Think winning the lottery is your ticket to a fantasy life? Guess again. Urooj Khan, a lottery winner killed in Illinois just as he was about to cash in his winning $1 million scratch-off ticket, has joined the club of unlucky folks whose jackpot is followed almost immediately by bad luck.
In Khan's case, not only did the 46-year-old die before he even got a hold of his winnings, but his murder was very nearly missed. It was first considered a death from "natural causes"!
According to the Cook County Medical Examiner, a member of Kahn's family questioned how the seemingly healthy owner of several dry cleaners could drop dead so suddenly. So the medical examiners dug deeper only to find cyanide in his blood. Since June -- when Khan died -- the case has turned from a natural death to a homicide investigation.
Talk about bad luck on top of bad luck. First and foremost, of course, is the fact that this poor man was murdered. Then add in the fact that his murder very nearly went unnoticed!
It's not exactly the fantasy we Americans have built for ourselves, is it? We think "winning the lottery" and "lying on a beach somewhere," not "lying in a morgue."
Sadly, winning the lottery in America isn't all it's cracked up to be. Crimes against lottery winners are increasingly common, ranging from simple assault to scams and, yes, to death. Khan's poisoning is only the latest of the latter. Just two years ago, a guy who won $30 million in Florida was found buried in the backyard of a woman who'd befriended him.
So what does it all mean? Should we stop playing the lottery? Should Urooj Khan's murder be the impetus for Americans to stop being so greedy?
Or maybe it's just a reminder that there is no "perfect" in life, that the grass isn't always greener on the other side, that reality is often much more depressing than we'd like it to be.
Do you still look at lottery winning as the answer to all your troubles?
Image via Jinx!/Flickr