Powerball preview

The Powerball jackpot for Wednesday's drawing is estimated at about $550 million as of Wednesday afternoon. (Saul LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Image / November 26, 2012)

Ade George has already finished his Christmas shopping online, but while sitting on a bench at the Towson Town Center mall on Wednesday, Nov. 28, the Upper Marlboro resident and his friends were texting about a way to make it feel like Christmas every day.

George has never played the lottery before, but with an announced jackpot of more than $550 million for Wednesday night’s Powerball jackpot, there was only one answer when his friends asked if he wanted in on their group of tickets.

“I’m in,” he said.

And even though his holiday shopping is done, George admitted there would be nothing wrong with shopping for next year — especially if he had a couple hundred million dollars to his name.

Likewise, Bel Air resident Carine Golden fantasized about having $550 million to spend on Christmas gifts for her family and friends.

“It would be a lot easier for me,” she said. “I could buy anything I want without checking the label.”

Golden said she plays the lottery from time to time, mainly when the jackpot gets too large to ignore — and Wednesday’s drawing is no exception.

During the last mammoth lottery drawing that captured the nation’s attention, three unidentified Maryland school employees won part of a $656 million Mega Millions jackpot with a ticket purchased in Baltimore County.

Still, Golden recognizes that the odds aren’t in her favor.

“It’s just a dream,” she said wistfully.