Chicago Lottery Winner Poisoned With Cyanide

Urooj Khan, 46, won $424,449.60 in Illinois Lottery

By Phil Rogers
|  Tuesday, Jan 8, 2013  |  Updated 7:36 PM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Urooj Khan, 46, won $424,449.60 in Illinois Lottery but grew ill shortly after collecting his winnings. Phil Rogers reports.

Urooj Khan, 46, won $424,449.60 in Illinois Lottery but grew ill shortly after collecting his winnings. Phil Rogers reports.

advertisement
Photos and Videos

Lotto Winner: "Wow, This is Really Happening"

After six years of playing his lucky numbers, Ronald Willis finally hit the jackpot. But this time, he strayed from his usual Rialto spot to purchase a ticket in Riverside. The 39-year-old won $120 million; after taxes he’ll get $70 million. Craig Fiegener reports for the NBC4 News on Sept. 14, 2012.

California Lottery Joins Powerball Game

Hours after the winning numbers were drawn for a historic $550 million Powerball jackpot, the California State Lottery Commission voted unanimously to bring the game to the Golden State. Powerball is expected to benefit the state by sending millions of dollars to public schools. John Cádiz Klemack reports from North Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Nov. 29, 2012.
More Photos and Videos

It is a million dollar murder mystery.

Chicago police were working to determine if there is a link between a north side businessman’s good fortune in the Illinois Lottery and his apparent murder on the day before he was to have collected his winnings.

"He was a family man who worked hard for his family," friend Jimmy Goreel told NBC Chicago. "I just can’t see it happening. If that’s true, it’s sad."

The victim, 46-year-old Urooj Khan, bought a winning scatch-off ticket at Goreel’s convenience store on North Western Avenue last July. Goreel said he was elated. And it wasn’t his first jackpot.

"I sold him a winning ticket for $5,000," Goreel said. "He was so generous he reached for a hundred dollars, and he threw it on the counter for me."

Khan, the owner of three dry-cleaning businesses on the north side, posed with a cardboard check with his family, in celebration of his million dollar windfall. The state cut him a check for his winnings -- $424,449.60 after taxes -- but Khan never saw the money. He grew ill the evening of July 20 and was pronounced dead at St. Francis hospital.

Khan’s death was initially attributed to natural causes, but a relative phoned the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office and asked investigators to take another look.

"They had concerns that it was deemed a natural cause of death and wanted us to look harder," said Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen Cina. "And we did."

And Cina says when his investigators took a second look at the toxicology samples, they found lethal levels of cyanide.

"It is a very lethal drug," Cina said. "It’s a chemical poison. It basically asphyxiates you at the biochemical level, so a little goes a long way."

Cina said the next step will probably be to exhume Khan’s body.

At his Western Avenue cleaners, the victim’s wife declined a reporter’s request for an interview, but said her husband was a "kind and good-hearted person."

RELATED:

Mystery California Lottery Winner is Disabled Grandma

We're in the Money: California Lottery Joins Powerball Game

Rialto Father of Four Hits Mega Millions Jackpot

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Running Dry
Coverage of the California drought. Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out