Man gets food assistance despite lotto win

May 18, 2011 at 5:36 PM
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AUBURN, Mich., May 18 (UPI) -- A lawyer for a Michigan man who receives food assistance from the state despite a $2 million lottery payout last year said no laws were broken.

John Wilson, a Midland attorney representing Leroy Fick of Auburn, said his client did not break any laws by continuing to use his Michigan Bridge Card, an electronic form of food stamps, despite receiving $850,000 after taxes from the "Make Me Rich!" Lottery game in June 2010, The Bay City (Mich.) Times reported Wednesday.

"He did call the state (Department of Human Services)," Wilson said. "Not to mention, the state knows he won. They issued the check."

The lawyer said Fick was instructed to continue using the card and a recent review confirmed his eligibility.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Human Services said they found lump sum lottery payments are not counted toward an applicant's eligibility under federal guidelines. The officials said they are working to close the loophole.

Gisgie Gendreau, public relations director for the DHS, said officials are "aggressively pursuing opportunities to ensure that the state's limited resources are available to those who are truly needy."

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