AUBURN (WWJ/AP) – He’s a millionaire near Bay City – on food stamps.
Fifty-nine-year-old Leroy Fick won the $2 million jackpot on the state TV lottery show “Make Me Rich,” but he’s still collecting state aid.
Despite receiving about $850,000 in winnings, the Auburn resident is still using his Michigan Bridge Card, an electronic alternative to food stamps.
Eligibility for the federal program is based on gross income, but some lottery winnings are counted as assets.
State Department of Human Services spokeswoman Gisgie Gendreau said under federal guidelines, if a person receives a lump-sum payment, the winnings are not counted as income.
Fick told the state about the money, but was told he could keep the Bridge Card. Fick’s attorney, John Wilson, said his client has not done anything illegal.
Efforts are in the works to close the “lottery loophole.”
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)