An Ohio woman on Tuesday collected a $162 million Mega Millions lottery prize, saying the winning ticket was in her hands all along and had not been lost, as another woman had claimed.
Rebecca Jemison, 34, of South Euclid, Ohio, near Cleveland, produced the winning ticket and was awarded the prize. She elected to take a one-time $94 million payment rather than collecting the larger amount over a number of years.
The jackpot in a multi-state drawing had gone unclaimed since Dec. 30. On Monday news leaked out that a woman had filed a police report saying she lost the ticket outside the store where it was purchased.
Elecia Battle, 40, said she was sure the ticket she lost when she dropped her purse was the winner. The disclosure prompted a number of people to descend on the area near the store to search for the supposedly missing piece of paper.
But Jemison told a news conference when she claimed the prize that she had played the winning combination of numbers previously.
"I knew the proof I had," she said. While she was angered at first that someone else was claiming the ticket was their's, she said, in the end "It didn't bother me at all."
She said the report of the lost ticket prompted her to come forward to claim the prize, and lottery officials said they believed she was the legitimate winner.
Rebecca Jamison, with her husband Sam, hold a mock check for $162 million after claiming she had the winning numbers in Cleveland, January 6, 2004. An Ohio woman collected a $162 million lottery prize, saying the winning ticket was in her hands all along and had not been lost, as another woman had claimed.