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No Shame, $2M lottery winner still collects food stamps.
May 19, 2011
3:54 am
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greeney2
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You wonder what is wrong with America when you read something like this. Its just beyond belief to me a person would have the nerve to take food stamps knowing someone who deserves them does not qualify, and you are sitting on $2 Million Dollars. I thinks its bad enough that someone who is on welfare and food stamps, always has the money to buy cigarettes, Booze, or weekly lotto tickets every week. Stupid me, I always thought people were destitude who were needing food stamps. Maybe I'm the stupid one, but all I see is everybody and their brother with their hands out expecting all these things, and not having an ounce of self respect, or sense of right and wrong, that taking the food stamps when you do not need them is a disgrace. This is really disgusting to me.
Maybe the State should take back some of that lotto winnings won by fraud by using welfare money.

$2M Michigan lottery winner defends use of food stamps
ShareretweetEmailPrintBy Detroit News detroit News – Wed May 18, 1:27 pm ET

Ron French, Detroit News staff writer

A Michigan man who won $2 million in a state lottery game continues to collect food stamps 11 months after striking it rich.

And there's nothing the state can do about it, at least for now.

Leroy Fick, 59, of Auburn won $2 million in the state lottery TV show "Make Me Rich!" last June. But the state's Department of Human Services determined he was still eligible for food stamps, Fick's attorney, John Wilson of Midland, said Tuesday.

Eligibility for food stamps is based on gross income and follows federal guidelines; lottery winnings are considered liquid assets and don't count as income. As long as Fick's gross income stays below the eligibility requirement for food stamps, he can receive them, even if he has a million dollars in the bank.

Food stamps are paid for through tax dollars and are meant to help support low-income families.

"If you're going to try to make me feel bad, you're not going to do it," Fick told WNEM-TV in Saginaw on Monday.

Wilson said Fick told the DHS officials he'd won $2 million but was told he could keep using the Bridge Card issued to him to buy groceries.

Fick could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Al Kimichik, director of the office of inspector general for DHS, said the department could not comment on individual cases but that it this week began the process of requesting a waiver from the federal government to close the lottery loophole. If it is granted, assets would be counted in determining food stamp eligibility.

Though the food stamp program is federal and states must follow U.S. guidelines, states sometimes request waivers of rules. Michigan was granted a waiver recently to stop college students from qualifying for food stamps.

"For Leroy Fick to continue to use a Bridge Card, paid for by the taxpayers, after winning the lottery, is obscene," said Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge. "What a waste of taxpayer money."

Jones contacted DHS officials Monday about Fick's case, and was told the department's hands were tied by federal regulations.

"There is no liquid asset requirement for getting food stamps," Jones said. "The department is asking the federal government for an immediate change (in policy). They're hoping this case will help the federal government act."

Until then, Fick can collect food stamps and keep his lottery winnings in the bank.

"I am not going to sit and debate the ethics of this," Wilson said. "But from his standpoint, he did what he was supposed to do -- he informed the state, and the state said he could keep using the card. The problem is with the state."

May 19, 2011
7:24 am
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bionic
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That is completely messed up.

It's amazing, the system is set up in such a way that it is hard for the average person to know what they qualify for and what hoops to jump through to get at it (it's a cost saving technique..never volunteer info to those in need..they have to find it for themselves)...then, there are parasites like this..who work it to their advantage

Willie Wonka quotes..
What is this Wonka, some kind of funhouse?
Why? Are you having fun?
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.
We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams

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