Lotto winner charged with welfare fraud

7:49 AM, Apr 18, 2012   |    comments
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Tuesday, 25-year-old Amanda Clayton of Lincoln Park was arraigned in 25th District Court on two felony fraud charges.

And at Party World in Alpine Township, lottery players don't have much sympathy for her.

"Win a million dollars and still collect food stamps? That is absolutely absurd." exclaimed Jason Tucker.

After winning the $1 million jackpot in September, the state says Clayton collected over $5,500 worth of benefits before she was cut off in March. After her arraignment, Clayton had no comment to reporters, but she did offer an explanation last month when questioned outside her house.

"I thought they would cut me off, but since they didn't I thought maybe it was okay," she said. "I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay."

The Department of Human Services says recipients must notify the state of any change in their financial status.

Clayton took a lump sum payment of $735,000. After taxes, that amounted to just over $500,000.

"Shame on her," says Party World customer Cindy Johns. "She had plenty of money to live on. Somebody else could have used the food stamps. Why didn't she think about that?"

There is now a state law requiring the lottery to notify the Department of Human Services about players who win more than $1,000.

(Copyright ©2012 All rights reserved.)

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