Colorado Lottery Director Abel Tapia will retire at the end of the year.
The Puebloan and former state representative and senator, was appointed lottery chief in July 2010.
Tapia said Thursday he has been weighing retirement for a year and had planned to lead the lottery for three to four years.
"It turns out it's about 3½ years and in the lottery, (that's) a lifetime," Tapia said. "Directors usually have an 18-month average on the job because it's high-profile and high-demand, so I'm very pleased with that. I'm content with that."
The desire for more time with family and grandchildren, Tapia said, is why he's retiring.
The retirement, announced by the state Department of Revenue, is not connected to the lottery's recent criticism of awarding a $62 million contract to an overseas company.
"The timing is uncomfortable because you have (media reports) and people may make the connection. A year ago I was talking about this transition. In my mind it has no relation at all to that. That's just an independent thing that came up. We always have things come up. We're a pretty visible entity."
Tapia said one his proudest accomplishments with the lottery was posting "one of the best sales years ever" for fiscal year 2013, which also gave back $126 million of proceeds to cities, counties, parks and Great Outdoors Colorado.
Extra proceeds, of about $6 million to $8 million, spill into the state's Building Excellent Schools Today fund.
That money benefits school projects in rural areas.
A search for a new director will begin in August and Tapia will stay on until the end of the year to help with the transition.
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