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Last Updated: Friday, 9 January, 2004, 10:48 GMT
Woman abandons claim to $162m win
Elecia Battle
Elecia Battle may be charged with filing a false police report
A woman who said she had bought and lost the winning ticket for a $162m US lottery jackpot has all but admitted she made up the claim.

Elecia Battle, 40, said she was dropping her lawsuit over the Mega Millions jackpot that was awarded on Tuesday to 34-year-old Rebecca Jemison.

"I wanted to win so bad for my kids and my family. I apologise," she said.

Police said she could be charged with filing a false report, facing up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Days after the draw on 30 December, Ms Battle filed a police report saying she lost the winning ticket, possibly when she dropped her purse outside a convenience store.

She later sued to block the winner from collecting the jackpot.

'Numbers were overwhelming'

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

"I'm not a bad person. I'm really not," she said. "Everyone has a past."

She said she had wanted to use the money to help her family and recently laid-off Cleveland police officers.

When she was asked directly if she lied, Ms Battle's lawyer, Sheldon Starke, refused to let her answer.

"I wanted to win," she told reporters. "The numbers were so overwhelming. I did buy a ticket and I lost it."

The Ohio Lottery said it had known the truth all along.

Ms Jemison provided a second ticket bought at the same time and place as the winning ticket, and had a ticket that showed she had played the same numbers in the prior drawing, the lottery said.

Women argue over 'lost' jackpot
06 Jan 04  |  Americas

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