- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 25, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine is moving to cut off food stamp benefits for big lottery winners.

GOP Gov. Paul LePage’s administration has approved a rule cutting off food stamps for recipients who win $5,000 or more in the lottery within one month. The rule, which now awaits signature, treats lottery wins as assets as part of the governor’s successful push to ban food stamps for certain Mainers with thousands of dollars in assets.

Lottery winnings count as an asset as long as they remain with the winner. Households can reapply for benefits once they’re eligible again.

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew said the rule ensures tax dollars are going where they’re most needed. The department in 2015 found people on public assistance took home $22 million in lottery winnings.

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