Winning the lottery is a dream come true. But for Urooj Khan of Chicago, it came with the ultimate price.
One month after winning $1 million, Khan died of what was originally ruled natural causes. But the Cook County medical examiner's office confirmed this week that Khan died from cyanide poisoning.
The Cook County medical examiner's office initially ruled Khan's manner of death natural. But after being prompted by a relative, the office revisited the case and eventually determined there was a lethal amount of cyanide in Khan's system.
"That ... led us to issue an amended death certificate that (established) cyanide toxicity as the cause of death, and the manner of death as homicide," Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Steve Cina said Monday.
No arrests have immediately been made in the wake of the news. Police, however, are trying to find out who would kill the Indian immigrant who was described as well-liked, hardworking and a successful businessman.
"We are investigating it as a murder, and we're working closely with the medical examiner's office," Chicago police spokeswoman Melissa Stratton said Monday.
The ordeal started on June 26, when Khan won big with a scratch-off ticket at a 7-Eleven.
"I scratched the ticket, then I kept saying, 'I hit a million!' over and over again," the 46-year-old Khan said, according to a press release from the Illinois Lottery.
"I jumped two feet in the air, then ran back into the store and tipped the clerk $100."
The plan, he explained, was to use the money for his mortgage, paying off bills, a donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and investing more in his dry cleaning businesses.
"Winning the lottery means everything to me," Khan said.
After taxes, Khan's winnings would amount to $425,000, which he stood to collect on July 19. But Khan never got to spend that money.
The next night, Khan came home, ate dinner and went to bed, according to an internal police department document obtained by the Chicago Tribune. His family later heard him screaming and took him to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Foul play wasn't suspected initially, in fact, the medical office said Khan had died of arterial sclerotic cardiovascular disease. But at the family member's request, the medical examiners looked further into the case, which prompted a toxicology test.
The investigation is now ongoing.
Wow! I guess the hip-hop adage mo' money, mo' problems is real. Rest in peace Khan.