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Amanda Clayton, Won Lottery and Remained on State Aid, Found Dead
Amanda Clayton made the news last fall for winning $1 million in Michigan’s ‘Make Me Rich’ lottery game. The reason she made the news was that even after winning the lottery she continued to receive public assistance. Now Clayton is back in the news after she was found dead this past weekend in a Detroit suburb. Clayton, 25, was at home with her daughter in Ecorse when she died of an apparent drug overdose.
“Her daughter was right next to her sleeping. They were watching a movie together. She started crying, and that’s when Rachel walked in and she tried to see what was going on and she flipped (Clayton) and she was gone,” a friend’s boyfriend said in an interview with CNN.
According to the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, a completed autopsy has been performed but a definite cause of death still has yet to be determined. The definite cause of death will be determined after a toxicology report returns anywhere from six to eight weeks from now.
Clayton took the lump sum in lottery winnings, which gave her $500,000 after taxes. She used that money to purchase a car and a house. Clayton still received $200 per month in food assistance from the state but that stopped when the state learned of her winning the lottery.
“I thought that they would cut me off, but since they didn’t, I thought maybe it was OK because I’m not working,” Clayton said in an interview with CNN.
Clayton was then charged with two felony counts of welfare fraud after an investigation by the Department of Human Services and Office of Inspector General. The laws in Michigan require residents to report changes in assets within 10 days. The state found that Clayton received $5,475 in assistance that was ineligible because of her asset change.
In July, Clayton pled no contest to the charges against her and was given probation.
“So many people tried to take advantage of her, act like they are her friends just to get some money from her. It gets to the point where you start questioning yourself: Are they really my friends or are they using me?” the friend’s boyfriend said.
People who knew Clayton said she never got into trouble until she won the lottery. One of her neighbor’s said that Clayton was “a nice, pleasant girl who never got in trouble, until she won the lottery.” Clayton’s mom also said that she had begun taking prescription drugs recently.