One million dollars may be a lot to most people, but apparently it is not enough for lottery winner Amanda Clayton, who is still receiving welfare assistance.
The 24-year-old Michigan native won a $1 million state lottery prize in Sept., but has remained on the state's welfare system. Reports show that Clayton receives over $200 per month in food stamps and other state assistance. "I'm still struggling," she told WDIV, the local TV station.
After being tipped off about Clayton's benefits, reporters began following her around and investigating her claim. "I feel that it's okay [to receive welfare] because I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay. I have two houses," she told reporters.
This is after the television crew discovered that she had bought a house and car, paying cash for both. The station reported that Clayton received over $500,000 after taking a lump sum payment instead of annual installments.
Clayton's story has drawn the attention of politicians who are angry that lottery winners are still eligible for federal and state benefits.
"Public assistance should be given to those in need of public assistance, not those that have found riches," said Dale Zom. He is sponsoring a bill to prevent lottery winners from receiving food stamps. The bill has passed in Michigan's House of Representatives and will go to the Senate for a vote.
"I thought they would cut me off, but since they didn't, I thought maybe it was okay because I'm not working," Clayton said. She attempted to defend her actions, though and has said that she will continue claiming her benefits until she is cut off.
"It's just hard, you know. I'm struggling," she said.
The public has not responded kindly to the mother of two.
"Some people just have no shame when it comes to leeching off the government," noted Cartman, a user on the Daily Mail.
"I cannot believe that in this poor US economy when so many people are struggling this [woman] is still collecting welfare benefits after winning 500k… Worse than that she thinks she is entitle to these benefits. What is this world coming to?" asked user Nora.