Troubled Michigan lottery winner found dead; possible drug overdose

Amanda Clayton collected food stamps after win

ECORSE, Mich. - Police say a Detroit-area woman who collected welfare benefits despite winning a $735,000 lottery prize has died of a possible drug overdose.

Ecorse police Sgt. Cornelius Herring confirmed that 25-year-old Amanda Clayton was found dead about 9 a.m. Saturday at a home in the community southwest of Detroit.

Relatives of Clayton did not immediately return a phone message for comment.

Clayton, of Lincoln Park, pleaded no contest to fraud in June and was sentenced to nine months’ probation in July. Her attorney has said Clayton repaid about $5,500 in food aid and medical benefits.

Michigan’s Department of Human Services says Clayton didn’t inform the state about her pre-tax lottery windfall last year.

"I feel that it's okay because I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay," she said when she was confronted by a television news crew. "'I have two houses."

Gov. Rick Snyder signed a law in April requiring lottery officials to tell Human Services about new winners after Clayton admitted accepting food stamps after winning $1 million in the lottery.

Last month, four people were charged with assault outside Clayton's residence. The dispute, which involved a baseball bat, knife and toy gun, started as a disagreement over grass clippings between Clayton and one of her neighbors.