Powerball jackpot rises to $300 million ahead of Saturday's drawing

After a few months without a massive jackpot, the national Powerball drawing is again gaining steam, raising its prize to $300 million ahead of Saturday's drawing.

Maryland is one of 43 states, along with Washington and the Virgin Islands, that particpate in the lottery. The lottery has not drawn a winning number since a Pennsylvania ticketholder won a $131.5 million jackpot on June 23. The current drawing has a cash option of $172.7 million.

Although the odds of winning such a massive lottery are slim, Maryland has had a number of winners in recent jackpots. In March 2012, three Maryland public school employees won a portion ($218.6 million) of the largest multstate jackpot in U.S. history ($656 million). Those Mega Millions winners, who chose to remain anonymous, each received $35 million lump-sum payments. 

In May, the Powerball jackpot swelled to $600 million, setting off a wave of ticket buying around Baltimore. In the end, a Florida ticketholder won the prize.

The Powerball game -- five numbers selected from a drum of 59 white balls, plus one number selected from 35 red balls -- is played twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday.  The drawing will be held Saturday at 11:22 p.m. in Orlando and will be televised on WBAL, Channel 11. Ticket sales will end at 9:59 p.m. on Saturday. 

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