Earlier this week, a massive public outcry erupted after it was revealed that million dollar jackpot winner, Michigan resident Amanda Clayton, continued to collect assistance from the state in the form of food stamps following her lottery windfall.
Clayton was brought to the attention of a local news station after an irritated tipster wrote in to report the behavior. The station dispatched a hidden camera news crew to follow Clayton and film her using her Bridge card, which is how Michigan residents (25% of whom are currently receiving some form of nutritional assistance) redeem SNAP benefits. A news station employee confronted Clayton, who seemed to believe that there was no reason to not continue accepting the assistance so long as the state offered it.
When asked, Clayton said:
“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.”
The fracas is the second time outrage has erupted in Michigan over lottery winners receiving welfare following their wins, and in 2010, a man who snagged a $2 million jackpot told press he intended on continuing to receive food stamps until the state took them away. In Clayton’s case, it would appear that after the backlash, Michigan’s officials discontinued her food stamps immediately- MSNBC notes:
“The Michigan Department of Human Services on Wednesday said Amanda Clayton, 24, no longer was getting $200 in monthly benefits. The department’s decision followed a report this week fromWDIV-TV, an NBC News station in Detroit, in which Clayton acknowledged continuing to get monthly food aid after her September win.”
Officials did not elaborate on whether the lottery winner would be forced to repay benefits collected since her jackpot win.