The West

Troubled lottery winner dies of suspected drug overdose
Troubled lottery winner dies of suspected drug overdose

A woman who scooped up a million dollar lottery prize but was later convicted of welfare fraud has been found dead after a suspected prescription drug overdose.

25-year-old Amanda Clayton Last year won Michigan's million-dollar state lottery, which she took as a lump sum payout of $US735,000 ($708,000), The Detroit News reports.

But Michigan's Department of Human Services claim she failed to inform the state of her win, while continuing to collect about $US5500 in food aid and medical benefits.

In June she pleaded no contest to a charge of welfare fraud and was sentenced in July to nine months' probation. She also repaid the money.

"I thought that they would cut me off, but since they didn’t, I thought maybe it was okay because I’m not working," Clayton said. "I feel that it’s okay because I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay."

Clayton was found dead on Saturday morning in her home south-west of Detroit.

Neighbour Sheryl Schonfeld told the News a female friend of Clayton's had been staying the night at her house and heard her 18 month-old daughter crying. She went in to check on her and found her dead, lying in bed with her daughter in her arms.

Ms Schonfeld said she had known Clayton since she was a girl.

"She was a nice, pleasant girl who never got in trouble, until she won the lottery," she said.

When she died Clayton reportedly had only $US67,000 left of her lottery windfall, after setting up college funds for her children.

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