Lottery Winners Using IDs of The Dead to Keep Benefits

TRENTON (AP) -

Forty-six New Jersey lottery winners from July 2013 to July 2014 used social security numbers of dead people to collect their winnings in way that allows them to keep benefit programs.

State Auditor Stephen Eells said that the use of dead people’s identification numbers creates a risk of reduced tax revenue for the state, overpayment of public assistance, and lost collections on child support, defaulted student loans and other debt.

Up to $890,000 in prize winnings could have been recovered if winners below $250,000 were checked for debts. The lottery now only checks winners of more than $250,000 but the audit recommends checks for all winners over $600.