Lawmakers seek to keep lottery winners from defrauding government
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) – Tennessee lawmakers are working to make sure lottery winners are not getting government assistance illegally. A bill passed the health subcommittee Wednesday that would force some lottery winners to forgo food benefits. The bill states that anyone who wins more than $5,000 in the lottery will have their name submitted to the Department of Human Services. DHS will then be required to make sure the lottery winner is correctly reporting their income to determine if they remain eligible for SNAP benefits. “This would allow us to receive information on lottery winners over $5,000. Then we would check if they are reporting what they are supposed to report,” Stephanie Jarnagi of DHS said. Rep. Dan Howell (R-Georgetown) said the state loses $123 million every year in fraudulent payments to people who are not qualified to be on SNAP.