Amanda Clayton: Michigan’s $735,000 Lottery Winner Charged With Welfare Fraud

A Lincoln Park, Michigan resident won the lottery and was later charged with welfare fraud for collecting food stamps and public health insurance even after winning a $735,000 jackpot.

Amanda Clayton, 25, kept quiet during her brief court hearing after spending the night in jail. A not guilty plea was entered, and her lawyer gave his word to fight the charges. Clayton is the second resident in the state of Michigan to be caught up in the food stamp fraud, despite having a sudden flood of money. Gov. Rick Snyder signed a law requiring the lottery to notify the Human Services Department whenever a resident wins $1000 or more.

The charges Clayton is facing stem from a failure to notify the state of her recent cash lottery prize winning and her recent employment. Amanda won a $1 million dollar jackpot on the televised game-show “Make Me Rich,” an amount which resulted in a stunning $735,000 cash prize accrued after taxes last September. Attorney General Bill Schuette, whose office filed the charges, was quoted by AP News having said:

“It’s simply common sense that million-dollar lottery winners forfeit their right to public assistance.”

Amanda Clayton, the mother of a 1 year old son, is being charged with welfare fraud for collecting $5,475 in food stamps and public medical benefits over the course of eight months. A scam which she abruptly ceased perpetrating after Detroit TV station WDIV released footage regarding her story in March. She informed WDIV that she thought she could collect food stamps due to her unemployment at the time. The state of Michigan forks out a stunning $250 million every month to state residents requiring cash assistance. Schette spokeswoman Joy Yearout refused any comments on the decision regarding a felony charge in place of a civil lawsuit or the fact that Amanda was arrested and spent the night in Jail.

Clayton declined any further comments after posting the $1,000 bail, her lawyer advised that it was in her best interest not to talk to reporters. She faces a maximum penalty of four years if convicted of welfare fraud.