Now Multi-State Lottery officials anticipate the lure of a half-billion prize to spark a fresh round of ticket buying despite the 1 and 175 million odds, USA Today reports.
Powerball is played in 42 states—including Maryland and Virginia—plus Washington, DC and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The game first arrived in the Old Line State in 2010.
Saturday’s drawing was the most recent of more than a dozen rounds of winner-less jackpot drawings since October. The jackpot for Wednesday was initially announced as $425 million, but lottery officials said a surge of ticket purchases over the weekend pushed the total to $500 million.
Winning Powerball tickets have been purchased in Maryland twice before: a $128 million winner purchased by a Pennsylvania couple in Elkton, MD in December 2011; and a $108.8 million winner purchased in Abingdon, MD in September 2011.
More recently, one of three winning tickets in March's $640 million Mega Millions drawing was sold at a 7-Eleven in Milford Mill.
The largest Powerball jackpot ever—$365 million—came in February of 2006. The lone winning ticket was purchased by eight employees of a Congra meatpacking plant in Nebraska, who opted to split the $177 million cash value eight ways.
Wednesday's drawing will be broadcast at 10:59 p.m. on WJLA (channel 9) in the DC area and at 11:22 p.m. on WBAL-TV (channel 11) in the Batimore area. Drawings are later rebroadcast on Maryland Public Television.