Has Colorado ever had a Powerball jackpot winner?

Colorado has had its fair share of lucky Powerball winners over the years. The Colorado Lottery joined the Powerball game in April 2001, and since then, several jackpot prizes have been won by Colorado residents. While the state has yet to have an individual winner of the massive $1 billion+ jackpots that make headlines, there have still been some significant Powerball victors here.

Notable Colorado Powerball Jackpot Wins

Here are some of the biggest Powerball jackpots that have been won in Colorado:

  • November 2005 – $27 million – Winner purchased ticket in Pueblo
  • November 2008 – $17 million – Sold in Parker
  • January 2009 – $34 million – Sold in Colorado Springs
  • November 2011 – $40 million – Sold in Grand Junction
  • May 2013 – $50 million – Sold in Pueblo
  • February 2014 – $90 million – Sold in Colorado Springs
  • January 2015 – $50 million – Sold in Grand Junction
  • June 2017 – $133 million – Sold in Alamosa

The largest individual Powerball jackpot won in Colorado was back in June 2017 when a single ticket purchased in Alamosa matched all six numbers to win the $133 million prize. The winner chose to take the cash option lump sum payment of $89.2 million. Prior to this win, the biggest jackpot in the state was the $90 million prize sold in Colorado Springs in February 2014.

Current Powerball Jackpot

As of October 31, 2023, the Powerball jackpot stands at $25 million after a ticket in New York matched all six numbers on October 29 to win a massive $635 million prize. The jackpot now resets with a minimum starting amount of $20 million and will continue growing based on game sales and interest until another player hits the jackpot.

The overall odds of winning any Powerball prize are 1 in 24.9. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million.

How Powerball Works

Powerball is a multi-state lottery game operated by 45 state lotteries including Colorado. Players select five main numbers between 1-69 and one Powerball number between 1-26. To win the jackpot, a player must match all five main numbers and the Powerball. Jackpots start at a guaranteed $40 million and roll over when there is no grand prize winner. Tickets cost $2 per play.

There are eight other prize tiers in Powerball:

  • Match 5 main numbers only – $1 million prize
  • Match 4 main numbers and the Powerball – $50,000 prize
  • Match 4 main numbers only – $100 prize
  • Match 3 main numbers and the Powerball – $100 prize
  • Match 3 main numbers only – $7 prize
  • Match 2 main numbers and the Powerball – $7 prize
  • Match 1 main number and the Powerball – $4 prize
  • Match the Powerball only – $4 prize

Drawings are held every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. ET. Tickets must be purchased by 9:45 p.m. MT on draw nights to be eligible.

Biggest Powerball Jackpots in History

Here are the Top 10 largest Powerball jackpots to date:

Jackpot Amount Winning Ticket Sale Location Draw Date
$2.04 billion California November 7, 2022
$1.586 billion California, Florida, Tennessee January 13, 2016
$768.4 million Wisconsin March 27, 2019
$758.7 million Massachusetts August 23, 2017
$731.1 million Maryland January 20, 2021
$699.8 million California October 4, 2021
$687.8 million Iowa and New York October 27, 2018
$632.6 million California and Wisconsin January 5, 2022
$590.5 million Florida May 18, 2013
$587.5 million Arizona and Missouri November 28, 2012

The world record jackpot of $2.04 billion was hit on November 7, 2022 and won by a single ticket in California. Prior to this, the previous record was a $1.586 billion prize shared by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee in January 2016.

Noteworthy Powerball Jackpot Wins in Neighboring States

Colorado is surrounded by six other states, many of which have had major Powerball victors of their own over the years:

  • Wyoming – $365 million – March 2018
  • Nebraska – $365 million – February 2006
  • Kansas – $191 million – November 2012
  • Oklahoma – $252 million – August 2017
  • New Mexico – $232 million – December 2009
  • Arizona – $188 million – November 2005

The two largest Powerball prizes won in nearby states were each worth $365 million. A ticket in Wyoming won that amount in March 2018, while a Nebraska couple claimed a $365 million jackpot in February 2006.

Notable Powerball Winners in Colorado

While there have not been any jackpot victories nearing the $1 billion mark, Colorado has still produced its share of big Powerball winners. Here are some of the more notable jackpot wins in state history:

  • Kathy Hungsberg – In November 2005, this Pueblo resident won $27 million, the largest Powerball prize in Colorado up to that time. At the time, Hungsberg worked at a Walmart in Pueblo.
  • Parker Family – An anonymous family from Parker took home a $17 million prize in November 2008. The family opted to take the cash option lump sum payment.
  • Nick Boemmel – This Colorado Springs resident claimed a $34 million jackpot in January 2009. Boemmel worked as a railroad engineer at the time.
  • Louie Penate – Penate, an auto mechanic in Grand Junction, won $40 million in November 2011. After state and federal taxes, he took home around $27 million.
  • Brad Duke – In May 2013, this retired Air Force officer from Pueblo won a $50 million jackpot. After taxes, Duke took home around $34 million.
  • Larry Jones – This retired government accountant from Colorado Springs scored a $90 million prize in February 2014. He opted for the cash lump sum of $55 million.

In addition to these major jackpot victories, there have been many other Colorado players who became instant millionaires after matching the first 5 numbers.

Unclaimed Powerball Jackpots in Colorado

On a handful of occasions, Powerball jackpots have gone unclaimed in Colorado when the ticket holder failed to come forward during the redemption period:

  • November 2012 – $50,000 unclaimed
  • April 2015 – $50,000 unclaimed
  • August 2016 – $133,000 unclaimed
  • March 2017 – $133,000 unclaimed
  • December 2017 – $50,000 unclaimed

For prizes of $600 or more, players have 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim their winnings. Unredeemed prizes over this amount go back to the state lottery jurisdiction.

Where Jackpot Winning Tickets Have Been Sold in Colorado

Powerball jackpots can be won anywhere in the state where lottery tickets are sold. Here is a breakdown of some of the cities and towns where major jackpot tickets have been purchased:

  • Pueblo – 2 jackpot wins
  • Grand Junction – 2 jackpot wins
  • Colorado Springs – 2 jackpot wins
  • Parker – 1 jackpot win
  • Alamosa – 1 jackpot win

Pueblo and Grand Junction lead the way with two Powerball jackpots each. In both of these cities, the two big wins came about 6-7 years apart. The two wins in Colorado Springs were sold approximately 5 years apart.

How Winners Claim Prizes in Colorado

For Colorado players lucky enough to hit a big Powerball prize, there are a few steps required to claim the windfall:

  1. Sign the back of the winning ticket – This establishes ownership and protects against loss or theft.
  2. Safeguard the ticket – Store it somewhere secure until ready to claim. Make copies for redundancy.
  3. Consult experts – Speak with financial advisors, lawyers, and tax specialists to strategize.
  4. Claim in person – Jackpot prizes must be redeemed at Colorado Lottery headquarters in Pueblo.
  5. Collect payment – Prizes over $600 are subject to income tax withholding.
  6. Remain anonymous – Colorado allows big winners to stay anonymous if desired.

For prizes over $600, winners cannot collect their full payment immediately. The prize money is issued via annuity over many years or as a one-time cash option. Annuities stretch out payment to help winners manage huge windfalls responsibly.

Colorado Lottery Proceeds and Beneficiaries

The Colorado Lottery has been operating since 1983. In addition to Powerball, the lottery offers these draw games in the state:

  • Mega Millions
  • Cash 5
  • Pick 3
  • Lucky for Life

The Colorado Lottery is run by a 5-member commission appointed by the governor. Since beginning in 1983, the lottery has generated over $3.3 billion for state beneficiaries:

  • Conservation Trust Fund – Receives 40% of proceeds
  • Colorado Parks and Wildlife – Receives 10% of proceeds
  • Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund – Receives 50% of proceeds

These lottery proceeds support vital state conservation efforts, help fund outdoor recreation projects, and preserve Colorado’s natural areas and open spaces.

The Odds of Winning Powerball in Colorado

The overall odds of winning any prize in Powerball, based on a $2 ticket purchase, are about 1 in 25. The odds for the eight prize tiers are as follows:

  • Jackpot (5 + PB) – 1 in 292,201,338
  • Match 5 only – 1 in 11,688,053
  • Match 4 + PB – 1 in 913,129
  • Match 4 only – 1 in 36,525
  • Match 3 + PB – 1 in 14,494
  • Match 3 only – 1 in 579
  • Match 2 + PB – 1 in 701
  • Match 1 + PB – 1 in 92
  • Match PB only – 1 in 38

A player has the best odds of winning a prize for matching just the Powerball number or matching one number plus the Powerball. But the biggest prizes obviously come from matching more numbers. Powerball’s huge jackpots offset the tiny odds of hitting it big.

Colorado Lottery Scratch Games

In addition to draw games like Powerball, the Colorado Lottery offers a wide selection of scratch-off instant win games. These tickets can be purchased for prices ranging from $1 up to $20 per ticket. Some of the most popular current scratch games include:

  • 100X The Cash
  • Bonus Crossword
  • Ca$h Flurries
  • Giant Jumbo Bucks
  • Holiday Bingo
  • Money Mania
  • Ruby Riches
  • Super Betty Bucks
  • Winfall

Scratch tickets offer smaller prizes, but also better odds such as 1 in 4.5. Big jackpots are not possible, with top prizes ranging from $20,000 to $3 million.

Future Powerball Jackpot Outlook in Colorado

Although Colorado has yet to produce an individual Powerball jackpot winner over $100 million, the future looks bright for potential big prizes. With the game’s continued popularity and growing jackpots, it may just be a matter of time.

The record $2 billion jackpot in November 2022 has fueled further Powerball interest. It shows how epic the top prizes can become. Even if no ticket matches all six numbers during a long roll over streak, massive jackpots exceeding $500 million or more are always possible.

Colorado Lottery players should remain optimistic and continue playing Powerball when the jackpots grow. Buying more tickets when pots escalate improves odds. With over 3 million residents across Colorado regularly playing Powerball, chances are good a historic jackpot could strike here someday.


In summary, although Colorado has yet to produce a jackpot winner exceeding $200 million, the state’s Powerball history is still filled with significant moments. There have been dozens of winners who scored prizes in the tens of millions, becoming instant millionaires.

Powerball’s increasing popularity and the game’s ability to roll to mind-boggling sums means history may still be in the making in Colorado. A $500 million, $800 million, or even billion dollar jackpot is very feasible. Only time will tell if one of these massive windfalls eventually finds its way into the winner’s circle here.

For Colorado Lottery players, the takeaway is clear – keep dreaming big and don’t lose hope. That next huge Powerball jackpot could always be just one lucky ticket away.

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