US lottery winner uses food stamps

2012-03-08 21:51

Chicago - A million dollars may not go as far as it used to, but one Michigan lottery winner thought it wasn't enough to stop her from collecting food stamps.

Turns out, she's wrong and could even face fraud charges.

Detroit's Local 4 tracked the lotto winner down at her brand-new home in the suburb of Lincoln Park when she was unloading her baby and some shopping bags from a new car.

Amanda Clayton, 24, expressed no shame about letting the government pay her grocery bill.

Clayton had been collecting $200 a month in food stamps - which in Michigan are distributed as debit cards - when she won a $1 million prize in September.

"I thought that they would cut me off, but since they didn't, I thought maybe it was okay because I'm not working," she told the station.

Asked why she needed taxpayers to pay her bills in a state dealing with massive budget deficits, she said the jackpot wasn't actually that much - it dropped to $700 000 when she took an immediate payout and she paid about $200 000 in taxes on the winnings.

"I feel that it's okay because I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay," Clayton told the station. "I have two houses... I'm struggling."

Two bills are pending in the state legislature to ensure that the state lottery passes on the names of anyone who wins a prize of more than $1 000 to the department of human services.

The department issued a statement after the story aired on Monday saying it supports the new law and "will continue to vigorously pursue any and all abuse and fraud in the welfare system".

Read more on:    us  |  lottery
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