Jan 8 2013 By Cheryl Mullin
POLICE in America have launched a murder investigation after the sudden death of a Chicago man who had just won the lottery.
Urooj Khan was about to collect nearly $425,000 (£264,550) when he died, of what a coroner later ruled was natural causes.
But nearly six months later, medical examiners responding to a relative’s pleas did an expanded screening and determined Mr Khan, 46, actually died of cyanide poising.
In June, Mr Khan, who owned a number of dry cleaners, bought a ticket for an instant lottery game from a 7-Eleven convenience store near his home in the West Rogers Park of Chicago.
Shop assistant Ashur Oshana said: “Right away he grabbed my hand, he kissed my hand and kissed my head and gave me 100 dollars. He was really happy.”
Mr Khan recalled days later at an Illinois Lottery ceremony in which he was presented with a giant cheque that he jumped up and down in the store and repeatedly shouted “I hit a million!”
Instead of taking the $1million (£622,475) in instalments, Mr Khan opted for a lump sum of just over $600,000 (£373,485). After taxes, that amounted to about $425,000 (£264,550).
The cheque was issued from the state Comptroller’s Office on July 19, the day before Mr Khan died, but was cashed on August 15, Mr Lang said. If a lottery winner dies, the money typically goes to his or her estate, he said.