LINCOLN PARK, Mich. – State officials say a Detroit-area woman who won a $1 million lottery prize last year but continued to get food stamps has been removed from the food assistance program.
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 from WDIV-TV, an NBC News station in Detroit, in which Clayton acknowledged continuing to get monthly food aid after her September win.
"I thought that they would cut me off, but since they didn't I thought maybe it was OK because I'm not working," Clayton told WDIV. "I feel that it's OK because I have no income, and I have bills to pay. I have two houses."
Her mother, Euline Clayton, told The Detroit News she didn’t believe her daughter broke any law. She said that after taking a lump sum payout of $700,00 and after taxes, her daughter received $500,000. She used that money, the mother said, to buy a new house and a car.
"I'm not saying it's the right thing to do," Euline Clayton said of her daughter's use of food stamps. "But it's nobody's business if she's not breaking the law."
Legislation at the state level would require lottery and other gambling winnings to factor into eligibility for government food assistance programs. The legislation comes after a Bay County, Mich., man last spring said he continued using food stamps despite winning a $2 million lottery prize in 2010.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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