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Lottery Winner Killed Under Circumstances So Strange Cops Almost Missed It

by Jeanne Sager on January 8, 2013 at 10:58 AM

lottoThink 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

Filed Under: death, crime


  • Doomy234


    January 8, 2013 at 11:23 AM
    I think the moral of this is: Dont tell anyone you have won large sums of money until the cash is safe and sound in your account. I dont think it has anything to do with bad luck, but desperate individuals who attack someone because they think the lottery will solve all their problems. Anyone who would murder somebody else for a little bit (or even a lot) of money is obviously morally and probably mentally deranged. However, waving around a winning lottery ticket is going to make you look vulnerable, and unsurprisingly in this world where we keep no secrets, someone who couldnt be trusted found out that these people had won.
  • sunmo...


    January 8, 2013 at 11:50 AM
    As far as I know the names of winners are public, if that is true I don't think they should before obvious reasons. I couldn't imagine winning and running to the news, I wouldn't want anyone to know except for the select few I want to share it with.
  • sunmo...


    January 8, 2013 at 11:52 AM
    But yeah if this dude went bragging and someone killed him for it... Did they not take the ticket for themselves then?
  • CPN322


    January 8, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    I've always wished I could win the lottery but I've never bought a ticket and probably won't. I hope they find the guy who murdered this poor man.

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