Cook County Medical Examiners Determine that Lottery Winner Urooj Khan Died of Cyanide Poisoning in July

The sudden death of an Illinois lottery winner who was about to collect $425,000 in winnings has triggered a homicide investigation now that authorities have determined he died shortly after ingesting a lethal dose of cyanide.

Urooj Khan was only 46 when he apparently died of cyanide poisoning. In November the Cook County medical examiner’s office reclassified Khan’s July 20 death as a homicide by cyanide poisoning, after a family member, whose name has not been released, provided a tip to police.

One day after the check was issued, Urooj Khan was found dead. At the time, even though the death was one day after winning the lottery, his death was not suspicious. At his home in West Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, his wife Shabana Ansari, served him traditional Indian ground beef curry for dinner. “In the middle of the night” Khan got up from a chair, screamed in pain, and collapsed. His wife called 9-1-1, Khan was transported to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, and was pronounced dead at 4:25 a.m. July 20, at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston.

Lottery winnings usually go to a dead winner’s estate. His check was cashed about one month after his death. Police also have not released the identity of who cashed the check.

The wife of a Chicago lottery winner who was poisoned with cyanide said Tuesday she was devastated by his death and cannot believe her husband could have had enemies.