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Proceeds from retail sales of Colorado Lottery's games — Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto, Lucky for Life, Cash 5, Pick 3 and Scratch — go toward maintaining and protecting parks, recreation areas, wildlife, trails and open space in the sate.

According to the Colorado Lottery, more than $3 billion have gone toward outdoor projects for 34 years through Great Outdoors Colorado, the Conservation Trust Fund and Colorado Parks & Wildlife.

While pumping gas, any lottery more than $200 million catches Matt Toepfer's attention.

Toepfer, of Longmont, will be one of hundreds in Boulder County to snap up a lottery ticket at the last minute for a one-in-292.2 million chance at winning the Powerball jackpot that has climbed to $700 million.

"It's hard to fathom," he said, adding that with the money he would "definitely pay off the house, get a new truck, get my wife a new car and get the kids set up with college funds and trusts, take care of close family and have fun with whatever is left over."

The deadline to enter the drawing — the second largest in history and the largest since January 2016 — is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Colorado Lottery. A Happy Hour promotion is 4 to 6 p.m. when players can receive two free Powerball plays when they spend $20.


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The drawing will be at 11 p.m. Eastern time in Tallahassee, Fla., when five white balls will be drawn from 69 balls and one red ball will be drawn from 26 balls. To win, a ticket must match all six winning numbers.

The winner can opt to cash out the $443.3 million sum or have the full jackpot distributed in 30 payments over 29 years, to which federal and state income tax apply.

Colorado saw its last Powerball winner three years ago, when someone from Rifle won $90 million, according to the Colorado Lottery.

And with those vying for the next strike of luck, businesses across Boulder County are experiencing crunch time.

Loren Touch, owner of Gunbarrel Liquor at 6566 Lookout Road, said Powerball player volume has doubled. He said one woman in a pool with coworkers came in Tuesday with $220 for 73 draws.

"When the Powerball goes up, then people get into a frenzy," he said.

Touch said not only are people buying more Powerball tickets, but they're paying the extra $1 for the Power Play — the chance to win $2 million in cash before the Powerball winners are announced.

Applying for a lottery license has been good for business, he said, but it's not a game he plays. He said when he took over the store about four years ago, they sold around $500,000 in tickets and not one was a winner.

"I don't have anything against gambling, but I don't like the odds," Touch said. "The odds are terrible."

According to the Colorado Lottery, the odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are one in 292.2 million and the odds of winning any prize are one in 25.

At one of several 7-Eleven stores, a manager at Longmont's 840 Lashley St. location said business is picking up as procrastinators beat the drawing deadline, likening sales to the frenzy on eclipse-viewing glasses.

"It's not super crazy like the glasses, but it is a little bit more than usual," manager Oliver Samra said.

Marie Raines, a manager at Snifters Wine & Spirits, 600 S. Airport Road in Longmont, said her ticket numbers weren't picked during the $535 million jackpot drawing Saturday, but if she had won, she would have bought her house outright, gone on an extended vacation and had the means to start helping people more often.

"I'm not a big lottery player," she said. "I don't usually play until it gets high and then I start dreaming. It's always good to dream."

Amelia Arvesen: 303-684-5212, arvesena@times-call.com or twitter.com/ameliaarvesen