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Maryland has Powerball fever

Jackpot reaches $425 million by Tuesday afternoon

August 06, 2013|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com

The Powerball jackpot reached $425 million by Tuesday afternoon, making it one of the largest lottery jackpots ever, according to the Maryland Lottery officials.

Although the $425 million amount is less than the $656 Mega Millions jackpot won in 2012 and the $590.5 million Powerball jackpot won in May of this year, Erica Palmisano, assistant director of communications for the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, said Powerball fever is apparent in the state.

“We’ve seen people lining up at stores,” Palmisano said. “Everyone’s talking about it.”

If the jackpot were to remain at $425 million, Palmisano said a Maryland winner could choose between taking it as $5 million a year for 29 years or the cash option, which would be $162 million after taxes.

“We always have a chuckle when it gets this high,” she said. “One-hundred million (dollars) used to get people talking, but now 200 to 300 million gets the buzz going.”

Kelli Bowers, who works at Dual Highway Liquors in Hagerstown, said she had not seen many Powerball buyers Tuesday afternoon.

“When people start to get off work, they come to buy,” Bowers said. “Wednesday will be our big day. It’s always the day of” the lottery drawing.

Larry Keyser, sales clerk at C&R Liquors on Dual Highway in Hagerstown, said that although ticket sales were slow in the afternoon, it was busy in the morning, and he expected it to get busy again as people got out of work.

“It’ll probably pick up Wednesday,” he said. “The busiest is between 3 and 5 in the afternoon.”

Keyser said it gets “insane” when the jackpot gets above $200 million.

“People have been buying them $40 at a time,” he said. “One guy bought $100 worth for himself.”

David Glushakow, 52, of Frederick, Md., bought a Powerball ticket in Hagerstown Tuesday. He said he buys tickets when the jackpot gets to a “substantial” amount of money.

“It’s a lot of money,” Glushakow said. “If I was blessed to get it, I’d probably give a lot to St. Jude, people in need, and take care of myself.”

Palmisano said people should check their tickets even if they do not match six numbers — five regular numbers and the Powerball — because  several other combinations also have payoffs.

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