Published September 30, 2012
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.
"The Amanda I knew was a caring person," Josh Ormanian, Clayton's former boyfriend, told MyFoxDetroit.com. "She did care. She went down the wrong path, she got the money, got the freedom and felt like she could do whatever she wanted."
Clayton was recently involved in an altercation with her neighbors and was due in court this week, MyFoxDetroit.com reports.
Clayton made headlines after she won the $1 million prize in September 2011, but was charged with fraud after admitting she was still collecting welfare benefits.
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.
Gov. Rick Snyder signed a law in April requiring lottery officials to tell Human Services about new winners.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.