Eric Culver, of Conowingo, holds up the Powerball tickets he bought at the Royal Farms store in Fallston Tuesday, hoping to win the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot.
Eric Culver, of Conowingo, holds up the Powerball tickets he bought at the Royal Farms store in Fallston Tuesday, hoping to win the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot. (DAVID ANDERSON | AEGIS STAFF / Baltimore Sun)

The Maryland Lottery machines, and the employees running them, at the Royal Farms convenience store on Route 1 in Fallston were kept busy late Tuesday morning as a steady stream of shoppers purchased sheaves of Powerball tickets.

"It's to the point where it's making our lottery machines slow down," Ashley Reynolds, a shift leader at the store, said, adding that most customers have been buying "two tickets or more."

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Harford County has joined much of the country with a bad case of Powerball Fever during the past week as the top prize increases from about $500 million to a peak – as of Tuesday morning – of $1.5 billion, with next drawing coming up Wednesday night.

Marcus John, who lives in Havre de Grace, bought 10 Powerball tickets at the Fallston Royal Farms Tuesday "because it has to be somebody" who wins. He said he would make a "huge donation" to local charities if he does.

"You have to play to win," he added.

There are 186 retail establishments in Harford County where customers can purchase Powerball tickets, according to Erica Palmisano, a spokesperson for the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

The Fallston Royal Farms was a draw for not only Harford County residents, but also people from other counties and states who wanted Powerball tickets while working in or passing through Harford.

Eric Culver, of Conowingo, an electrician with Byrnes Electric north of Bel Air, was on his lunch break Tuesday while working the exterior lights at the nearby Fallston Village Center, the former Fallston Mall that is undergoing extensive renovations.

Culver said he does not buy Lottery tickets on a regular basis, but he bought 10 Powerball tickets Tuesday because the jackpot is "getting up there."

"I haven't bought a Lottery ticket in a while," he said. "It's a waste of money, but you see it's over $1 billion now, you might as well get one."

Culver, 38, said he would probably retire if he hits the jackpot.

Shelley Silwick, of Perry Hall, stopped at the Royal Farms to get one Powerball ticket and two Mega Millions tickets for her husband. She passes the store on her way to visit her daughter in Bel Air.

She said her husband has won the $4 prize twice when his tickets matched the number on the Powerball.

"We have four children and three grandchildren, so I'm sure we'd like to take care of them," Silwick said when asked what she and her husband would do if they won the grand prize.

Kim Lockhart, a resident of New Castle, Del., and a delivery truck driver for TZ Distributors, said he plays Powerball "every now and then," explaining: "I have to try my luck."

Lockhart said he would "probably fall out" if he won the jackpot.

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"[I would] take care of family members, make sure everybody's straight, and then go have fun, go on a long fishing trip, that's what I'd do," he said.

The Powerball drawing is scheduled to air at 11:22 p.m. on WBAL-TV Wednesday, or players can check the results online at www.mdlottery.com or via the MD Lottery mobile app.

Aegis staff member Bryna Zumer contributed to this report.

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