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Lying Lottery Lady Comes Clean

A woman said through tears Thursday that she lied about losing the winning ticket for a $162 million lottery prize awarded to another woman.

Elecia Battle, 40, of Cleveland, is dropping her lawsuit to block payment of the Mega Millions jackpot to the certified winner, said her lawyer Sheldon Starke.

"I wanted to win," Battle said. "The numbers were so overwhelming. I did buy a ticket and I lost. I wanted to win so bad for my kids and my family. I apologize."

Battle had filed a police report saying she lost the ticket, possibly when she dropped her purse outside a convenience store. The lottery declared Rebecca Jemison, 34, of suburban South Euclid, the winner on Tuesday.

Battle said she wanted to use the money to help her family and recently laid-off Cleveland police officers. She apologized to Jemison, her lawyer and her husband.

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

South Euclid police had said earlier this week, after Jemison was certified, that they were investigating whether Battle could be charged with lying on a police report, a misdemeanor punishable by 30 days to six months in jail.

Dennis G. Kennedy, director of the Ohio Lottery, had said the lottery was confident Jemison had purchased the ticket, not found it.

Jemison provided another lottery ticket purchased at the same time and location and had a lottery ticket that showed she had played the same numbers in the prior drawing, Kennedy said.

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