Millionaire Still Eligible For Food Stamps

Discussion in 'Politics' started by UncleJoe, May 18, 2011.

  1. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member


    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."

    $2M Michigan lottery winner defends use of food stamps - Yahoo! News
  2. Immolatus

    Immolatus Just getting started. Always.

    Classy guy.

    On the other hand, I have always said that if the gumt is giving away money, TAKE IT. They have stolen enough from you.

  3. backlash

    backlash Well-Known Member

    Within a year he will have blown all his money and be worse off than he was before.
    Happens a lot to Lotto winners.
    Couldn't happen to a more deserving person.
  4. slick

    slick Active Member

    fine news from my state :gaah: we also just had a lottery winner go to jail for murder, his daughter was being evicted for not paying rent since November.. So what does she do, calls daddy lottery winner/postal worker and he shoots and kills the landlord:gaah: so he will be paying the state room and board for the rest of his days LOL.. Some people need to stop and think for a minute but Detroit city folk never understand that they have a ego to up hold LOL.. Cya Slick
  5. Bigdog57

    Bigdog57 Adventurer at large

    The 'rest of the story'is that Mr. Fick took home about $800,000 after taxes, and he's PO'd that the Gumint took it. He feels that makes him eligible for the food stamps, because they took 'his money'. He also bought a house and an Audi car......

    I'm betting he'll soon be selling them when he's burned through the money..... :rolleyes:
  6. IrritatedWithUS

    IrritatedWithUS Well-Known Member

    the rapper 'Ol' Dirty Bastard' was a multi-millionaire 30x over.
    I watched a show on him and his family. He would cash in
    welfare checks and get food stamps on camera.
    People cashing the checks would ask for an autograph afterwards.
  7. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    :rolleyes: I just love how Michigan already has a waiver in place to forbid college students from "abusing" the system by collecting food stamps, yet every other conceivable exploit is allowed to run amok.

    & the 1/2-arsed 'theory' that he's exposing the ridiculousness of the program is total BS, he's been collecting AND spending them for 11 MONTHS before this was even exposed.
  8. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    Yeah, food stamps might actually help college students to eat decently. I think they should be allowed that.

    Regarding taxes, my husband and I were filling out one of those entry things at a store this spring for a drawing to win a brand-new pick-up truck. Partway through filling them out we had a realization. We'd glanced at the rules on the back and I caught the standard line about the winner being responsible for all taxes, etc.

    We realized that if we won this fantastic truck valued around $50,000, we'd owe a HUGE pile of money in taxes to even redeem our prize! Probably more than half what the truck is worth, since prizes like that are taxed at a very high rate. That means we'd have had to come up with more than $25,000 to get the truck!

    We tore up our entries and carried them away in our pockets.

    I've heard somewhere that those entries are also used to gain names and addresses for marketing, but I don't know if that's true.
  9. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    totally true, I worked as a delivery driver one summer for friend that had a telemarketing 'company' in his basement, they would 'process' the entries and compile lists that they would also sell to other companies.
  10. tsrwivey

    tsrwivey Supporting Member

    That's just insane. Yet another example of why the govt shouldn't be handling social programs.

    What in the world ever happened to pride & dignity? Do able-bodied folks feel no shame taking money intended for folks unable to provide for themselves? :gaah:

    Sorry, I have to agree with college kids not getting food stamps. No one owes anyone over 18 a free ride. Having a job is an excellent productive use of all that youthful energy & free time too often used unwisely if not destructively. Instead, real life experience in the workplace is an excellent complement to an education.
  11. Journey

    Journey Junior Member

    Yes, they are generally used for telemarketing for time-shares, and likely other things as well.

    That's just crazy. We don't have anything like food stamps here. Everything (food, shelter, prescription coverage) is all through the one place. On OntarioWorks (which was welfare and family benefits, I think) a couple cannot have more than $1,500 in assets before it cuts in to the income support, and a couple on disability it's a whopping $7,500. Though, for disability, an inheritance or something could go into a trust and you'd be permitted a maximum of $6,000 a year that wouldn't touch your support, which is still quite something.