollar] goes right to our beneficiaries, so whether you play the lottery or not, you get to enjoy the outcome."

Based on that number, Monday's sales resulted in $720,000 in proceeds.

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In 1992, voters across Colorado made the decision to use profits from the sale of Lottery products to preserve and protect Colorado’s outdoors. Half of Colorado Lottery funds go to the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Trust Fund, 40 percent go to the Conservation Trust Fund, and 10 percent support Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Funds for GOCO for the fiscal year 2018 are capped at $66.2 million, funds that exceed that cap go to the Colorado Department of Education and the Public School Capital Construction Assistance Fund.

They aren't the only organizations that benefit.

"The other party that's affected by this is our retailers," said Seaver. "We have 3,000 retailers across Colorado that all get a commission off of every ticket sale. So they're very excited as well."

Retailers also get a bonus if they sell the winning jackpot ticket.

RELATED: Is it possible to beat the odds of Mega Millions? (Video below or click/tap here to view video.)