One would think that winning $1 million in a state lottery would automatically disqualify the recipient from getting food stamps. But one would be wrong.

Amanda Clayton, an unemployed 24-year-old mother of two from Michigan, got the big payday last fall, after which she bought a house and a new car. But when residents spotted her using a Michigan Bridge card — a food stamp debit card — at area grocery stores, they asked a local news channel to investigate.

Turns out it’s perfectly legal. Because Clayton still doesn’t have a job, Michigan law allows her to draw $200 per month from the state’s coffers to feed herself and her kids.

Rep. Dale Zorn is outraged, and says two bills to prevent the practice are currently being considered by Michigan lawmakers — the legislation would require lottery winners of prizes of $1,000 or more to have their names cross-checked with the Department of Human Services to ensure help isn’t being given where it’s not warranted.

Clayton has now been removed from the food assistance program, but is unapologetic, saying, “I feel that it’s okay because, I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay. I have two houses [now] … It’s just hard, you know. I’m struggling.”


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