There's been a lot of complaining about lottery winners getting food stamps. This makes a certain amount of sense, I suppose, but you've got to wonder how big of a deal this really is. So I thought I'd find out. Lottery winners over a certain amount times $200 per month food stamps times 12 months.
As it turns out, figuring out the number of lottery winners isn't easy. But according to this, there are about ten 1 million+ winners in California per year. There are similar numbers on the Oregon lottery website. So let's assume 40 "big" winners per year for each state. That's 2080 winners. Multiply it out, this is about 5 million dollars in wasted food stamps. For the whole country. Assuming every single lottery winner collects food stamps.
71.8 billion dollars in food stamps were given out last year, so the lottery winners are potentially ripping us off for a grand total of... 0.006%. Clearly, they must be stopped!
So. A lottery winner collecting food stamps may be a nasty thing to do, and perhaps states should pass regulations to prevent it. But at the same time, I'm quite sure that there are much bigger corruption concerns in the food stamp distribution business. Can we stop running our mouths about it already?