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Powerball jackpot unclaimed, top prize a record $425 million Wednesday

Nobody won Saturday's $325 million Powerball jackpot Saturday night, setting up a $425 million-plus jackpot for Wednesday night's drawing that has even casual lottery players ready to take the plunge.

"I only play when it gets big," Linthicum's Charlie Morlock said Sunday afternoon, hot off plunking down $20 for Powerball tickets at his local Royal Farms store. This was, he noted, the first time he'd played the lottery this year.

Lottery officials said Wednesday's drawing could soar beyond $425 million, depending on how many people cough up the $2 necessary to play. The Powerball lottery is available in 42 states and Washington, D.C.

While Morlock acknowledged that he didn't like his odds of winning – "They're about as good as the chances of it being 80 degrees tomorrow," he said with a not-optimistic smile – he also allowed as how they're just as good as everybody else's.

The Powerball numbers for Saturday were 22-32-37-44-50, and the Powerball was 34. The jackpot was the fourth largest in the game's history. A single winner Wednesday night choosing a lump sum over the 30-year annuity would get a check for $278.3 million.

The previous top prize was $365 million, won in 2006 by eight workers in Lincoln, Neb., meat packing plant. Earlier this year, MegaMillions had a jackpot of $656 million. One of the three winning tickets for that jackpot was sold at a Milford Mill 7-Eleven. The three educators who bought the winning ticket, each of whom won some $35 million, have kept their identities secret.

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