‘Food Stamp’ Lottery Winner Found Dead

A woman who admitted to receiving food stamps after winning $1 million on a Michigan state lotto game show was found dead today.

The circumstances surrounding Amanda Clayton’s death were not immediately released by police, but ABC News’ Detroit affiliate WXYZ-TV reported that sources within the police department said they suspect the woman died of an overdose. An autopsy is pending on Clayton’s body, which was found at a home in Ecorse, Mich., police said.

Clayton, who became a millionaire after her big win last September, caused outrage earlier this year when it was revealed she was continuing to get $200 in monthly food aid from the state. According to the attorney general’s office, Clayton failed to report her winnings and employment while receiving $5,475 in food and medical assistance.

“It’s simply common sense that million dollar lottery winners forfeit their right to public assistance,” Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said in a statement. “We will continue to work with local, state and federal authorities to uphold state laws intended to ensure wise stewardship of taxpayer dollars.”

Michigan public assistance programs require participants to report income and employment. She pleaded no contest to welfare fraud and was sentenced to probation in July.

Is benefiting from public assistance after winning a million dollars ever justifiable? What do you think would become of Amanda Clayton’s lottery winnings now? Feel free to share your thoughts about this woman’s sudden death.

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Straight From The A

‘Food Stamp’ Lotto Winner Charged With Welfare Fraud

A Michigan woman who continued to get food stamps after winning a lottery jackpot was arraigned Tuesday on welfare fraud charges.

Amanda Clayton, 25, of Lincoln Park was arrested on Monday. If convicted of the two felony charges, she could face up to four years in prison. Defense lawyer Stanley Wise said he hopes to have charges dismissed at her next court hearing April 24. He didn’t elaborate.

Clayton won the $1 million jackpot on “Make Me Rich!” a Michigan lottery game show, and chose to take home a $735,000 lump sum, before taxes. The case came to light last month when Clayton told Detroit TV station WDIV that she thought it might have been OK to keep using food stamps because she wasn’t working.

The state Department of Human Services has said it was Clayton’s responsibility to report her dramatic change in wealth within 10 days. She was dropped from the food program. Clayton wasn’t the first Michigan lottery winner to keep public benefits. Last spring, a TV station reported that Leroy Fick, 60, of Bay County, was using the food program despite winning an $850,000 lump sum prize in 2010. He told state officials about his wealth but was allowed to temporarily keep his card because lump-sum windfalls at that time were not counted as regular income under the program.

The state has since banned anyone with assets of more than $5,000, excluding a car, from the food stamp program. That ban knocked Fick off the rolls.

Is it unlawful for lottery winners to still get food stamps? Submit your comments below!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: NY Daily News