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Feeling Lucky: Baltimoreans Take A Gamble On $360M Powerball Jackpot

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Christie Ileto 370 x 278 Christie Ileto
Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She...
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MILLFORD MILL, Md. (WJZ) — Excitement is growing, and so is the Powerball jackpot. It’s $360 million and people throughout the region are taking their chances on striking it rich.

Christie Ileto has more on that excitement.

Your chances of winning: one in 175 million. So you have a better chance of actually winning an Academy Award before you win the lottery. But even with the odds stacked against them, many Baltimoreans are lining up to take a gamble.

If you’re feeling lucky, you’re not alone. Baltimoreans are ling up, and fast, to play the Powerball jackpot Wednesday in Millford Mill.

“When it’s so big, I make sure I put money out for it,” said Ransford Cunningham.

The clock is ticking before the evening drawing for a $360 million prize that is swelling to be the third largest Powerball jackpot ever, and Ransford Cunningham is holding tight to his ritual.

Ileto: “Anything about this number set that makes you feel, ‘Okay, I might have a good chance?’”

Cunningham: “Normally when I get my ticket, I don’t look at it. I fold it, I put it in my pocket, so when the numbers come out and I look at it cause I want to be excited.”

If it seems the prizes are much bigger, you’re right. Powerball officials say that’s because the price of tickets doubled from one to two dollars.

Powerball also made it easier to win, by dropping some of the red Powerball numbers. And easier means your chance of winning the grand prize is now 1 in 175 million, rather than 1 in 195 million.

“I’m just taking a chance, I’m not big on gambling or anything,” said Tashawn Walker.

A chance some are willing to take by any means necessary.

“Change, dollar bills, it all counts,” said Michael Parham.

Ileto: “Is this eight quarters?”

Parham: It’s two dollars in quarters.”

Ileto: “You are paying in quarters?”

Parham: “Yes I am. I need it bad.”

But dreaming big is part of the fun in playing, so line up soon, because ticket sales end one hour before drawing time.

If you get all of the numbers correct, the cash value before taxes is $229 million.

The largest Powerball jackpot, $587.5 million, was won in November.

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