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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.
Leroy Fick hit the jackpot.
The Michigan man won $2 million in the state lottery's "Make Me Rich" contest last June.
With the $850,000 he took home after taxes, Fick, 59, used his winnings to purchase a new home and a used Audi convertible. But to buy groceries, this lottery winner is still using his Bridge Card, Michigan's version of food stamps.
"He's not trying to cheat the state," said Fick's attorney, John Wilson. "Based on his income, he's eligible."
In fact, Fick said he contacted Michigan's Department of Human Services after his lottery win to ask if he could still use his Bridge Card.
"They said I could go ahead and keep the Bridge Card if I wanted to," said Fick.
So, he did.
"He specifically called the Department of Human Services and said, 'Can I still use the Bridge Card?' and they said, 'Yes,' because he is eligible," said attorney Wilson. "He's done everything right in the eyes of the law."