Published on March 7th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria1
Michigan Lottery Winner Causes Outcry by Still Using Food Stamps After Snagging $1M Prize
A million dollars doesn’t go as far as it used to, but one Michigan lottery winner has caused an uproar after it was revealed that after snagging a million dollar prize, she still collects benefits and has no plans to stop.
It appears the situation may have come to light due to a tip, as a local news station reports that a viewer wrote in complaining that “people are about to lose their unemployment and these welfare recipients are spending our tax dollars foolishly,” and begged the news outlet to “please do a story on lottery winners on welfare.” Hidden cameras followed 24-year-old Amanda Clayton, who took home a couple of hundred thousand dollars after taxes when she won the state lottery.
Clayton was spotted using a food assistance “Bridge” card, and when confronted by the news station, admitted to still using her benefits. She explained:
“I thought that they would cut me off, but since they didn’t, I thought maybe it was okay because I’m not working… I feel that it’s okay because I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay. I have two houses.”
State lawmakers are looking at the issue as a whole and say they are trying to prevent lottery winners from collecting state benefits, and have proposed cross checking lottery win stats with assistance databases. Rep. Dale Zorn commented:
“Public assistance should be given to those in need of public assistance, not those that have found riches… We need to have the lottery commission notify the state so that state can cross check those who are on assistance.”
Clayton told reporters that she planned to use the Bridge card until she was cut off from benefits.