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800+ Michigan Lottery winners kicked off public assistance in 2013

Michigan LotteryMichigan Lottery: 800+ Michigan Lottery winners kicked off public assistance in 2013
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LANSING, MI — More than 7,200 Michigan Lottery winners were living in households that received public assistance of some kind in 2013, and the state was able to close about 11 percent of those cases as a result.

The Michigan Department of Human Services shared those findings Thursday in its latest "lottery match report," analyzing the impact of a 2012 law that allows the agency to cross-check lottery winnings with public assistance programs and, in some cases, end benefits.

DHS identified 7,216 lotto players who won at least $1,000 last year and lived in a household that received food stamps, Medicaid, or some other form of assistance. Their winnings totaled nearly $44 million, or about $6,056 per case. Eighteen cases involved jackpots valued at $100,000 or more.

But current state and federal laws only allowed the department to close 810 of the cases, or about 11 percent, according to the report. One case involved a lotto player who won more than $4 million.

"These winnings add up," DHS Director Maura Corrigan said in a statement. "While federal regulations prevent us from being able to discontinue certain types of benefits, we were able to close food assistance and Medicaid benefits for 810 recipients, saving taxpayers nearly $2 million."

The report noted at least four bills working their way through the state Legislature that would make it harder for lotto winners to continue receive public assistance, and Corrigan said that federal policy changes would also allow the state to close different types of cases.

"It does not sit well with taxpayers when someone who has won millions of dollars continues to collect assistance because of federal loopholes that do not count these winnings as assets," Corrigan said.

The state law restricting benefits for lottery winners was inspired by a series of high profile cases, including a Bay City man who won $2 million in a "Make Me Rich!" game but continued to receive food assistance.

Those cases involving large winnings are rare, and critics argue that various state efforts to limit welfare access and require stricter asset testing for recipients have cast too broad a net capable of ensnaring residents with legitimate needs.

"Most of the people on food assistance and Medicaid are kids, the fragile elderly, pregnant women and people with disabilities," said Judy Putnam of the Michigan League for Public Policy. "Is that who we're kicking off assistance for small lottery winnings in their households? That doesn't seem right."

"Having said that, we do have to acknowledge there were some really egregious cases in the past few years involving these huge lottery winners. Nobody thinks they should be on assistance."

Thanks to Doug for the tip.

Michigan Live

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29 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by GetReal720.
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Happy California
United States
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August 2, 2014
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Posted: October 25, 2014, 2:15 pm - IP Logged

  Rest in Peace Amanda Clayton. She was a million dollar Michigan lottery winner. She was convicted of continuing to collect State aid and medical benefits  after she won.  She did not have to go public because she did not win Mega Millions or Power Ball. Amanda got nine months of probation .  She died of a drug overdose soon after her sentencing. Amanda left behind a young daughter. 

  Thanks to Don McNay. Best selling author of "Death by Lottery" and "Life Lessons from the Lottery".

    Drenick1's avatar - villiarna
    USA
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    February 25, 2014
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    Posted: October 25, 2014, 3:06 pm - IP Logged

      Rest in Peace Amanda Clayton. She was a million dollar Michigan lottery winner. She was convicted of continuing to collect State aid and medical benefits  after she won.  She did not have to go public because she did not win Mega Millions or Power Ball. Amanda got nine months of probation .  She died of a drug overdose soon after her sentencing. Amanda left behind a young daughter. 

      Thanks to Don McNay. Best selling author of "Death by Lottery" and "Life Lessons from the Lottery".

    Not saying what Amanda Clayton did was right but the media crucified her for receiving less than a thousand dollars in benefits after she collected her winnings. They went back in time and added up all her benefits to come up with the several thousand dollar of entitlements figure. The state and Federal  government took over $300,000 in taxes from her lottery win and they made her out to be a monster which led to her using drugs and overdosing.

    RIP Amanda.

      cbr$'s avatar - maren
      Cordova,Al.
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      January 15, 2011
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      Posted: October 25, 2014, 5:42 pm - IP Logged

      No, I can't see throwing some fragile elderly person, pregnant women or disabilities people off assistance for just so small petty lottery winning. I used to put some elderly people & disabilities people numbers in for them, run a few errands. The Topic of the day or the hi-lites would been if someone numbers really hit. They are thrill even when it a box. Ask some of them, just how long ago did that number hit for them.  Some of them have been playing the same number for over four years. The thrill is watching their faces, when they share the stories about when they first hit that number. No, I could not take that way. Just about everybody in Senior Center, hi-rise, can tell you what fall in the lottery each day, 2th biggest topic what hurt on them, 3th biggest topic who pass away in the night.

        pickone4me's avatar - 021414tvlies zpsa453b327.jpg
        Wisconsin
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        Member #104962
        January 23, 2011
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        Posted: October 25, 2014, 6:02 pm - IP Logged

        Wonder if being in an anonymous state would of prevented the media circus.

        I would definitely report anything that was more then 50 dollars,  even less then that, Don't try to hide anything. Otherwise having any other source of income is really frowned on with entitlements, even if you sell something that is a couple hundred dollars you better check in to make sure.


          United States
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          February 13, 2011
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          Posted: October 25, 2014, 8:11 pm - IP Logged

          Maybe they should also investigate these winners for cheating.  Just sounds like way too many winners to be true.

            maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
            Massachusetts
            United States
            Member #37433
            April 14, 2006
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            Posted: October 25, 2014, 8:43 pm - IP Logged

            When you work full time and cannot buy some of the things people on public assistance buy with your money then it leaves a sour taste in your mouth. When you start feeling sorry for those lottery winners kicked out of public assistance then think of the national debt which stood at $17,899,001,165,158 in September 2014. And it's still growing. 

            That money's gone fo ever

              Avatar
              Kentucky
              United States
              Member #32652
              February 14, 2006
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              Posted: October 25, 2014, 9:47 pm - IP Logged

                Rest in Peace Amanda Clayton. She was a million dollar Michigan lottery winner. She was convicted of continuing to collect State aid and medical benefits  after she won.  She did not have to go public because she did not win Mega Millions or Power Ball. Amanda got nine months of probation .  She died of a drug overdose soon after her sentencing. Amanda left behind a young daughter. 

                Thanks to Don McNay. Best selling author of "Death by Lottery" and "Life Lessons from the Lottery".

              Amanda Clayton was mentioned in this thread though her winnings came under different circumstances. Her jackpot came from a TV game show and the real worth of her ticket wasn't known so selling her ticket wasn't an option. That story had a sad ending and probably not preventable even if she hadn't won the money.

              I don't know how many people in the country are on public assistance and lots of them need it, but the ones buying lottery tickets are getting noticed. Eventually state legislators will notice and make it tougher for those needing it.

                mightwin's avatar - questns

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                January 5, 2011
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                Posted: October 25, 2014, 10:13 pm - IP Logged

                When you work full time and cannot buy some of the things people on public assistance buy with your money then it leaves a sour taste in your mouth. When you start feeling sorry for those lottery winners kicked out of public assistance then think of the national debt which stood at $17,899,001,165,158 in September 2014. And it's still growing. 

                Lottery winners on assistance spending public funds poorly. .......politicians in washington spending public funds poorly......pretty much the same thing to me. Lottery players must be more important because they get all the attention.

                  fwlawrence's avatar - Yavill
                  Austin
                  United States
                  Member #9378
                  December 6, 2004
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                  Posted: October 25, 2014, 10:23 pm - IP Logged

                  Not saying what Amanda Clayton did was right but the media crucified her for receiving less than a thousand dollars in benefits after she collected her winnings. They went back in time and added up all her benefits to come up with the several thousand dollar of entitlements figure. The state and Federal  government took over $300,000 in taxes from her lottery win and they made her out to be a monster which led to her using drugs and overdosing.

                  RIP Amanda.

                  Are you sure she wasn't on drugs before she won?

                    Goteki54's avatar - Lottery-007.jpg
                    Baltimore, MD
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                    May 30, 2013
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                    Posted: October 25, 2014, 11:15 pm - IP Logged

                    People receiving public assistance should not be gambling with tax payers money period to begin with.

                    Following the trends and patterns means following the money!Banana

                      raursby's avatar - MyPicture015
                      ROCKY MOUNT
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                      April 27, 2010
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                      Posted: October 26, 2014, 1:27 am - IP Logged

                      People receiving public assistance should not be gambling with tax payers money period to begin with.

                      How you figure they play with tax payers money? lmao in the state i live in you can not purchase any thing dealing with the lottery with no dam food stamp card or medical cards my friend. That cash they found a way of getting belong to them in my opinion.

                      208--404---510Lovies

                        Rman313's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                        Romulus,MI
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                        May 10, 2013
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                        Posted: October 26, 2014, 3:28 am - IP Logged

                        SmileWell another Michigan resident just won a cool MILLION through MegaMillion Saturday night. Lets hope that person isnt a drug addict or a drunk. Anyone know what part of MI the ticket was sold?

                        You can do anything if you put your mind into it. The sky is the limit! Cool

                          RL-RANDOMLOGIC's avatar - usafce

                          United States
                          Member #59354
                          March 13, 2008
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                          Posted: October 26, 2014, 4:09 am - IP Logged

                          Not saying what Amanda Clayton did was right but the media crucified her for receiving less than a thousand dollars in benefits after she collected her winnings. They went back in time and added up all her benefits to come up with the several thousand dollar of entitlements figure. The state and Federal  government took over $300,000 in taxes from her lottery win and they made her out to be a monster which led to her using drugs and overdosing.

                          RIP Amanda.

                          Won a million dollar JP and ended up with less than a grand,  I think I would have taken a

                          few others out first.

                          RL

                          Working on my Ph.D.  "University of hard Knocks"

                          I will consider the opinion that my winnings are a product of chance if you are willing to consider

                          they are not.  Many great discoveries come while searching for something else

                          USAF https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_Base_Engineer_Emergency_Force

                            US Flag Trump / 2016 & 2020  

                            Teddi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

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                            May 13, 2013
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                            Posted: October 26, 2014, 7:56 am - IP Logged

                            People receiving public assistance should not be gambling with tax payers money period to begin with.

                            How does one gamble with taxpayers' money? Is there some accounting trick we don't know about? Medicaid benefits are on a card. Can only be used for medical care. Food stamps are on a card. Can only be used for food items. Unless they sell their food stamps for cash, I don't see how your scenario is possible. 

                            Unless what you really want to say is people on government assistance not be allowed to play the Lottery period, that's different and that opens up a whole new ridiculous can of worms. Slippery slope sort of thing. How much are you going to spend on a taskforce to monitor every single lottery player in the United States to make sure those getting assistance can never gamble.

                            And are you going to count seniors and veterans in that group too? They receive a lot of government assistance. What about the person who has paid taxes for years/decades who fell on hard times. They've paid into the system, should they be denied their cheap form of entertainment? 

                            I'd rather a law that says anyone who wins more than $5 million repay any public assistance they received in the preceding 12 months. They can already dock winners their child support payments and their student loans, I don't think docking public assistance is such a huge leap. Again win-win.