Sunday, September 30, 2012

Lottery Winner Who Still Received Welfare Dies Of An Overdose

25 year old Amanda Clayton from Michigan made news in 2011 when she won $1M in the Michigan lottery. Nothing big about that news, but it came out later that despite winning the $1M she was still collecting welfare benefits and that there was no law which would keep her from doing so despite her payout. Yesterday morning Amanda was found dead in her home. Police say she died of an apparent overdose.

41 comments:

Ashlea said...

Hmm. I think there's no neef to be snark. Her exit from this world says it all.

shauniebear said...

How in the hell was she still collecting welfare after hitting the lotto?! This is the kind of stuff that really chaps my ass..

Laura said...

Just goes to show money doesn't necessarily equal happiness and peace. Ridiculous though that you can win that amount of money and still claim benefits

auntliddy said...

Yeah, we need beaucoup more story. Rip.

musesx9 said...

Can someone explain the welfare thing????? Don't you have to have a need to collect? Also, I thought they asked if you received gifts, etc.

katsm0711 said...

I read on another site she didn't report it on her taxes

nolachickee said...

She didn't get away with it - "She was charged with welfare fraud and sentenced to probation in July". The same story said she od'ed on script meds. Very sad.

GrowFarmington said...

I'm from the area, she was getting (IIRC) food stamps even after winning the lottery. Wasn't sorry about it either because "I'm eligible!"

Her story prompted reform in the system to remove lottery winners from the rolls. I thought there was something in place that if you hit the lottery you would have to refund what you'd received, but apparently not.

Sounds like she was a troubled girl.

smashbash said...
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fordellcastle said...

My own worthless opinion is that anyone receiving welfare benefits should regularly be drug tested. They kick people out of public housing due to drug use/arrests. Welfare needs to do the same.

smashbash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
xoApril said...

If she was found to have squandered her winnings, she would be eligible as long as the asset has been proven to have been disposed of.
It's a shame that the lottery can't go to those who desperately need it or would use it for good.
Considering she is probably a drug addict, she clearly has bigger demons she is facing.

Squeezebox said...

fordellcastle - When Florida tried it, the percentage of people on welfare who tested positive for drugs was so low, it cost more to run all the drug tests than it saved in finding the users and kicking them off. The only winners were the private companies who get paid to run the drug tests.

Contrary to popular belief, the average welfare recipient is not a black female drug addict with kids. Most are ordinary decent people who've run into temporary hard times.

Also, many forms of public assistance allow the recipient to 'own' a certain amount of assets if they are properly protected, typically in a trust. I have a mentally retarded friend in her 60s whose elderly mother has set up a trust to ensure that her daughter will still be able to pay for rides and even go on occasional small vacations after her mom passes. And then there are all the families whose parents have set up family trusts to tie up their assets. That is done so they can get Medicaid to pay for their nursing home care if/when they need it, while still allowing them to pass on their assets to their children. Perfectly legal. More and more families are doing it.

Pookie said...

no snark here, just genuine curiosity...why was a 25 yr old on welfare? she looks so young and able-bodied. again, no back story to go on, so perhaps she had a disability or was simply unable to find a job--if that's the case, fine. but it does seem like an awful case of entitlement to milk the system after her lottery windfall. if she understood hardship, why not cease to collect those benefits, knowing fully there are others truly in need? methinks a guilty conscience finally caught up. imagine the terrible pain her loved ones must be in. #sad

Frufra said...

Seems like there's a tragic movie script in this story somewhere. So so sad all around.

I don't think winning the lottery would, in the end, be a very good thing. UNLESS you could establish a sensible plan to give away most of the money to worthy causes, and keep what you needed to live comfortably, winning $65 million or whatever (I realize she only won $1 mil) would ultimately end in heartache, I think.

P.S. - shauniebear, happy to see your smiling face again :-)! Hope you're having a great weekend.

Mango said...

I saw her interview with reports on Yahoo. She said that she only netted about $500,000 after taking the lump sum and getting taxed and that she didn't have an income so why shouldn't she get food stamps?

Mango said...

*with a reporter - sorry!

misspeg86 said...

How much is a lottery ticket? How can she afford a lottery ticket if she's on welfare in the first place? Welfare is so screwed up. We have big problems in Australia and are spending so much money trying to catch the people who are rorting the system.

Tuxedo Cat said...

Wow I think Michigan needs to overhaul it's welfare system.

In Ontario, Canada, a person can keep their home provided it is worth $200 000 or under. If a person has over $5000.00 in assets of any kind, they are expected (rightfully so) to liquidate and sell those before receiving welfare. They can keep their house and one car.

Amy in MI said...

She lived about a block away from my work, and a few blocks from my house... With food stamps and welfare, they only review your case every 6 months. You are responsible for reporting any changes in income.. Obviously she didn't hence it didn't change. She got caught cause she ran her mouth and someone turned her in.

This doesn't surprise me, she was in my store a lot and always high or on some type of mind altering substance. Ecorse, where she died, is a run down area where steelworkers from US Steel used to live. My coworker who lives nearby where she died said it was a known drug house...

I still feel sorry for her child.

Kaye said...

Something like 80% of big lotto winners are dead or broke within 5 years, most people are not prepared to manage big windfalls.

motcollins said...

@misspeg86, lottery tickets for the big drawings are usually only $1. Scratch tickets and such can be more. Like with slots, the people who can least afford to lose are the ones who play the most.

The truth is one in umpteen million welfare folks will ever win big on the lottery. Most of the people who don't win huge like the Powerball end up squandering it within a few years. And chances are any issues you have, if money can make it worse, it will.

feraltart said...

@misspeg86, agree with you about welfare in Australia. I work with a bloke who along with his wife rorts the system. Complains about having no money but smokes, drinks and gambles. I get sick of paying for people's wants. Welfare should be to help people with needs. This same idiot rorted workcover, I begged the insurance company to investigate, said I would go to court, but the caseworkers boss knocked her back when she brought it up. No wonder our premiums are so high.

califblondy said...

The curse of winning the lottery strikes again.

g.strathmore said...

She clearly was not a person who made good life choices.

shauniebear said...

Aww thanks! My weekend was great! Had it off and spent it with my daughter. Hope yours was good as well :)

figgy said...

Sadly now people will use this as an excuse to claim that "everyone on welfare is a cheat blah de blah blah"

misspeg86 said...

Wow that's cheap. Lottery tickets here are almost $10!

misspeg86 said...

Absolutely agree with you 100% there!

Barton Fink said...

Also, lottery purchasers tend to be from the permanent underclass or from a background of multigenerational poverty -- and I imagine she wasn't raised with the best economic strategy or lifeskills. A large amount of cash is also a very bad thing for someone who uses drugs. I always think that the Sharon Stone character in CASINO was one of the best portraits of a drug user/addict I've ever seen: cash equals drugs, and tons of cash equals mountains of drugs. RIP, foolish thieving young woman. "Those whom the gods wish to destroy they make very, very rich," goes the old saying.

Dani said...

Whether you are talking about cash, food or housing...you would be amazed at the number of young, able-bodied people who receive assistance. They grew up that way, their mothers grew up that way, it's just what you do. There are some who truly need. There are others who use it as means to lay around all day with their boo of the month. Those are the ones who add a new baby to the household every year.

PuggleMommy said...

Good god. I worked and went to school full time in my late teens. I was living on my own. Because of food and medical assistance with welfare, I was able to use the money received at my minimum wage job, to pay bills. I was able bodied, and still did not make enough. I was not popping out babies, I was not raised to think the government would pay my way through life. I was struggling, I sought help. These stereotypes are ridiculous.

KittensRUs said...

As with disability, those who abuse the system ruin it for those who don't.

B said...

Thanks for schooling that idiot Squeezebox:)

Cornbread said...

Regarding drug testing for welfare...in Florida, the drug testing was for CASH ASSISTANCE ONLY, not for food stamps. Cash assistance is for people in Section 8 housing; it helps pay the rent. For the most part, people receiving cash assistance do need it. They're mentally or physically disabled, or single mothers with several children.

They never passed drug testing for other forms of welfare, like food stamps. If they had, people like my sister-in-law (who is 27, a licensed beautician completely able to work, but sits at home because she's now living off child support and food stamps) would have their benefits revoked.

But, playing devil'd advocate, if my SIL had her food stamps revoked, I really don't know how my nephew would eat. Unless we just kidnapped him...which has crossed our minds before.

If this girl wasn't required to report the money as income, or neglected to do so, it's super easy to stay on welfare. Sad, but true.

Silly Girl said...

Contrary to what a lot of people think, there are plenty of jobs available in the Detroit/Metro Detroit area. There really isn't a 'reason' for her to have been on welfare......hate stories like this.

KittensRUs said...

There is always work. I lost my (high paid professional type) job during the 2008 crash and worked two menial jobs til I got another good job. People are whiners who don't want to sweep, mop, scrub and shovel - that's why they don't have jobs.

Amy in MI said...

Silly girl is right. There a&e e plenty of jobs around here. I have seen Amanda at the pill pusher clinic Across the street from where I worked (fort just south of Southfield for locals). She is part if an epidemic of people beig hooked on pain pills. Sad

Jaime said...

I'm from the Detroit area as well. The legislature changed the law this year to block lottery winners from receiving aid. Let's see if I can get the hyperlink to work: Welfare fraud charges filed against lottery winner

Popnursing said...

@gstrathmore summed it up perfectly. I cannot muster sympathy for this woman. Was sorry to hear there was a kid though...

abigail7881 said...

I admit it, I was on medicaid when I was pregnant with my son, and for about 2 years (just him, not me) after. I worked at an urgent care for a few years, and it would tick me off the number of times I would call a patient back, and it would be a young girl (usually 18-25 years old), on medicaid, perfectly healthy (except for the cold/flu/whatever reason they were there), and would have no job. Of course they'd have at least one kid. It's ridiculous how many people work the system.

I think in Florida, with the drug tests, the people might have been notified when they would have to take the test, so they could get clean (like the stuff you can buy at headshops) or they'll get clean urine.