US winner of $1.2 million lottery slain with cyanide

CHICAGO (AFP) - Not long after winning a US$1 million (S$1.2 million) jackpot with a scratch-off lottery ticket, a Chicago man was poisoned with cyanide, officials said on Monday.

Urooj Khan, 46, had planned to use the money to pay off bills and invest in his dry cleaning business. Instead, he was poisoned, the Cook County Medical Examiner's office said, adding that it had classed his death as a homicide.

Khan was accompanied by his wife, their daughter and several friends when he accepted an oversized check from Illinois lottery officials on June 26. He described his initial reaction in a press statement. "I scratched the ticket, then I kept on saying, 'I hit a million!' over and over again. I jumped two feet in the air, then ran back into the store and tipped the clerk US$100."

The Chicago Tribune reported that his family was suspicious when he died less than a month later of what was originally ruled to be natural causes. The medical examiner agreed to reopen the case and found he had died of "cyanide intoxication," a spokesman for his office told AFP.

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