State: $1M lotto winner cut from food assistance - WNEM TV 5

Lottery winner gets food stamps…here we go again

Lottery Winner Amanda Clayton Lottery Winner Amanda Clayton

LINCOLN PARK, Mich. (AP) - The state says a Detroit-area woman who won a $1 million lottery prize but continued to get food stamps has been removed from a food assistance program.

Michigan Department of Human Services said Wednesday the lottery winner no longer was getting benefits.

It followed a report this week from WDIV-TV in which 24-year-old Amanda Clayton of Lincoln Park acknowledged continuing to get $200 in monthly food aid after her September win.

Her mother, Euline Clayton, tells The Detroit News her daughter didn't break any laws.

Legislation in Lansing would require lottery and other gambling winnings to factor into eligibility for government food assistance programs.

One Michigan lawmaker says the news of a lump-sum lottery winner using food stamps should inspire his colleagues to finally pass a law to end such abuse.

Lawmakers vowed to require more communication between the lottery and the welfare agency, but legislation still is pending. Republican Rep. Dave Agema says an "entitlement attitude" must end.

The following is a statement from Michigan Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan:

"Under DHS policy, a recipient of food assistance benefits must notify the state within 10 days of any asset or income change. DHS relies on clients being forthcoming about their actual financial status.  If they are not, and continue to accept benefits, they may face criminal investigation and be required to pay back those benefits.

 Michigan DHS does not currently have the ability to verify a person's lottery winnings in determining benefit eligibility, but bills pending in the state legislature would require the Michigan Lottery to notify DHS of lottery winners. We fully support this proposed change. Our Office of Inspector General will continue to vigorously pursue any and all abuse and fraud in the welfare system."

The legislation comes after a Bay County man last spring acknowledged he continued to use food stamps despite winning a $2 million lottery prize in 2010. The WNEM TV5 investigation revealed that Leroy Fick, of Williams Township, was still using his Michigan Bridge Card after winning the "Make Me Rich" jackpot drawing.

Check out the side bar above to view TV5's original coverage uncovering Fick's continued Bridge Card use.

Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corporation.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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