Records show the Maryland Lottery’s top-selling instant ticket in 2017 was – by far – the $30 ticket, which was a gamble when it was introduced last year because the state had never offered such an expensive ticket. But it's paying off for the lottery.
For the first time last year, like many others I presume thanks to an in-your-face-every-15-seconds advertising campaign, I decided to give the phenomenon known as daily fantasy sports a try. Let's just say I lost more than I won, but I had fun playing. Maryland voters might get a say in whether I and tens of thousands of other Maryland residents get a chance to play in the future.
As the Maryland Lottery went about encouraging the media to urge people to play for last week's record $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot, each news release came with this reminder: "Maryland Lottery and Gaming contributed $1.012 billion to the state in FY2015. Please play responsibly."
Show of hands, how many of you played the Powerball this week? Guilty as charged. I purchased five tickets among the more than 635 million tickets sold for the unprecedented $1.6 billion jackpot that will be split among three winners from Wednesday night's drawing. I even won. A whole $4.
As the world's richest lottery jackpot swelled to $1.5 billion, retailers reported customers trying to improve their odds by buying Powerball tickets in bulk — a practice many statisticians believe defies sound reasoning. People are drawn to play against the unfathomable odds by what's become a world record lottery prize.
There was no jackpot winner in the drawing for a Powerball prize Wednesday night, but Thursday afternoon, players were already lining up to purchase more tickets in hopes winning the largest price in the game's history.
It wasn't quite 5 p.m. when people began popping into College Square Liquors in Westminster, one after the other, seven inside of 10 minutes. And while there were those who went on to peruse the long aisles of wooden shelves of wine or stacked cases of beer, it was the prospect of stacks of green bills that drew these customers to the counter: The Maryland Lottery announced Tuesday afternoon that the Powerball jackpot had reached $450 million, the fourth-highest jackpot in its history.
A $1 million Mega Millions ticket was sold at the Royal Farms in the 2700 block of Washington Boulevard in Southwest Baltimore, according to officials at the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission.
At the Soda Pop Shop, players love swapping anecdotes about big wins and near misses. There's always plenty to talk about since the store averages nearly $116,000 a week in lottery ticket sales, more than any of Maryland's other 4,500 lottery retailers
Maryland gaming officials approved a new lottery drawing game, called Cash4Life, on Thursday. The regulators also voted to allow casinos to lower required average annual payouts to players from slot machines.