Before Amanda Clayton won $1 million in the Michigan lottery program she was accepting various welfare programs including $200 per month in food stamps and according to the Detroit News after she won the big prize she continued to stay on governmental aid.
The Michigan Department of Human Services confirmed on Wednesday night that they removed Clayton from the program when it was realized that she made far too much money in 2011 to qualify for the program.
According to state Rep. Dale Zorn:
“State assistance, our tax dollars, is meant to go to those who are truly in need. It’s not meant to go to those who won big in the lottery.”
Clayton chose to accept her $1 million prize in one lump sum of $700,000 which provided her with approximately $500,000 after taxes. According to her ex-boyfriend she then went on “an insane shopping spree” in which she bought a house and car with cash.
What might be most shocking is the fact that Clayton actually believed she deserved to stay on welfare because she was bogged down with two houses and other newly added expenses. As Clayton put it:
“I thought that they would cut me off, but since they didn’t I thought maybe it was OK because I’m not working. I feel that it’s OK because I have no income, and I have bills to pay. I have two houses.”
Sadly this isn’t the first time a lottery winner in the state of Michigan has remained on welfare, a $2 million winner in 2010 did the same thing which has led state officials to now think about ways they can examine and remove lottery winners from the state welfare program.
In the meantime Clayton could find herself in legal trouble for accepting food stamps after her income and assets surpassed the legal threshold.
Given her lack of spending control I’ll give Clayton twelve months before she’s broke, doesn’t own a home and is back on welfare.
Here’s a video report of the incident:
Do you think Amanda Clayton should be charged with a crime for taking advantage of taxpayers and the state welfare system?