Indian-American Lottery Winner’s Death: Brother Raised Suspicion Over Death

CHICAGO (TIP): The brother of aChicago man poisoned with cyanideshortly after winning the lotterysaid on Monday he is the familymember who asked authorities toreconsider the initial finding thathis sibling had died of naturalcauses.Imtiaz Khan said he hadnightmares about his brother beforehis death and that his suspicionsabout the death lead him to pushcoroner’s officials to conduct moretests.

Urooj Khan, 46, an immigrantfrom India, died July 20 as he wasabout to collect his $425,000 inIllinois State Lottery winnings.Imtiaz Khan said Monday in atelephone interview that he begandemanding more tests be conductedimmediately after coroner’s officialssaid his brother had died of naturalcauses.Further tests revealed inNovember that Urooj Khan had beenpoisoned. His body was exhumed inJanuary for more testing.Khan’s widow, Shabana Ansari,and other relatives have denied anyrole in his death and expressed adesire to learn the truth.

Urooj Khan had moved to the USfrom his home in Hyderabad, India,in 1989, setting up several drycleaning businesses and buying intosome real estate investments.Despite having foresworngambling after making the hajjpilgrimage to Mecca in 2010, Khanbought a lottery ticket in June. Hesaid winning the lottery meanteverything to him and that heplanned to use his winnings to payoff mortgages, expand his businessand donate to St. Jude’s Children’sResearch Hospital.

He was just days from receivinghis winnings when he died beforedawn July 20.The night before, Khan ate dinnerwith his wife, daughter and fatherin-law at their house. Sometime thatnight, Khan awoke feeling ill. Hedied the next morning at a hospital.Khan died without a will, openingthe door to a court battle. Thebusinessman’s widow and siblingsfought for months over his estate,including the lottery check.

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