Michigan could become the first state to enact legislation that polices the access that lottery winners have to assistance programs – after two cases have come to light in which such an individual continued using food stamps after winning at least $1 million.Here's the moving pictures, for those of you less-inclined to read, or whatever.
This week, Amanda Clayton of the Detroit area made headlines for acknowledging that she still received $200 in monthly food assistance after winning $1 million in state lottery money last September. Following an uproar, she was revoked of her benefits Wednesday.
Last year, Leroy Fick of Bay County, Mich., told a television reporter that he still used food stamps despite winning $2 million from the state lottery. Mr. Fick was acting within any laws and regulations, his lawyer reportedly argued.
The Fick case prompted the legislation that is now moving its way through the state Senate. The bill, which would prevent lottery winners from continuing in federal and state assistance programs, passed the House last month.
If the legislation passes, the Michigan Lottery would be required to send the names of anyone winning prizes over $1,000 to the state Department of Human Services, which would then have to cross-reference those names against those receiving public assistance.
It is unclear if Ms. Clayton acted illegally. According to eligibility requirements posted on Michigan’s Department of Human Services website, wages, self-employment earnings, rental income, child support, Social Security benefits, and veterans benefits are all countable income. Lottery winnings are not in that list.
Clayton won $1 million in the state’s “Make Me Rich!” game. According to The Detroit News, she took home $500,000, which she used to buy a new home and car.
The uproar over her winnings started this week after she told Detroit television affiliate WDIV that she was “struggling” to make ends meet.
As someone so astutely pointed out on Twitter, it's pretty clear Ms. Clayton is higher than
As silly as this sounds, it's really not. Millionaires are still eligible for unemployment benefits upon loss of job, so a lottery winner getting food stamps isn't really such a stretch. Sure, it's hard to feel bad for Ms. Clayton, bubblehead that she is, but she didn't technically do anything illegal.
Reality is, had some "friend" not dimed her out, it's likely Ms. Clayton would still be getting her EBT-on. The fact that the state of Michigan doesn't employ anyone smart enough to run a SQL query on lotto winners vs food stamp rolls is much more egregious. As a guy who sorta-kinda does this for a living, I'm really peeved about that.
For anyone mad at Ms. Clayton for gaming the system, don't be. She did, after all, just drop about $200k in taxes when she took that lottery payout, so it's not like she isn't pulling her weight anymore. And given how not-so-bright she seems to be (two houses!?!), it's likely she'll legitimately be right back on food stamps sometime in the not-so-distant future. So chill.
Question: Does this woman deserve to be mocked for simply gaming the system, or does she need to buy her own d*mn Cheerios instead of mooching off taxpayers? How long before she's back to being flat broke?
 No income, but wearing designer shades = "Do Better!"
 Seriously, what jealous, petty a$$ed chick had the nerve to call the local news on Ms. Clayton? Stop snitchin'!
 To her credit, that looks like one of those Detroit homes you can buy for about $3,000, and she is driving a pretty busted looking Chevy Cavalier. So just maybe I'm misunderestimating this woman's financial savvy. But prolly not.