$1 Million Lottery Winner Still Uses Food Stamps

Amanda Clayton millionaire food stampsWinning the lottery can be world-rocking, and it certainly was for Amanda Clayton, who scored $1 million in Michigan's state lottery last September, or a little over $500,000, she says, after taxes. But there are downsides too: Like jealous friends who are looking for ways to bring you down, as in tipping off a local TV station that you're still collecting food stamps.

Detroit's WDIV-TV followed 24-year-old Clayton, who bought a new house and a car with her winnings, into a grocery store, where she paid with a Bridge Card, issued to Michigan residents in need of food assistance. Clayton reportedly gets $200 a month from the state.

The reporter confronted Clayton, and asked her if she thought it was ethically right.

"Well, I thought they would cut me off but since they didn't, I thought maybe it was OK because I'm not working," she replied. When asked if she thought she deserved that money, she said, "I kind of do." She has bills to pay, and two houses.

"I mean, it's hard," she adds. "I'm struggling."

Clayton is the second Michigan lottery winner in less than a year to be caught charging groceries to a Bridge Card. Leroy Fick took home $850,000 after taxes from his $2 million jackpot, bought himself a new home and an Audi convertible, and called up Michigan's Department of Human Services to see if his Bridge Card was now void. It wasn't.

"He feels like he's paid into the system," Fick's lawyer said, since his client had just put over $1 million in the state's coffers.

Michigan lawmakers have spent the last year desperately trying to close this loophole. Since last October, an applicant was ineligible for food assistance if they had liquid assets of over $5,000 and a second vehicle worth more than $15,000 -- but then retracted the car stipulation. Other states, like Nebraska and Louisiana, have taken the opposite approach in the economic downturn, and eliminated asset tests, so that scores of the newly unemployed wouldn't be forced to spend their modest savings.

But few have sympathy for the food stamp recipient who was recently handed a six figure check. It's unclear whether they're worth all the energy though. As The New York Times put it in December, "as it turns out, millionaires on food stamps are about as rare as petunias in January." Perhaps Michigan is just having some freak weather.

Next: N.J. Construction Workers Sue Colleague For Share Of $38.5 Million Lottery Prize

Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now

Stories from Brazen Life

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

This is ridiculous!

If you're on food stamps, you shouldn't even be PLAYING the lottery which is the stupidest use of your limited funds. (Not to mention cigarettes, and the expensive alcohol--if you can find cheap alcohol and still put food on your kids' table, fine).

And if you win when you play the lottery, it should be evidence of inappropriate use of state funds and should automatically be put into paying off all your credit card and housing bills, and into your childcare and education, then whatever is left should be put back into the fund that fed you until now to pay back all the money spent on you. Plus, it will need funded again bc chances are, you might need it again!!!!!!

And, if you win while not playing, and don't have a history of saving well, then you shouldn't be allowed to accept the full lump sum. It should be mandatory that you receive it monthly a as a stipend that will keep you from buying stupid expensive things (and keep you off food stamps, and other assistance) and instead help you live within your means. Modest, affordable house and taxes. Reliable used car with only the necessities. Put food on your table, Pay your bills on time, give to help others out. Then maybe you learn how to save on your own.

If you have a history of responsible saving, like before the recession hit and drained everyone's savings accounts, then you can take the lump sum bc chances are you can save and spend rationally. But chances are, if you are that person, you were busy spending your money wisely and not on frittering it away on sure losses, like the lottery.

Monday at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is what's wrong with people nowadays. She smiles like it's all a big joke. In NYS they automatically let the state know if you're on welfare and win the lottery. It's a loan, not a gift here. One guy wrote a book on how to collect welfare, he was on it at the time. They gave him a million dollar advance on the book, the state came along and took some or all. Must be some nice liberals in MI, and as for the Times they are full of it. A lot of rich people took govt money to get where they are, like Bill Gates. I've seen a few who claim "noone" is ripping off the system, how dare you even suggest such a thing. I know several who are, disability is the new scam now. Tell them you are too depressed to work, even have a tramatic childhood. Yet people I know who do this are out and about all day. Just can't go to work, right? Laws need to be passed, throw out any liberal who votes against it.


March 22 2015 at 9:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Posted March 7th, 2012

March 21 2015 at 9:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The whole program is a joke, just cut it off and let people figure it out.

March 21 2015 at 7:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What probably adds insult to injury is she bought the lottery ticket with money through her welfare check. If that was the case, the welfare department should be paid back all it has given her.

March 20 2015 at 6:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to naturlvr5's comment

Yep, lottery tickets, smokes and tattoos. Most seem to have plenty of these, America and England. Where the "poor" are obese. Go to the third world, everyone who's poor is starving. Not here.


March 22 2015 at 9:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tennessee if your caught its either pay back what you stolen Federal Time regardless of the amount. Then you are banned for life never to be able to apply for Food Stamps again. The whole system is overloaded with peoplewho aren't even born here in the USA, but the moment they land they head straight for the WELFARE OFFICE to get stamps,housing,and a check. live here TAX FREE given a new home, full line of credit and vehicle then go back for a moment come back do it all over again. They are given free Health Care. New rule to get Health Care: "you have to be Pregnant,an Immigrant,or have a TERMINAL ILLNESS!!!

March 14 2013 at 6:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I guess I should point out that the article subject, Amanda Clayton, was charged with welfare fraud. She died last October.

February 09 2013 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mary ann

this girl has since passed away .....

February 09 2013 at 5:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mary ann's comment

Guess that's Karma, or maybe all the smokes. I notice she was buying in a convenience store, where most everything is three times as much. She got what's coming to her.


March 22 2015 at 9:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Annie Moore

I work every day and I can hardly buy food after paying my bills. I wouldn't dare go apply for food assistance because I know the answer... YOU MAKE TOO MUCH!!!

February 09 2013 at 4:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Annie Moore's comment

You do not have to go anywhere, you can apply online. They will then tell you if you are eligible for SNAP or not based on your household income, number of people in your house, and in some states your savings.

March 22 2015 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think that she/he should have to pay it ALL back ... I am on SSDI and am in the process of having my home foreclosed on, yet, because of a drug related arrest almost 20 years ago, I can't get FOOD STAMPS, and I am literally not able to buy food.

February 07 2013 at 11:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Constance's comment
Say NO to libs!

Which state won't give food stamps to convicted drug offenders? I never heard of such a thing.

February 09 2013 at 5:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

Week of Nov 9 - Nov 16
View All

Picks From the Web