Lottery Winners on Welfare a Phenomenon in Michigan: Reports

April 17, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015    

Lottery winners welfare: A recent report shows that a significant portion of lottery winners in Michigan are still getting welfare.

The Associated Press reported that more than 3,500 lottery winners got public assistance or lived with a person who received welfare, food stamps, or other state aid. MLive.com said that a report from the Department of Human Services says it amounts to nearly 14 percent of all lottery winners.

The state found that on average, welfare recipients averaged around $6,800 in lotto winnings, reported the Detroit Free Press.

But last year, the DHS was able to take 500 lottery winners of public assistance after a new law was passed in Michigan. In the law, winners of more than $1,000 were cross-referenced with lists of people receiving public assistance, according to MLive.

“With the match system, we can now identify substantial winnings, but the loopholes that allow lottery winners to continue to collect various benefits need to be closed, through amending state and federal law and policy,” DHS Director Maura Corrigan said in a statement, elaborating on the new law, according to AP.

“The reforms are working,” Sen. Mike Green, a Republican, said in a statement obtained by the news website. He added that the report shows “that our work isn’t finished.”

Corrigan told local station WIN-985 that the state could only remove 565 lottery winners due to glitches and loopholes in the system.