Amanda Clayton, the Michigan woman who gained national notoriety earlier this year after it was revealed that she continued to collect welfare benefits despite winning a $1 million lottery jackpot, was found dead inside her home Saturday morning.
Police in Ecorse believe the 25-year-old died of a possible drug overdose, but have yet to release additional details.
Clayton made headlines in March after local news outlets revealed she was still on the dole despite taking home a $735,000 cash prize having won the state lottery's $1 million Make Me Rich! game show.
Reached for comment, Clayton told Local 4 News she had no qualms about receiving the financial aid because she had assumed the state would cut her off, and, when they didn't, she thought "maybe it was OK because I'm not working."
She justified her behavior by saying "I feel that it's OK because, I mean, I have no income, and I have bills to pay. I have two houses."
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette eventually charged Clayton with felony welfare fraud, to which she pleaded no contest in July. The court sentenced her to nine months probation, and she was ordered to pay back all the assistance dollars — some $5,500 — she received since her payday.
A new state law since enacted requires lottery officials to inform the Department of Human Services when a resident wins more than $1,000.
[photo via AP]