It's pretty much gotta suck to lose a winning lottery ticket worth $162 million.
CLEVELAND -- A $162 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot belongs to a woman who says she lost the winning ticket, even if someone else finds it, her lawyer argued today.
Several people have searched through the snow in a convenience store parking lot where Elecia Battle said she lost the ticket.
Battle intends to make a case that the winning ticket for the 11-state game is her lost property, said lawyer Sheldon Starke.
"This is a question of lost property, not abandoned property," he said. "If there is one type of property that is not presumed to be abandoned, it's money ... Anyone who finds it is not the owner."
Battle, 40, of Cleveland, filed a police report saying she dropped her purse when she left the Quick Shop Food Mart last week after buying the ticket at the store in suburban South Euclid. She said she realized after the Dec. 30 drawing that the ticket was missing.
The Ohio Lottery confirmed that the winning ticket was sold at the store.
After news of Battle's police report spread Monday night, people armed with flashlights trudged through the snow trying to find the ticket in the parking lot.
"I decided to come back to see if I could find the winning ticket," said LaVerne Coleman, 57, who said she would keep the winnings if she found the ticket.
Police Lt. Kevin Nieter said the family may be out of luck if someone else found the ticket.
"Whoever has the ticket has the right to stake the claim to the winning jackpot. You can file all the police reports you want, but it's not going to help," he told WEWS-TV on Monday.
Ohio Lottery spokeswoman Mardele Cohen said that if someone else came in with the ticket, Battle could try to get a temporary restraining order in court to block the winnings from being paid.
Anyway. I can't say this is high on my list of things to worry about, but for what it's worth, I hope Ms. Battle finds her ticket.
UPDATE: Well, it's just gotten more interesting, as a different woman has shown up with the ticket and claimed the prize. Looks like it'll be up to the lawyers to sort it all out. Thanks to Matt in the comments for finding this.Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 06, 2004 to Jackpot! | TrackBack