Stephanie Novak doesn't play the lottery often, but on Saturday, she was one of millions in Maryland and across the country to get in line for a Powerball ticket as the jackpot soared to a record-breaking $900 million.
A lucky patron of Holiday Food Mart on Holliday Street in downtown Baltimore won a $1 million Powerball ticket after matching all five balls on Wednesday night's drawing, Maryland lottery officials said.
Maryland is joining 33 other states in a lottery association that will give players access to new games, including one being introduced in the fall that could award several million-dollar prizes at one time.
Based on the numbers of early voters, the polls were expected to be crowded on Election Day. Besides the presidential race, this year's election features a number of controversial statewide issues. There were referendum votes on same sex marriage, gambling expansion and in-state tuition rates for children of illegal immigrants who attend Maryland state colleges.
Angela Hoover wasn't too optimistic about her chances of becoming an instant millionaire, but she dropped by Bel Air Liquors around lunchtime Thursday, anyway, to take a shot at winning the unprecedented half-billion-dollar Mega Millions lottery.
The Maryland Lottery broke a sales record for the 14th consecutive year in fiscal 2011, generating $1.7 billion in sales, the agency said Monday. The lottery contributed $519 million to the general fund, an increase of $8.86 million, to go toward education, public safety, health and environmental programs.