Now officials have swooped in and put an end to it.
Clayton hit the jackpot in the “Make Me Rich!” lottery game back in October and, after electing to take a lump sum of $700,000 and allowing for taxes, was left with about $500,000.
The unemployed 24-year-old continued to receive public assistance.
“I thought that they would cut me off, but since they didn’t, I thought, maybe, it was OK because I’m not working,” Clayton said. “It’s hard. I am struggling.”
She added, “I feel that it’s okay because I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay. I have two houses.”
The Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) said yesterday, however, that the woman is no longer receiving benefits and cautioned that individuals who continue to receive handouts under such circumstances may face criminal investigation.
“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,” DHS director Maura Corrigan said.
“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.”
A bill to stop lottery winners from continuing to cash in on food stamps has already passed the state House and lawmakers are pushing for the Senate to approve the measure as well.
- $1M Lottery Winner Loses Food Stamps (myfoxny.com)
- Amanda Clayton banned from welfare after $1m lottery win – Daily Mail (dailymail.co.uk)
- Lottery Winner Loses State Food Stamps (huffingtonpost.com)