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Food Stamps


Last year, a woman in Detroit, Michigan won the lottery for $1 million dollars, but she wasn’t going to give up on the food assistance program. While she did take home $500,000 after taxes, she blames bad money management. Needless to say, her claims made her national news this past week and not in a good light. Of course, it’s easy for people to see why she shouldn’t be on food stamps. How can she still ask for assistance with $500,000 in the bank?


The Michigan Department of Human Services on Wednesday said Amanda Clayton would not be receiving $200 in monthly benefits anymore. The decision followed a report from NBC News station in Detroit, which did an interview with the 24-year-old Clayton, who acknowledged still receiving food stamps since her lottery win last September. The news outraged many who rely on food stamps, as well as others who saw the woman taking advantage of the system.


Clayton explained later that she is unemployed and has an incredible amount of bills, which account for the continued aid. “I thought they would cut me off, but since they didn’t I thought maybe it was OK because I’m not working,” Clayton told WDIV-TV, the NBC news station in Detroit. “I feel that it’s OK because I have no income, and I have bills to pay. I have two houses.”


Her mother also agreed that her daughter didn’t break any law by accepting food stamps after she won the lottery. She even told Detroit news that her daughter only received half of the million dollars after taxes and opting for a lump sum payment. However, her mother said that Clayton used that money to buy a new house and car.


To many, it’s a strange idea that she would buy another house when she already has one and spend most of her $500,000 earnings while still relying on food stamps. It’s not the best way to spend your money. Furthermore, Clayton does have two children to support, which also comes into the mix, but is it enough bills to really continue to rely on food assistance?


The real problem seems to be that Clayton doesn’t know how to manage her money, and for that reason, she was lampooned by many conservatives and even accused of illegal activity for continuing to accept government money while winning a million dollars. Legislation at the state level requires that lottery or other gambling winnings be reported to determine eligibility. The legislation comes after a man in Bay County continued to receive food stamps despite winning $2 million in 2010.


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