Facebook and Twitter Poll: Should the Food Stamp-Using Lottery Winner Face Jail Time?

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Posted on 04/19/2012

Michigan lottery winner Amanda Clayton banked $735,000 before taxes last fall. Yet authorities say she continued to collect food stamps and public health insurance despite her windfall. The mother of a one-year-old was charged with welfare fraud and now could spend up to four years in prison. We asked you on Facebook and Twitter whether you thought jail time was appropriate for this jackpot winner.


Facebook Kelly Pascale Lester: Absolutely. She had to be deceitful to the government in order to keep receiving benefits! There are too many people just like this out there. It's time to start setting examples and holding these thieves accountable for stealing from the hard working honest Americans that provide the assistance for welfare programs.


Rob Towler: Yes. And the people at Hy-Vee that use food stamps to buy food, then peel off a $100 bill for 2 cases of beer and a pack of cigs.


Joann High: Yes yes!!!!


Jodee German Moffett: Yes she should!


Kerry Buttram: In my opinion, no. The prisons are best suited for violent, murderous offenders. This lady should be in a work-restitution program and also be forced to pay back the value of food stamps she stole with interest and additional fines.


Patricia McCorkle Crandall: Work sounds good!


Mary Ann Greer: I agree, work restitution and pay back the value of the food stamps.


Amy Galaska: To qualify for food stamps, a one income household needs a net monthly income of $908. If Amanda Clayton were to utilize her winnings in portions of $908 monthly, she would have approximately 90 years of income (not including cost of living increases or taxes). Considering the improbability of her living another 90 years, her income exceeds $908 a month, therefore she was stealing from the government and, in essence, the American people. Jail time is a must.


Andrea Skoglund Rysta: I'm guessing if I were on food stamps, I wouldn't be using my money to buy lottery tickets in the first place!


John Verstraete: She basically committed fraud, and robbed every one of us. Yes. I'm sick to death of people taking advantage of these programs. They're in place to help people on the hardest of times. Someone very dear to me has been unemployed/underemployed for at least a year, and along with help from family, has managed to avoid basically becoming homeless. Then there's people like this, or others who use EBT to buy lobsters and prime steaks, that take advantage of our generosity, and give ammo to people that want to tear down these programs. It's beyond frustrating!


Rhiannon Wells: Yes!
Lori Davenport: I think the government and food stamp agency should be arrested for never doing qualifying checks or rechecks on people that qualify for receiving food stamps. She just a drop in the bucket of food stamp abuse. Don't hate the player (they grow up learning to play the game that is perpetuated by the government.) Hate the game instead.


Nikki Murphy Meeker: Yes! Food stamps are for good healthy food for children and families that need them! Throw the book at her and we also need to push for strict lists of the healthy food that can be bought with food stamps!!!!
Heather Frye: I think people who have a poverty mindset don't get set free from it just because they win a million dollars. They need to be educated on how to take care of themselves, how to invest the money, etc. A similar thing happened in Guatemala. People were living in a dump there and were given free homes not far from there. Within a year they were back to living in the garbage dump. Poverty is the belief that you will always be in lack and you live your life that way in hoarding, etc.


Twitter
@BeatingBroke: I would think there would be a pretty good case for fraud there.


@Mazza_Pete: Absolutely. I think if you’re given food stamps, you should not be allowed to play lottery. SC state employees are not allowed to play.


By Alison Storm


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