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Lottery bill could limit winner's take

Michigan LotteryMichigan Lottery: Lottery bill could limit winner's take
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Michigan welfare recipients couldn't claim major prizes

Michigan lawmakers are being asked to prevent any person receiving welfare from winning major Michigan State Lottery prizes, and the idea has area residents and business people at odds.

If signed into law, the proposed legislation would prohibit a person getting welfare, food stamps or Medicaid from collecting a lottery prize of more than $600. If the prize were larger, the portion not paid to the winner would go to the state School Aid Fund, as does all unclaimed lottery prize money.

House Bill 6534 was introduced Oct. 5 by state Rep. Tom McMillin of Rochester Hills and co-sponsored by House members Jim Stamas of Midland, David Agema of Grandville and Pete Lund of Shelby Township. All are Republicans.

McMillin, a freshman legislator, said he introduced the bill because the concept had been on his mind and he wanted to "open up debate."

"The lottery is a bad gamble for a lot of people," McMillin said. "Some people play it for recreation. One too many times, I saw people standing in line who appeared to be poor and they were buying tons of lottery tickets."

McMillin said his goal is to keep people in need from wasting money.

"They should save it and buy some clothes and food — and make sure they're looking good when they go out for a job interview," McMillin said.

"You can't stop somebody from buying the tickets," he added, "so this was the only way to dampen the desire to throw their money away."

Local views about the proposal seem mixed.

"That ain't right," Paul Schultz, 53, of Port Huron said. "That's not fair. They paid for their ticket. It might help them out."

"Why should they do that?" said Norene Ruel, 59, of Port Huron. "I don't think that's right. If they want to spend their money on the lottery, let them."

Tom Bachman, 66, of Port Huron had a different perspective.

"If they're on welfare," he said, "they've got no business spending their money on the lottery."

Bachman's view was echoed by Najib Kakos, who owns Buscemi's/Beverage Barrel in downtown Port Huron, where lottery tickets are sold. He said the legislation would have his support regardless of its impact on lottery sales at his business.

"We have family members that own businesses in the Detroit area, primarily in really poor neighborhoods," he said. "Their lottery sales are unbelievable compared to ours.

"If you're barely making it, you shouldn't be gambling," Kakos said. "The money should be used for food and shelter. It doesn't matter if it hurts our sales — it's about doing what's right."

One owner of a ticket outlet disagreed.

"If a person got a million-dollar ticket, then they should win a million — or $50,000 or whatever," said Dennis Zielke, owner of Adair Market in Casco Township. "They should be able to have it."

Owners of several local stores that sell lottery tickets declined comment.

Andi Brancato, director of public relations for the Michigan Lottery, said there are concerns about the idea.

"There are some questions about the enforcement provisions which we don't really feel are in the bill right now," she said. "So, without any enforcement provisions, it's difficult for us to elaborate on the bill."

McMillin said enforcement would occur at the state level because $600 is the maximum amount that can be paid out at the store where the winning ticket was bought.

For any greater prize, "the winner has to come to Lansing to get it," he said, "and they can match up the name and ensure that they're not on state assistance."

McMillin said he knows of no other state that has adopted such a plan but said a similar bill was considered — and rejected — in Tennessee.

As for his own proposal, "I don't expect it to necessarily pass this year," McMillin said.

Port Huron Times Herald

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101 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by rdgrnr.
Page 1 of 7
sully16's avatar - sharan
Ringleader
Michigan
United States
Member #81740
October 28, 2009
40293 Posts
Offline
Posted: October 20, 2010, 8:40 am - IP Logged

When I see someone drop $800 IN FOOD STAMPS THEN WALK OVER TO THE LOTTERY COUNTER AND DROP ANOTHER $50 FOR LOTTERY THEN HOP IN TO A NAVIGATOR WITH GOLD RIMS AND RUNNING LIGHTS, I'M SORRY BUT, THEY ARE REALLY NOT THAT NEEDY.

Food stamp abuse is running wild in Michigan, we now have people moving here to get better welfare bennies.

There are truly people in need here and when the system is abused it takes away from families and the brink of disaster.

Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

For a lead role in a cage?

 

                                            From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

    savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
    adelaide sa
    Australia
    Member #37136
    April 11, 2006
    3300 Posts
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    Posted: October 20, 2010, 9:36 am - IP Logged

    this is a toughy, how about  they take what theyve ben paid in welfare out the prize? take the whole prize just because someones down on their luck.

    are not a lot of people out of work over there now?

    winning a nice amount will disqualify them from payments, and they will spend the money like drunken sailors.

    sure the cash was a handout.

    but man people have to have some hope in their lives.

    2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016 JAN = -106; FEB= -81; MAR= -131; APR= - 87: MAY= -91; JUN= -39; JUL=-134; AUG= -124; SEP = -123; OCT= -84  NOV=- 73 TOT= -3498

    keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= JAN=-32, FEB= +12 , MAR= -86, APR = -77. MAY= -48, JUN= -29, JUL=-71; AUG = -52; SEPT= -43; OCT = +56 NOV = -33 TOT= -3297

      jackpotismine's avatar - kanji for_peace.jpg
      Kunming
      China
      Member #57910
      January 23, 2008
      3626 Posts
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      Posted: October 20, 2010, 10:00 am - IP Logged

      this is a toughy, how about  they take what theyve ben paid in welfare out the prize? take the whole prize just because someones down on their luck.

      are not a lot of people out of work over there now?

      winning a nice amount will disqualify them from payments, and they will spend the money like drunken sailors.

      sure the cash was a handout.

      but man people have to have some hope in their lives.

      I Agree! They should take out the money from the welfare benefits they received. I think that would be a fair way to deal with this because it's not always easy to know who abuses the system systematically.

      Play to win!

        dpoly1's avatar - driver
        PA
        United States
        Member #66141
        October 16, 2008
        1672 Posts
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        Posted: October 20, 2010, 10:03 am - IP Logged

        The politicians stealing money from the citizens!

        AGAIN! Mad

         

        We are citizens .... not sources of income !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
          Chief Bottle Washer
          New Jersey
          United States
          Member #1
          May 31, 2000
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          Posted: October 20, 2010, 10:05 am - IP Logged

          I'm not saying I agree or disagree with this legislation, but to those who say "subtract the welfare payouts from a prize (if they win one)", that does not solve the problem they are trying to address.  It does not discourage welfare recipients from playing, because the amount of welfare payout removed from a jackpot is negligible, compared to the overall jackpot.  Meanwhile, the chances of actually winning the jackpot is very small, and the probability that the welfare money is being spent on losing lottery tickets is much higher.

          One thing I do agree with, as far as this legislation is concerned, is that people should NEVER gamble with money that they cannot safely afford to lose.  The lottery is entertainment, not an investment.

          On the other hand, I am very much against government intrusion.  I do not believe the government has any right to tell people not to gamble.  That includes over the Internet.  (Just like how the government should not take from one group of people and give it to another.)

          Perhaps the politicians should just grow a backbone and reform the welfare system, rather than tinkering with the lottery.

           

          Check the State Lottery Report Card
          What grade did your lottery earn?

           

          Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
          Help eliminate computerized drawings!

            dpoly1's avatar - driver
            PA
            United States
            Member #66141
            October 16, 2008
            1672 Posts
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            Posted: October 20, 2010, 10:14 am - IP Logged

            I'm not saying I agree or disagree with this legislation, but to those who say "subtract the welfare payouts from a prize (if they win one)", that does not solve the problem they are trying to address.  It does not discourage welfare recipients from playing, because the amount of welfare payout removed from a jackpot is negligible, compared to the overall jackpot.  Meanwhile, the chances of actually winning the jackpot is very small, and the probability that the welfare money is being spent on losing lottery tickets is much higher.

            One thing I do agree with, as far as this legislation is concerned, is that people should NEVER gamble with money that they cannot safely afford to lose.  The lottery is entertainment, not an investment.

            On the other hand, I am very much against government intrusion.  I do not believe the government has any right to tell people not to gamble.  That includes over the Internet.  (Just like how the government should not take from one group of people and give it to another.)

            Perhaps the politicians should just grow a backbone and reform the welfare system, rather than tinkering with the lottery.

            I agree with the sentiment, but the "government" is so intrusive these days, that the list of what we are allowed to do will soon be very short!

            I am on Social Security Disability. I spend $2 to $4 a week either Mega Millions or Powerball. This is my only hobby. Should I win; does the "government" have the "right" to limit my winnings?

            "Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness" - kinda' in the Constitution!

            We the People! ....... NOT ......... "We the Government"

              jackpotismine's avatar - kanji for_peace.jpg
              Kunming
              China
              Member #57910
              January 23, 2008
              3626 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: October 20, 2010, 10:29 am - IP Logged

              I'm not saying I agree or disagree with this legislation, but to those who say "subtract the welfare payouts from a prize (if they win one)", that does not solve the problem they are trying to address.  It does not discourage welfare recipients from playing, because the amount of welfare payout removed from a jackpot is negligible, compared to the overall jackpot.  Meanwhile, the chances of actually winning the jackpot is very small, and the probability that the welfare money is being spent on losing lottery tickets is much higher.

              One thing I do agree with, as far as this legislation is concerned, is that people should NEVER gamble with money that they cannot safely afford to lose.  The lottery is entertainment, not an investment.

              On the other hand, I am very much against government intrusion.  I do not believe the government has any right to tell people not to gamble.  That includes over the Internet.  (Just like how the government should not take from one group of people and give it to another.)

              Perhaps the politicians should just grow a backbone and reform the welfare system, rather than tinkering with the lottery.

              I'm proud to be American but since I've been here (China), it seems that the USA is becoming more and more NOT '"for the people, by the people". I've been away from the USA for over 4 years and so much has changed. Don't think I will go back for a long while, except to visit.

              Play to win!

                savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
                adelaide sa
                Australia
                Member #37136
                April 11, 2006
                3300 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: October 20, 2010, 10:58 am - IP Logged

                here in australia, they have something called, " quarantined payments "

                there is half the welfare check goes onto a gov card. and it cant be spent on stuff like smokes, alcohol gambling, other half  can be spent how the person likes.

                2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016 JAN = -106; FEB= -81; MAR= -131; APR= - 87: MAY= -91; JUN= -39; JUL=-134; AUG= -124; SEP = -123; OCT= -84  NOV=- 73 TOT= -3498

                keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= JAN=-32, FEB= +12 , MAR= -86, APR = -77. MAY= -48, JUN= -29, JUL=-71; AUG = -52; SEPT= -43; OCT = +56 NOV = -33 TOT= -3297

                  Avatar
                  Kentucky
                  United States
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                  February 14, 2006
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                  Posted: October 20, 2010, 1:05 pm - IP Logged

                  "One too many times, I saw people standing in line who appeared to be poor and they were buying tons of lottery tickets."

                  I don't know how appearing to be poor proves the players are on welfare because I stopped on my way home from working in a factory many days and I certainly wasn't dressed in my Sunday best. Anybody would have thought I was very poor especially when I got into the beater car I drove to work.

                  This bill won't prevent anyone from buying tickets or collecting over $600 when they can simply get someone to cash it for them for a commission. Part of the Dateline NBC investigation was about the relatives of store owners collecting multiple jackpots. None of the store owners said they were cashing the tickets for players who didn't want it know they won, but it's obvious they were because of the large number of winners.

                  If it's true that some Welfare recipients have enough money left over to purchase "tons of lottery tickets", the legislators ought to be investigating their Welfare Department and not worry how people dress when buying lottery tickets.

                    Jordans121's avatar - nw bookeep.jpg

                    United States
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                    January 5, 2009
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                    Posted: October 20, 2010, 1:49 pm - IP Logged

                    Just another way the rich get richer and the poor get more poor.

                    "Many Strategies|One Game"

                      B$Rizzle's avatar - a4leds
                      The Ville, FL
                      United States
                      Member #95879
                      August 19, 2010
                      1708 Posts
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                      Posted: October 20, 2010, 1:58 pm - IP Logged

                      If this thing does end up getting approved, at the very least they should allow welfare recipients to collect the winnings MINUS the amount they have been given in welfare. That way they would have all of their welfare checks paid back. I do not agree with disqualifying people from being able to win just because they are on welfare.

                       

                      There are many of times where less wealthy people have won large jackpots. Its all about being lucky. Some less wealthy people are in financial ruin due to unforseen circumstances.

                       

                      What if a child had to have a heart transplant which cost the parents every penny they had, and ended up having to recieve welfare? Why should those parents not be able to claim a jackpot if they won?

                       

                      Not fair to ban them all

                        time*treat's avatar - radar

                        United States
                        Member #13130
                        March 30, 2005
                        2171 Posts
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                        Posted: October 20, 2010, 2:25 pm - IP Logged

                        If they really wanted to quit wasting taxpayer money, they'd close the State House.

                        In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
                        Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

                          BaristaExpress's avatar - BaristaExpressMX zpsfb0d8b5d.png
                          Magnolia, Delaware
                          United States
                          Member #18795
                          July 20, 2005
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                          Posted: October 20, 2010, 2:32 pm - IP Logged

                          Look I think everyone here is missing the point! I think it needs to be done just like what ALL the states that have lotteries do already to those who win money over the $600.00 dollars that owe back state taxes or child support, take as much of it to satisfy just what they owe! And yes the Federal Government does the same thing to those who owe back child support or back Federal taxes that are getting a tax refund for any given year! They pay up every penny of what they owe before they can get any refund check!

                          And that's exactly what needs to be done to those who receive state assistance. Anyone who is on any state assistance program shouldn't be spending the money that's given to them by that states tax payers on gambling PERIOD! And those who are getting that assistance check and gambles that said money and wins any money over the the $600.00 dollars should have to forfit all of the winnings to that states assistance check program to satisfy all or part of what they have already received from that states assistance check program!!!!! No ifs ands or butts about it!

                          It's only fair to the tax payers of those states!

                          Keep dreaming the impossible dream, it just may come true! Thumbs Up

                            stripesnsolids's avatar - box
                            GA
                            United States
                            Member #97845
                            September 25, 2010
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                            Posted: October 20, 2010, 3:01 pm - IP Logged

                            Are they serious?  I sure hope this doesn't pass.  Did it ever occur to these lawmakers that these people are playing to get OFF welfare.  SMH