MIDLAND, Mich. (NEXSTAR) – The body of a Michigan man who won a $2 million jackpot in 2010 and provoked outrage – and a law change – by continuing to receive government assistance, was found floating in a local river over the weekend.
Police identified the body found in the Tittabawassee River as 69-year-old Leroy N. Fick, according to the Saginaw and Bay City News.
Fick, who appeared with his son on the TLC show “Lottery Changed My Life,” took home a lump sum of nearly $1 million after paying taxes.
The Auburn, Michigan man blew through his winnings by demolishing his old house and building a new one on the same site, as well as purchasing a Camaro and fireworks, the paper reported. Roughly two years after taking home the jackpot, most of the money was gone.
Fick, and another lottery winner named Amanda Clayton, drew national attention when they continued to receive government assistance after winning the jackpot. Clayton won a million-dollar prize the year after Fick.
When asked if he felt guilty about doing so during a 2011 interview, Fick replied, “No I don’t, I’m going by the rules and if they need to change they rules they can change the rules.”
Lawmakers did change the rules, ultimately closing a loophole that allowed Fick to continue using his Bridge Card, Michigan’s version of food stamps, after winning the $2 million prize. The Michigan Lottery now has to identify winners to the Department of Human Services so the DHS can reevaluate their eligibility for assistance.
Clayton, who was 24 when she won the “Make Me Rich!” jackpot, was found dead in 2012 at a friend’s Michigan home of an apparent drug overdose.