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Michigan woman wins million dollar prize, still collects welfare

Posted at 6:21 PM, Mar 08, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-08 18:22:37-05

A Michigan woman won $1 million from the state lottery, but was still rewarded welfare.

Her justification was that food stamps and welfare were needed to buy her groceries.

Her money dwindled too quickly, she said, because of taxes and expenses.

Expenses like new home--that a Detroit reporter discovered—and a new car.

“Well, I thought that they would cut me off,” said Amanda Clayton. “But since they didn't, I thought maybe it was ok because I'm not working."

"But you won a million dollars...,” said the Michigan reporter that interviewed her.

"No, I won a million but after I took the lump sum, it dropped down to $700,000 and then after taxes it was just a little bit over half."

"Tax payers are really struggling that really need that money,” said the reporter.” Do you really think you have a right to that money?"

"I mean... I kind of do,” said Clayton. "I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay.”

“I have two houses,” she added.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Clayton won $1 million on the state's "Make Me Rich!" television show.

This isn’t the first time a lottery winner continued to collect welfare after hitting a big jackpot.

Michigan Republican lawmaker Dale Zorn introduced legislation intended to trigger a state notification if a resident wins more than $1,000 in the lottery, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Zorn told the Times that the offense occurs because lottery winners often take the lump sum and pay taxes upfront, which helps their status go unnoticed.

After the interview with Clayton aired on a Detroit Fox TV station, Michigan’s Department of Human Services removed her from the list of welfare recipients, reports the Los Angeles Times.