Three months after pledging to turn her life around and get a job, a lottery winner convicted of fraud has died from a suspected overdose.
In June Amanda Clayton pleaded no contest to fraud, having continued to collect state welfare handouts despite pocketing her $1 million prize.
She accepted her punishment and was said by her lawyer to be trying to move on. But on Saturday morning she was found dead at her Michigan home.
Ecorse police Sgt. Cornelius Herring confirmed that the 25-year-old's was discovered at about 9am, thought to be the result of a drug overdose.
No further details were given and Clayton's relatives did not immediately return a phone message for comment.
Clayton won the Michigan Lottery in September 2011, continuing to collect $5,475 in food handouts over the subsequent months.
She was sentenced to nine months’ probation, ordered to pay court costs and fines after pleading no contest to fraud last month, and told by the judge to get a job.
At the time of her death she had repaid about $5,500 in food aid and medical benefits.
The Michigan Department of Human Services says Clayton didn't inform the state about her post-tax lottery windfall of $735,000 last year.
Flood says Clayton did make an attempt but decided not to fight the case and move on with her life. If she had fought the case and been convicted of the two felony charges, she could have faced up to four years in prison
Gov. Rick Snyder signed a law in April that requires lottery officials to tell the Department of Human Services about new winners.
'It's simply common sense that million dollar lottery winners forfeit their right to public assistance,' Attorney General Bill Schuette said at Clayton's April arraignment.
Clayton chose a $700,000 lump sum, before taxes, last fall after winning the jackpot on 'Make Me Rich!' a Michigan lottery game show.
The case came to light March when the 24-year-old was filmed outside her home where a U-Haul van was waiting to take her possessions to a new home she had bought with cash.
Clayton also had a new car.
She told Detroit TV station WDIV at the time that she thought it might have been OK to keep using food stamps because she wasn't working.
The state Department of Human Services has said it was Clayton's responsibility to report her dramatic change in wealth within 10 days.
She was later dropped from the food program.
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