Lottery winners found on Michigan welfare rolls

New law cross checks public assistance rolls with Lottery winnings.


Michigan has found 3,500 lottery winners who either got welfare or lived with welfare recipients. The state Department of Human Services came up with the list as required under a 2012 state law. About 14 percent of lottery winners are either welfare recipients or live in a household with recipients.

As a result, Michigan law changed and the state revoked welfare assistance to more than 500 people who had won prizes.

The lottery winners flagged in Monday's report won at least $1,000. The state found welfare recipients on average won $6,800. Human Services Director Maura Corrigan says some lottery winners are no longer getting public assistance because of the law signed a year ago. But she says "loopholes" still let lottery winners collect some Medicaid benefits.

The law requires asset tests to determine eligibility for public assistance. Lawmakers passed it after a Bay County man used food stamps despite winning $850,000.

In a statement Corrigan said "in part, we can now identify substantial winnings, but the loopholes that allow lottery winners to continue to collect various benefits need to be closed. We ought to reserve assets for those who are truly needy."

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