Lottery Loser Pleads No Contest in Mega Case

Jan 15, 2004, 8:20 am (Post a comment)

Mega Millions

The woman who claimed she lost a winning $162 million Mega Millions lottery ticket pleaded no contest Thursday to lying on a police report.

After entering the plea, Elecia Battle, 40, of Cleveland, was convicted by the judge. She faces a possible penalty of 30 days to six months in jail and $1,000 fine at sentencing Feb. 19.

A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but means the defendant will not fight the charges.

Battle had 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 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 has a criminal record that includes assault on a drug store clerk and misuse of another person's credit card.

She and her attorney, Sheldon Starke, left court without making any comment.

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


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