Woman pleads no contest in Mega Millions lottery win claim

SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio (BNW) — The woman who claimed she lost a winning $162 million Mega Millions lottery ticket pleaded no contest Thursday to lying on a police report and was convicted by a judge.

Elecia Battle, 40, of Cleveland, faces a possible penalty of 30 days to six months in jail and $1,000 fine at sentencing Feb. 19.

Battle filed a police report after the Dec. 30 Mega Millions drawing, saying she had bought the winning ticket but had lost it, possibly when she dropped her purse outside a convenience store.

When the actual ticket-holder, Rebecca Jemison, 34, of South Euclid, came forward with the winning numbers and was declared the jackpot winner, Battle sued to block payment.

She later dropped the lawsuit and tearfully apologized to her family and Jemison.

"I wanted to win so bad for my kids and my family. I apologize," she said at the time. "I'm not a bad person. I'm really not."

Battle, who has a criminal record that includes assault on a drug store clerk and misuse of another person's credit card, left court Thursday without commenting.

Her attorney, Sheldon Starke, said after the hearing that he had no reason to doubt Battle's story when he first met her.

"The reason this story went around the world is precisely that we were all taken in by it," he said.

Jemison qualified for a lump-sum lottery payment of $67.2 million, after taxes. Mega Millions is played in 11 states.

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