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Lottery Winner Urooj Khan Dies From Cyanide Poisoning

It’s the dream of many – to win the lottery. That dream was fulfilled by 46-year-old immigrant, Urooj Khan, in Chicago last June when he bought two scratch-off lottery tickets at a 7-11, one with the $1 million prize.

Khan emigrated to the U.S. in the 1980s from India. He lived in Chicago where he opened several dry cleaning shops. One June day, he bought two $30 Illinois state lottery tickets. The second one was the big winner.

A few days after winning, he, his wife, and daughter, turned in the winning ticket to the lucky 7-11 in West Rogers Park. While he wouldn’t receive the money that very day, he planned to use the money to pay off bills, grow his dry-cleaning business, and donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

A few weeks later, on July 19th, he finally received his check for $425,000. The next day, everything happened as usual – he went to work, came home, ate dinner, and went to bed.

In the middle of the night, he woke up in extreme pain. Wife Shabana Ansari, age 32, and their daughter immediately rushed him to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston where he was pronounced dead. At first, the autopsy showed nothing unusual. Less than a week later, however, an unidentified relative asked the Medical Examiner to take a second look.

After additional and extra-thorough tests, toxicology showed that Khan had died from a lethal amount of cyanide. As a result, the Chicago Police Department is considering looking into the incident and treating it as a homicide.

Khan was known has a dedicated and hard worker. He oversaw the operations of all three shops he owned and his 10 employees. According to The Tribune, his widow Ansari, whom he had been married to for 12 years, called him a “workaholic” – “day or night … he picks up the phone 24/7.” She also called him “the best husband on the entire planet.”

Apparently, Khan had previously sworn off the lotto after a 2010 Islamic pilgrimage to the Middle East. He caved in just once when he purchased the winning ticket in June, ending in tragedy.


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