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      05-18-2011, 11:04 PM   #1
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$2M Michigan lottery winner defends use of food stamps

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."

Source: Detroit News
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      05-18-2011, 11:50 PM   #2
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what a douche bag... zero respect for this guy. he doesnt need that shit anymore.
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      05-18-2011, 11:54 PM   #3
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Gravitas.

Just another case of entitlement.

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      05-19-2011, 12:18 AM   #4
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      05-19-2011, 12:50 AM   #5
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now that's something.

Democrats...Republicans.. get rid of these food stamps loop holes

Last edited by persian54; 05-19-2011 at 05:19 PM.
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      05-19-2011, 01:14 AM   #6
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Hows 2 million dollars rich in todays world..?

"make me rich" my arse.

So what... he won, errr... 600k after the goverment slaughtered him in taxes?


food stamps/other entitlements are a buncha bs.. agree with the above.
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      05-19-2011, 02:02 AM   #7
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The problem with america
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      05-19-2011, 05:18 AM   #8
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Poor people are poor for a reason. Look at any poor person who struck it rich -- chances are, they're poor again in a couple years because they have no clue how to manage money or save... hence, they're doomed to poverty for life.
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      05-19-2011, 05:53 AM   #9
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      05-19-2011, 07:07 AM   #10
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Just because this asshole is abusing the program, it doesn't mean the program is bad. Food stamps is an extremely successful program, it generates something like $1.7 of economic activity for every $1 the government spends on it.

Change the tax code, that is the real issue.
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      05-19-2011, 09:05 AM   #11
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T-minus 3 years before he's broke again.
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      05-19-2011, 09:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Negotiator View Post
Just because this asshole is abusing the program, it doesn't mean the program is bad. Food stamps is an extremely successful program, it generates something like $1.7 of economic activity for every $1 the government spends on it.

Change the tax code, that is the real issue.
I don't think anyone is advocating that the program is bad.
And I don't even have a problem with the guy.

It just shows the glaringly massive holes in these assistance programs. It's why they all get abused...over and over and over again
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      05-19-2011, 09:43 AM   #13
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didn't think he look like this.. is that wrong?

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      05-19-2011, 10:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchlauCow View Post
Poor people are poor for a reason. Look at any poor person who struck it rich -- chances are, they're poor again in a couple years because they have no clue how to manage money or save... hence, they're doomed to poverty for life.
Your avatar and statement reminded me of something my friend said once when he was cleaning the carpets at our old house; he had special chemicals to remove red from carpet and I asked him if he uses it often and he said "yeah man, poor people love red koolaid"


TIZ FUNNY NO?
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      05-19-2011, 11:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Negotiator View Post
Just because this asshole is abusing the program, it doesn't mean the program is bad. Food stamps is an extremely successful program, it generates something like $1.7 of economic activity for every $1 the government spends on it.

Change the tax code, that is the real issue.
Agreed. They should also institute drug testing for eligibility but no politician who wants to win an election will support that.
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      05-19-2011, 12:02 PM   #16
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I don't blame the lottery winner, I blame the system. I actually commend him for bringing attention to a problem. If they want him off food stamps, then close the loophole. If his actions lead to reform, then the petty amount of money he's gained from food stamps is insubstantial to the amount he'll save the state in the long run. If not for examples such as this, they would never consider reform. Only people that should be angry with this man are freeloaders (like him) who are taking advantage of the system.
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      05-19-2011, 12:15 PM   #17
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this actually upset me.
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      05-19-2011, 12:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroy View Post
I don't blame the lottery winner, I blame the system. I actually commend him for bringing attention to a problem. If they want him off food stamps, then close the loophole. If his actions lead to reform, then the petty amount of money he's gained from food stamps is insubstantial to the amount he'll save the state in the long run. If not for examples such as this, they would never consider reform. Only people that should be angry with this man are freeloaders (like him) who are taking advantage of the system.
agreed
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      05-19-2011, 01:34 PM   #19
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Wow. So when I win the lottery, I can quit my job and be eligible for food stamps?!? Nice!
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      05-19-2011, 05:05 PM   #20
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This guy made more than 2 milly is his career and collected food stamps the entire time:

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      05-19-2011, 07:56 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroy View Post
I don't blame the lottery winner, I blame the system. I actually commend him for bringing attention to a problem. If they want him off food stamps, then close the loophole. If his actions lead to reform, then the petty amount of money he's gained from food stamps is insubstantial to the amount he'll save the state in the long run. If not for examples such as this, they would never consider reform. Only people that should be angry with this man are freeloaders (like him) who are taking advantage of the system.

Very astute... kudos.
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      05-19-2011, 11:24 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by TK-421 View Post
Agreed. They should also institute drug testing for eligibility but no politician who wants to win an election will support that.
THIS

this country's in a bad state when such a big % of voters are so dependent on social care...welfare, etc. Not saying those programs should be eliminated, they need to be reformed - but no politician will risk losing those voters.
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