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Lottery winner found dead in Michigan river

Jun 10, 2021, 1:52 pm

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By Kate Northrop

MIDLAND, Mich. — The body of a Michigan lottery winner was discovered by Midland police floating in a river over the weekend.

69-year-old Leroy Fick, of Auburn, was found dead right before 10:30 am on Sat., Jun. 5 in the Tittabawassee River.

In June 2010, Fick won $2 million in Michigan's Make Me Rich! Lottery and received a lump sum of about $850,000. He sparked controversy when he admitted to collecting food stamps 11 months after the win.

"If you're going to try to make me feel bad, you're not going to do it," he told reporters at the time.

Food stamps are paid for through tax dollars and are meant to help support low-income families. Eligibility for food stamps is based on gross income, but lottery winnings were considered liquid assets and did not count as income under federal guidelines.

After he made headlines, legislators instated a new law that requires the Michigan Lottery to provide the name and other information of a person who wins $1,000 or more to the Department of Human Services, who would then review a winner's assets to determine if they are still eligible to receive food stamps.

In January 2012, Fick was sentenced to 45 days in jail, one year of probation, and was handed several court fines and costs for illegally possessing hydrocodone, a prescription painkiller. Police discovered the drugs in his car when they pulled him over while driving on a suspended license.

"You've just been involved in so much criminal activity over such a short period of time, that I have to give you some jail," Isabella County Trial Court Judge Mark H. Duthie said to Fick before he was escorted out of the courtroom.

His attorney, John Wilson, had argued that Fick suffered from pain and that friends provided him with the painkillers. According to Wilson, he was living on a fixed income of $1,100 a month.

Despite winning a lifechanging amount of money in the lottery, Fick blew through his winnings in about one year. Wilson added that he was not equipped to handle such a large sum and that family and friends took advantage of him.

In addition to demolishing his home, building a new one on the same property, and purchasing a brand-new Chevrolet Camaro, Fick also spent a good deal of his winnings on expensive fireworks.

That October, he was sentenced to an additional 13 to 60 months in prison after he was convicted of larceny of a firearm and felon in possession of a firearm.

"The whole thing just blew up in my face," Fick told the judge while recounting his downfall. "I thought people would love me if I helped them out some. I had the wrong idea, I guess. They all turned on me and that was it."

Officers reported that the circumstances of Fick's death do not appear to be suspicious, however they did not provide any details on the cause or manner of death. Police are asking those who have any information to call 989-839-4719.

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21 comments. Last comment 4 days ago by MrLotto$.
Page 1 of 2
hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

United States
Member #52343
May 21, 2007
3365 Posts
Offline

EZ come,EZ go and etc etc 

    Avatar

    United States
    Member #205224
    March 19, 2020
    34 Posts
    Offline

    Food stamps are paid for through tax dollars and are meant to help support low-income families. Eligibility for food stamps is based on gross income, but lottery winnings were considered liquid assets and did not count as income under federal guidelines.

    Ha!  Let's see people try to say it's not income to the IRS.

      Caps's avatar - iron2
      New Member
      Zone-9
      United States
      Member #215731
      June 4, 2021
      3 Posts
      Offline

      Sad, very sad, RIP.  Just goes to prove that not having money is not as big a problem as some

      would have us believe.   Stupid is, stupid does.

      I asked the same question, still waiting on the answer.

        Avatar
        Chasing $ Millions.
        White Shores- California
        United States
        Member #136471
        December 12, 2012
        6627 Posts
        Offline

        The worm turned for Leroy back in 2010, l just hope he had quite a ride while he was still alive.

         * Voice of Reason *   

        * The Truth Hurts *

        People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

          Avatar
          Simpsonville
          United States
          Member #163182
          January 22, 2015
          2589 Posts
          Offline

          Food stamps are paid for through tax dollars and are meant to help support low-income families. Eligibility for food stamps is based on gross income, but lottery winnings were considered liquid assets and did not count as income under federal guidelines.

          Ha!  Let's see people try to say it's not income to the IRS.

          I understand that unemployment has to be reported as income to the IRS.  I doubt food stamps fit that category.

          To me he sounded like someone who could be in that dumb criminal list.

            Tony Numbers's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg
            Bronx ny
            United States
            Member #158510
            August 25, 2014
            684 Posts
            Offline

            WOW What a Freaking Idiot!!!!!

              Avatar
              SC
              United States
              Member #197745
              April 26, 2019
              18 Posts
              Offline

              Another idiot that shouldn't of won.

                Tony Numbers's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg
                Bronx ny
                United States
                Member #158510
                August 25, 2014
                684 Posts
                Offline

                With a 2 million overhead, one doesn't have to cheat the govt. Should have just set up a trust, invested it. Could have done good things helped people, instead piss poor, face down in the drink

                  Avatar
                  Kentucky
                  United States
                  Member #32651
                  February 14, 2006
                  9185 Posts
                  Offline

                  I understand that unemployment has to be reported as income to the IRS.  I doubt food stamps fit that category.

                  To me he sounded like someone who could be in that dumb criminal list.

                  "He sparked controversy when he admitted to collecting food stamps 11 months after the win."

                  His $850,000 in winnings are only counted as income for the year he won and "11 months after" was probably the next year. Just based on his record, he probably never was an upstanding citizen.

                  It's not my fault! I voted for Amy.

                    Avatar
                    New York
                    United States
                    Member #103596
                    January 4, 2011
                    7031 Posts
                    Offline

                    "Officers reported that the circumstances of Fick's death do not appear to be suspicious..." ; dead in the river; nothing to see here- huh?

                      HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                      United States
                      Member #72446
                      March 18, 2009
                      1389 Posts
                      Offline

                      RIP Leroy Fick.  It's a shame you were surrounded by people willing to take chunks of your lottery small nest egg and later cause you grief.

                      Thumbs Down

                      Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

                      Disney

                        Avatar
                        Chasing $ Millions.
                        White Shores- California
                        United States
                        Member #136471
                        December 12, 2012
                        6627 Posts
                        Offline

                        RIP Leroy Fick.  It's a shame you were surrounded by people willing to take chunks of your lottery small nest egg and later cause you grief.

                        Thumbs Down

                        I Agree!... Looks like some folks welcome people " taking chunks of their lottery winnings."

                         I can see these folks swallowing that worm at the bottom of the tequila.Approve 

                         * Voice of Reason *   

                        * The Truth Hurts *

                        People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                          KY Floyd's avatar - 3 hour-tour.jpg
                          NY
                          United States
                          Member #23834
                          October 16, 2005
                          4408 Posts
                          Offline

                          "Let's see people try to say it's not income to the IRS."

                          Exactly. At least some part of the federal government consider lottery winning to be income. The year after you win you could potentially have a very low income by investing in things that don't generate income until you decide you want income, but that first year you definitely have income. That makes it seem pretty obvious that assistance should be for people with low income and modest assets.

                          "dead in the river; nothing to see here- huh?"

                          About 10 people drown every day in the US, most often because they're young and/or stupid. That's pretty close to natural causes.

                            Avatar
                            Simpsonville
                            United States
                            Member #163182
                            January 22, 2015
                            2589 Posts
                            Offline

                            Good points and many drowning happen with experienced swimmers.  It only takes a teaspoon of water for some folks to drown; airway clamps down.

                            Unfortunately we had many what they call near drowning in PICU in my 20 years there.   Then there's warm water vs cold water drowning, but all of ours were warm water drowning---the worst kind. Most were bathtub cases and some wandered off into the family pond.

                            The IRS would be after you like Shug running after Celi (Color Purple) if one thinks they can outsmart them.