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)

Comments (15)
  1. Wylinda Stanfield says:

    This is such a shame. You have people who are really in need and can’t get assistance, and they are allowing this man to receive food stamps and is a millionaire. What is wrong with this system?

  2. B walker says:

    A solution would be to require such windfalls to be applied, all or in part, to the recipients past welfare payments. That would be a fair reimbursement to society. It might also reduce the use of lotteries by the poorest, as lotteries are a miserable return on money spent.

    1. Gigi says:

      The booklet for applying for food stamps states that all bank accounst and CDs and assets must be revealed, so it seems odd that some of the lottery winnings would not have been in an account of some kind and then he was supposed to notify DHS. Has anyone seen a reference in the state’s rules about this loophole regarding lump sum payments? I have yet to see it anywhere.

  3. John says:

    Typical bureaucrats don’t know how to run anything. Just like the post office and Amtrak, they don’t have clue.

  4. Martin Legan says:

    I am sure this fellow must have read “The Lottery Code” by Hattingh-Spurgeon.
    The book is available for free from
    and it looks like he still prefers to get things for free.
    The author discovered a hidden code in the British Lottery and cracked the code.

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