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$2M Michigan lottery winner defends use of food stamps

Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: $2M Michigan lottery winner defends use of food stamps
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Includes video report

AUBURN, Mi. — A Michigan man who won $2 million in a state lottery game continues to collect food stamps 11 months after striking it rich.

And there's nothing the state can do about it, at least for now.

Leroy Fick, 59, of Auburn won $2 million in the state lottery TV show "Make Me Rich!" last June. But the state's Department of Human Services determined he was still eligible for food stamps, Fick's attorney, John Wilson of Midland, said Tuesday.

Eligibility for food stamps is based on gross income and follows federal guidelines; lottery winnings are considered liquid assets and don't count as income. As long as Fick's gross income stays below the eligibility requirement for food stamps, he can receive them, even if he has a million dollars in the bank.

Food stamps are paid for through tax dollars and are meant to help support low-income families.

"If you're going to try to make me feel bad, you're not going to do it," Fick told WNEM-TV in Saginaw on Monday.

Wilson said Fick told the DHS officials he'd won $2 million but was told he could keep using the Bridge Card issued to him to buy groceries.

Fick could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Al Kimichik, director of the office of inspector general for DHS, said the department could not comment on individual cases but that it this week began the process of requesting a waiver from the federal government to close the lottery loophole. If it is granted, assets would be counted in determining food stamp eligibility.

Though the food stamp program is federal and states must follow U.S. guidelines, states sometimes request waivers of rules. Michigan was granted a waiver recently to stop college students from qualifying for food stamps.

"For Leroy Fick to continue to use a Bridge Card, paid for by the taxpayers, after winning the lottery, is obscene," said Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge. "What a waste of taxpayer money."

Jones contacted DHS officials Monday about Fick's case, and was told the department's hands were tied by federal regulations.

"There is no liquid asset requirement for getting food stamps," Jones said. "The department is asking the federal government for an immediate change (in policy). They're hoping this case will help the federal government act."

Until then, Fick can collect food stamps and keep his lottery winnings in the bank.

"I am not going to sit and debate the ethics of this," Wilson said. "But from his standpoint, he did what he was supposed to do — he informed the state, and the state said he could keep using the card. The problem is with the state."

http://media.lpimg.com/2011051801.mp4

The Detroit News, WNEM-TV

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131 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by greeneye.
Page 1 of 9
Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
Clarksville
United States
Member #487
July 15, 2002
17638 Posts
Offline
Posted: May 18, 2011, 7:19 am - IP Logged

The Federal Food Stamp Program requires an overhaul.  What a waste of my tax money!! 

If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

You never know when you will get another hit.

    joshuacloak's avatar - avatar 23415.gif

    United States
    Member #32537
    February 12, 2006
    639 Posts
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    Posted: May 18, 2011, 7:43 am - IP Logged

    this is thanks to the belief its alright to steal other people money, if we just label theft as law.

    the fact of matter is,  the govt should not  be in charity world of human affair, it "money" needs to take form someone else and play robin hood with it , its just wrong.

     

    the sad fact is its musty state level funded, at lest in tn, i pay a freaking high % of tax, its so high on food, i see stories like this

    x amount of people  drive 15 miles to Georgia to avoid paying the nation's highest average tax on food: 8.4 percent in Tennessee.

    also the lastest data form my state even sader

    . 19.8% in Tennessee are on food stamps,also one of highest  in nation!

     i pay so much  tax's on food over the year , so nearly 1 out of 5 of my follow state people are leeching on the rest of us free food at this point.

    its not free, am being black mailed , i have to eat!

    I should have to pay 0 % tax and their a$% can go find a other way to feed them selfs

    go to walmart at begining of the first day of the month in tennessee, and everones Food stamp debt cards get reloaded, and Lines are full of people paying with it

    and their buying Junk, where talking Cookies, ice cream, 8 buck steaks.

    and here i am, buying organic apples, paying a Over priced amount, and getting taxed to death for it

    i coupon my butt off also  , why these beeps  spend like a rackless drunk on the road with their money on food

    all to eat healthy food, while these Leech's, steal form my food budget via tax's

    makes sense a lottery winner would stay on food stamps, these kinds of people are just Evil as they don't give a about you, only them self's and if it means stealing other's money to pay for their habits, its Aokay

    , these worthless human beings  are making me  think of rest of humanity whoever supports the govt  as  a evil that needs to be wiped out off the face of the earth.

    their this thing called Couponing, digging deep,   yet some people even have kids when their Dirt poor, and relay on the state to feed the kids,  and teach their kids , sense someone else is paying for it

     why do we even brother, we are rewarding Very bad habits,      and their no stop to this madness, its just spend spend spend, debt ,debt ,debt, tax  someone else for it

     

    if your a leech of govt funds , your a theft form someone else is my min

    d, hope this lottery winner and ever person who gets a penny of my money or yours who did not give it willing, to "help" themselfs to the loot while it last's, cease sooner or later, this sick joke of govt handouts has Got to come to a end, in a very Very bad way"debt"   but am sure they keep doing ever thing it takes to keep stealing form rest of working  folk who refuse to treat other humans like are own walking atm , that food stamp users treat me as in this state

      hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

      United States
      Member #52345
      May 21, 2007
      1789 Posts
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      Posted: May 18, 2011, 7:59 am - IP Logged

      TwitchI hope his audi gernades on him

        dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
        Oklahoma
        United States
        Member #82391
        November 12, 2009
        5214 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: May 18, 2011, 8:28 am - IP Logged

        WOW!!!!! this is 2 stories from my home State of Michigan that is making me look bad...  This Country needs to make some changes ASAP!!!!..... He should be required to pay back all the food stamps that he has gotten since he won........

          Dawn32's avatar - DawnMarch2012
          New Jersey
          United States
          Member #71646
          March 1, 2009
          204 Posts
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          Posted: May 18, 2011, 8:38 am - IP Logged

          I used to be on food stamps and for my family of 4, if I had $2000 or more in the bank (liquid assets) I wouldn't get the food stamps.  I don't understand this at all.

          "Bless me Lord, so that I may be a blessing to others."

            Avatar
            md
            United States
            Member #14047
            April 20, 2005
            541 Posts
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            Posted: May 18, 2011, 8:39 am - IP Logged

            This is just another sad story.  For this jerk to place the blame on the state is ludicris.  Once he informed the state he was a millionaire, or whatever, after taxes, he should have just turned the card in at the same time.  Those food stamps/groceries are tax payer funded, and deserves to go to the most needy not the most greedy.

              sandia's avatar - disney24
              TEXAS
              United States
              Member #107770
              March 13, 2011
              191 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: May 18, 2011, 8:44 am - IP Logged

               Wait a minute, we get taxed on our income, if the government finds it, it taxes it (that includes lotto winnings) and, this man gets away with getting foodstamps for a whole year after winning the lotto? Okay, thanks government, thanks!

                dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                Oklahoma
                United States
                Member #82391
                November 12, 2009
                5214 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: May 18, 2011, 8:56 am - IP Logged

                This is just another sad story.  For this jerk to place the blame on the state is ludicris.  Once he informed the state he was a millionaire, or whatever, after taxes, he should have just turned the card in at the same time.  Those food stamps/groceries are tax payer funded, and deserves to go to the most needy not the most greedy.

                I Agree!

                  dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                  Oklahoma
                  United States
                  Member #82391
                  November 12, 2009
                  5214 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: May 18, 2011, 8:58 am - IP Logged

                   Wait a minute, we get taxed on our income, if the government finds it, it taxes it (that includes lotto winnings) and, this man gets away with getting foodstamps for a whole year after winning the lotto? Okay, thanks government, thanks!

                  Exactly.....Thumbs Up

                    B$Rizzle's avatar - a4leds
                    The Ville, FL
                    United States
                    Member #95881
                    August 19, 2010
                    1708 Posts
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                    Posted: May 18, 2011, 9:03 am - IP Logged

                    OK I'm a bit confused on this:

                    "Eligibility for food stamps is based on gross income and follows federal guidelines; lottery winnings are considered liquid assets and don't count as income. As long as Fick's gross income stays below the eligibility requirement for food stamps, he can receive them, even if he has a million dollars in the bank."

                     

                    Here in FL, we only file Federal taxes and anything over $5,000 a claim form has to be filled out and we are taxed by the FEDERAL GOV as income.

                     

                    If this man won 11 months ago (2010), when he filed his taxes for the  2010 year, that should have counted as income & disqualified him for food stamps

                     

                    I can see it not being counted as income from 2011 on and could technically qualify him for food stamps in following years since its only counted as income once, but how in the he!! is he getting food stamps this year? Did he not file his taxes yet for 2010????

                     

                    Rergardless, it is unethical and he knows it & doesn't care.

                      Avatar
                      New Member

                      United States
                      Member #111087
                      May 18, 2011
                      1 Posts
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                      Posted: May 18, 2011, 9:07 am - IP Logged

                      That is Michigan for you.  That state has been brainwashed by the unions that they deserve to be spoon fed that the culture as a whole knows no other way.  This jerk is a poster child for everything that is wrong with America.

                        sully16's avatar - sharan
                        Listens to the wind

                        United States
                        Member #81740
                        October 28, 2009
                        18754 Posts
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                        Posted: May 18, 2011, 9:54 am - IP Logged

                        I work in a grocery store that specializes in food service, schools , hospitals restaurants , bars, business in general. we are open to the public, no membership fees at all.

                        The other day I witnessed an illegal transaction,a woman and her sister shopping, the one sister paid for everything in Food stamps and her sister forked over some cash, thats a no no. the bill was almost $600.00 dollars, I looked at her receipt and what I saw floored me, I made copies of that receipt, she still has a balance of $4300.00 in food and a cash balance of $20.00,

                        I proceed to call the state attorney generals office, how in the <snip> does someone get almost $5000.00 in food. They referred me to the department of human resources after years of dealing with this agency , I knew it was a lost cause, so I did some research and found out Michigan now has a special unit, called the Public Integrity unit, they couldn't help me, they directed me to Criminal justice in Detroit, they couldn't help me they directed me to the department of human resources.

                        I will find someone to look in to this, what I have personally witnessed over the years would turn your stomach,

                        The newest scam involving food stamps, are people using food stamps to run catering business, illegal businesses. They are not licensed or insured, they are using tax payer money to rake it in.

                        Hot dog stands, door to door candy sales, they put their kids in front of shops and businesses to sell candy or they just send them to school to sell the candy.

                        I had a kid come to my door in his designer shoes and coat, told me he was a boy scout, he was selling butterfingers, I asked him is pack number, he had no clue what I was talking about, I asked him if he was a wolf or a bear, still no clue, I have a boy scout, we sell popcorn, not candy.

                        I had a woman come through my line a couple weeks ago, said her arm hurt from lifting her baby carrier in the shopping cart, cause she just got a new unicorn tattoo, she was throwing a birthday party for her boyfriend, part of her purchase was 5 gallons of margarita mix, her bill was over $300.00 , she paid in food stamps. Her loser boyfriend was in line behind her to get the rest of the stuff, he also paid in food stamps, when it came time to pay for the non food items he peeled of a hundred dollar bill from a nice size roll.

                        I had a man come through and he bought 7 cases of red bull, at $35.00 plus $2.40 in deposit, thats $245.00 plus another $16.80 in deposit that the tax payers shelled out for.

                        I had a Detroit police officer come through and wanted his 5% dicount, even showed me his shield, He had $80.00 in purchases in food stamps, I wouldn't let him have the discount, his card wouldn't swipe, the name on the card said Betty, so he was trying to get a discount for a relative.

                        I had another woman come through, shes a dealer at a casino, she was complaining that she wasn't getting very good tips, only $400.00 last night, she said, paid for her $608.00 dollar purchase with food stamps.

                        I have people coming through that collect from several states, They come through at the beginning with Michigan stamps then later they come back with stamps from another state.

                        I have people coming through that can't even speak english, they bring lists with them, 32 2 liters of coke, 32 2 liters of pepsi, combos, candy bars ( mind you we sell candy by the box -35 count, , they were clearly buying for a relative who owns a gas station or party store.

                        The list goes on and on, what I see is theft and greed at epic levels.

                        The attitude of some of these people would shock you, they have no sense of gratitude, they leave messes in their wake all over the store, no respect for themselves or others,

                        I am saddened , I am now looking for a new job, because I can't bear to go through this month after month, I am losing faith in humanity, and am becoming indifferent to others and thats not who I want to be.

                         

                        This post has been automatically changed by the Lottery Post computer system to remove inappropriate content and/or spam.

                        There's only one US Flag

                          dpoly1's avatar - driver
                          PA
                          United States
                          Member #66141
                          October 16, 2008
                          1434 Posts
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                          Posted: May 18, 2011, 10:17 am - IP Logged

                          Michigan ?!

                          Crazy

                            joshuacloak's avatar - avatar 23415.gif

                            United States
                            Member #32537
                            February 12, 2006
                            639 Posts
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                            Posted: May 18, 2011, 10:41 am - IP Logged
                            B$Rizzle i tell you why, its how tax laws are, their made toward robin hood thinking
                            best of intentions with the worst outcomes.
                            i know of people with house paid off, no Debt,  the beep have found ways to abuse tax bucks you would not belief
                            what sully16 just said, am not shocked this is happening all as she claims,  the amount of greed ,evil off rest of us is inreal
                            for instance, some people with house paid off i seen , get part time jobs, don't pay crap, get fired lol, and for Months and months, pretend to job search,  to get  free food ,free SHELTER, free money for being laid off,  more money from unemploymeny benefits pay from govt
                            it just makes me sick
                             the house is paid off with no debt, cars, ever thing  and they get shelter money from the state
                            yet people in real life when i debate this, treat me like am a guy off hes meds, who insane and even a unkind human being for suggesting I should not have to Pay any tax nor should anyopne get anything from the govt
                            the outrage i have, these people are growing in numbers, their having kids, and their growing up to be the perfect leech
                            the boy scout fake kid, i believe that story as i seen Evil scam artist kids working adults over recently in my life, I was like, my god these kids have perfacted crime of con on other suckers   .and all these suckers are buying into their story's and how they appear at face value
                            i have near zero hope left humans on morals will stop getting worst
                            we reward these people with free money taken form other's, wtf you think going to happen, their numbers will get worst!
                            feed pests free food and see what happens to their numbers" here a hint they grow in size" is the final result of said testing
                            only thing that i have hope in humans left is at lest, we always grow in technology and be better off then all the humans before us. that's about it , our future is great!
                            the only way to stop this madness of endless leech's will have to be force aka violence , as that's about the only thing these people who leech off of us , understand anymore  is leave me alone or "else"
                            we are out numbered, voting  is fruitless as voting is the weapon  evil people have been using thro out history of democracy , has been full of none stop reruns of give our self's the right to Steal/take  other people money"tax power"  then use that power to destory other people wealth" steal their monopoly of wealth as its sold" and give to our selfs and freinds,  i wish people would understand democracy is Born flawed.
                            reality is. a LOT of people have no clue what right and wrong when it comes Other's people money , their actions yell Evil thro. thefts, leechs etc
                            but i refuse to start any bloodshed for now,but you can't help what Will fix this evil of humanity 
                            i can always just grow my own food and refuse to take part by making any money for these pigs to leech off of. but i live a very demanding world atm
                            , i just want to live a happy life without leech's depending on my income .   
                            and pretend they all die a painful death for what their doing in future.
                            if people want to give food to these people or free money, they can donate their own money!
                            if the govt wants to be a charity, it can get funded like a charity, do away with taxes and make govt Donation run only,  if everyone wants to donate money so the gov't  can help people , then that's fine by me, i just have the issue withg a gun pointed to my head demanding my money to play robin hood
                            p,s this lottery winner makes me sick
                            govt schools don't help, majority of people think tax's are fne when its theft. and don't demand blood of these crooks,
                            but if you refuse to pay them your hard earned money, your the one labeled the crook and a outlaw, its just a upside down world of pure failer by majority on morals of right and wrong.
                            what's reallying sickening is if your a smart lottery winner and go the trust route, you can live in a  god only knows how much house, paid off by the trust.  get spending money, and sure get food stamps and shelter money "at lest in tn" and if you do working part time get fired, pretend to look, unemployment money, while being amuti millioner .
                            unemployment , welcome to being in leech's dream world , great if your one of them, a living P***ed nitemare for productive. US Flag