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Lottery Jackpot Winners Continue to Benefit from Food Stamps

Across the United States, millions of Americans benefit from food stamps . This stimulus provides vital assistance for many people with low and no income . Yet a new report reveals that a staggering number of lottery winners, who have secured substantial jackpots , continue to benefit from food stamps across the US.



Hayden Dublois , a data and analytics director at the conservative American public policy think tank based in Naples, Florida, the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), recently submitted an op-ed for Fox News , revealing that lottery winners of significant prizes continue to benefit from food stamps provided by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).



Over the last few years, the spending on food stamps has skyrocketed. Several years ago, in 2019, spending was some $60 billion , a figure that increased to a staggering $120 billion last year . With that in mind, there are nearly 42 million receiving food benefits under the program.



Dublois criticized the control of the benefits , warning that even lottery winners with substantial prizes continue to receive food stamps through “a combination of state negligence and federally created loopholes .” FGA’s data and analytics director cited information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act for lottery winners who benefit from food stamps from all 50 states.



Surprisingly, 13 states revealed that some 66,000 lottery winners that have secured substantial prizes, continue to receive food benefits . According to Dublois, across the country, this number may be in the hundreds of thousands. He criticized control, explaining that the 13 aforementioned states were able to remove only some 400 lottery winners from the program. Notably, the worst offense was observed in Illinois, where only 99 substantial lottery winners were removed from the program out of more than 50,000 .



More Control Is Needed with the Distribution of Food Benefits



The recent report suggests two primary reasons why so many people with substantial lottery prizes continue to benefit from food stamps. Federal loopholes are one reason. Dublois explained that a “broad-based categorical eligibility” enabled states to grant food stamps to individuals who are already benefitting from other taxpayer-funded benefits .



On the other hand, he explained that another major reason why so few substantial lottery winners are removed from food stamp benefits is the ineffectiveness of control . The data and analytics director praised the efforts of eight states where “legally mandated robust data cross-checks” compare the names of lottery winners to food stamp beneficiaries regularly. However, Dublois said that in more than 40 other US states, such controls are either ineffective or missing .

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