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Poisoned lottery winner's family reportedly didn't share his last meal

Illinois LotteryIllinois Lottery: Poisoned lottery winner's family reportedly didn't share his last meal
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As relatives of a $1 million lottery winner who was killed with cyanide battle over his estate, sources say it appears the man's family did not share what could have been his fatal last meal.

A police source tells MyFoxChicago.com that the night Urooj Khan died he was home with his wife, Shabbana Ansari, 17-year-old daughter, and father-in-law Fareedun Ansari.

The source says Ansari prepared a traditional Indian meal for dinner, which Khan ate. Neither Ansari or Khan's daughter ate the meal.

Khan then became violently ill and was rushed to a local hospital, where he later died.

The revelation comes as court documents revealed Ansari has battled with Khan's siblings over control of his estate, including his $425,000 prize money.

Khan, who owned several dry cleaning operations and some real estate, died just days before he would have collected his winnings.

Authorities initially ruled he died of natural causes, but a relative came forward with suspicions that prompted a fuller examination that led to the startling conclusion that he was intentionally poisoned.

The probate court documents shed no light on the circumstances of Khan's death, but they do add a layer of drama to an already baffling case. As they work to unravel the mystery, police, prosecutors and the medical examiner have revealed little, naming no suspects and declining to say if the lottery win might have presented a motive.

In another development Wednesday, a lawyer for Ansari said Chicago police detectives questioned her in November for more than four hours at a police station and executed a search warrant on the two-story home where she lived with Khan.

Attorney Steven Kozicki said Ansari maintains she had nothing to do with the death of her 46-year-old husband and he has no indication that investigators might be looking at her as a potential suspect.

"In any case where a husband dies in that manner, sure they're going to talk to the spouse," he said. "That's what they've done. ... I believe that she had nothing to do with his death. She vehemently says that she had nothing to do with his death."

The fact that Khan died without a will opened the door to the legal tussle over his estate, which his wife says amounts to more than $1.2 million, including the prize money, his share of the dry-cleaning businesses and real estate, as well as several vehicles and a bank account.

Under Illinois law, Khan's estate would be split between his wife and daughter.

However, Khan's brother Imtiaz and sister Meraj Khan expressed concern in court filings that Khan's daughter might not get her fair share. The siblings, who live in the Chicago area, are not staking a claim to any of the money for themselves. They initially won an order from a probate judge in September to freeze the lottery check, asserting his widow tried to cash it.

Meraj Khan is also seeking to become the legal guardian of the teen, who lives with Ansari.

Ultimately, the probate judge granted Ansari's competing request to administer the estate but has yet to decide how to divide the assets, including the lottery payout. The assets remain held up by the court proceedings, and Ansari denies removing any of the assets.

Ansari's probate attorney could not be reached for comment, and the lawyer representing Khan's siblings declined to discuss the case. Imtiaz Khan also did not return a phone message.

The next status hearing is scheduled for Jan. 24.

Ansari spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday at one of the dry cleaning businesses her husband started. Ansari would not talk about the circumstances of her husband's death, saying it was too painful to recall. She said only that he fell ill shortly after they ate dinner together.

She said she cannot believe her husband had enemies and she has no idea which family member asked authorities to take a deeper look into his death. Authorities have refused to identify the relative.

Khan had planned to use his lottery winnings to pay off mortgages, expand his business and make a donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Ansari and Khan were both born in the southern India city of Hyderabad and immigrated to the United States as adults.

Khan bought his winning instant lottery ticket in June at a convenience store near his home. It was a $1 million winner, but he opted for a lump sum. After taxes, it amounted to about $425,000, according to the Illinois Lottery.

AP

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32 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by helpmewin.
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dk1421's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
North Carolina
United States
Member #64582
September 1, 2008
332 Posts
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Posted: January 11, 2013, 8:42 am - IP Logged

Ugh! I thought it was the FIL who made the meal at first. Since they all have the last name Ansari, so it put an interesting twist on it until I realized when I was reading that the daughter was with the FIL that it was really the Mom. A bit confusing.

I feel badly for the poor guy. But I'm sure he's happier where he is now.

"Don't be a schmuck, always take the cash." -Coin Toss

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    Windermere, FL/Franklin, TN
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    March 1, 2007
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    Posted: January 11, 2013, 9:38 am - IP Logged

    Ugh! I thought it was the FIL who made the meal at first. Since they all have the last name Ansari, so it put an interesting twist on it until I realized when I was reading that the daughter was with the FIL that it was really the Mom. A bit confusing.

    I feel badly for the poor guy. But I'm sure he's happier where he is now.

    The daughter was Khan's from his first marriage. No relation to the FIL or wife. I also read that the FIL owes a substantial amount and is severely in debt.

    Not sure what kind of relationship Khan had with his daughter but ALL three of them should be suspects. It appears the F-I-L may be the prime candidate.


      United States
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      September 7, 2011
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      Posted: January 11, 2013, 10:12 am - IP Logged

      I say kick the in-laws out and keep em out.......................

        RedStang's avatar - 20130829 151641_zps3qbxhhqb.jpg
        Dutchess NY
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        January 21, 2012
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        Posted: January 11, 2013, 11:20 am - IP Logged

        Should of kept his mouth shut about his win.

          sully16's avatar - sharan
          Listens to the wind

          United States
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          October 28, 2009
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          Posted: January 11, 2013, 11:39 am - IP Logged

          The plot thickens.

          There's only one US Flag

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            Windermere, FL/Franklin, TN
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            March 1, 2007
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            Posted: January 11, 2013, 12:36 pm - IP Logged

            Should of kept his mouth shut about his win.

            I Agree! Especially from his in-laws.

              Nikkicute's avatar - nnjx1k
              RIGHT HERE!!
              United States
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              February 17, 2012
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              Posted: January 11, 2013, 1:00 pm - IP Logged

              I Agree! Especially from his in-laws.

              Illinois is not one of those anonymous states, how do you keep a $1million

              win a secretWhat?

                Avatar
                Windermere, FL/Franklin, TN
                United States
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                March 1, 2007
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                Posted: January 11, 2013, 1:36 pm - IP Logged

                Illinois is not one of those anonymous states, how do you keep a $1million

                win a secretWhat?

                He was somewhat affluent to begin with so he definitely needed estate planning and should have formed a trust in which his attorney could have made the claim. 400k isn't too large an amount in terms of lottery jackpots so I doubt few would have interest in knowing who was under that trust.

                  HoLeeKau's avatar - YheaShea
                  Idaho
                  United States
                  Member #94285
                  July 17, 2010
                  1705 Posts
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                  Posted: January 11, 2013, 2:18 pm - IP Logged

                  In Idaho your name and city are public info, but you don't have to do a press conference or even have your photo taken.  The only time the media latches on to mere million dollar winners here is when they do the press conference, especially if they do it at the store they bought the ticket at.

                  When you don't do the publicity, the lottery just publishes your name on their website, so the only people who know are the ones who regularly peruse that section looking for people they know.  I've never seen those names published in the paper or announced on any TV station, so it would be a good bet that you could stay anonymous winning up to 1 or 2 million in Idaho if you just refuse the press.  The media gets curious with larger multimillion jackpots though, so you'd have to figure out something else if you won more.

                  I've always said (and even posted here on LP) that if I won a bunch of money and couldn't stay anonymous, I'd have to make sure my sister was very clear that she wouldn't get anything if I died.  I'd have to send her a copy of the will where it spelled out that her share would be one (1) dollar.  Otherwise, my life would be in serious danger.  This story certainly bolsters that fear.

                    Nikkicute's avatar - nnjx1k
                    RIGHT HERE!!
                    United States
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                    February 17, 2012
                    2187 Posts
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                    Posted: January 11, 2013, 3:38 pm - IP Logged

                    In Idaho your name and city are public info, but you don't have to do a press conference or even have your photo taken.  The only time the media latches on to mere million dollar winners here is when they do the press conference, especially if they do it at the store they bought the ticket at.

                    When you don't do the publicity, the lottery just publishes your name on their website, so the only people who know are the ones who regularly peruse that section looking for people they know.  I've never seen those names published in the paper or announced on any TV station, so it would be a good bet that you could stay anonymous winning up to 1 or 2 million in Idaho if you just refuse the press.  The media gets curious with larger multimillion jackpots though, so you'd have to figure out something else if you won more.

                    I've always said (and even posted here on LP) that if I won a bunch of money and couldn't stay anonymous, I'd have to make sure my sister was very clear that she wouldn't get anything if I died.  I'd have to send her a copy of the will where it spelled out that her share would be one (1) dollar.  Otherwise, my life would be in serious danger.  This story certainly bolsters that fear.

                    You sister sounds scary!!

                    Glad your leaving up these post because if you win big and something happens to

                    you all of Lottery Post will be your witness!!

                      Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                      S.E.Iowa
                      United States
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                      December 21, 2011
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                      Posted: January 11, 2013, 5:05 pm - IP Logged

                      You sister sounds scary!!

                      Glad your leaving up these post because if you win big and something happens to

                      you all of Lottery Post will be your witness!!

                      All but me.I don't know his/her real name.I doubt if any news articles would mention what name he/she goes by on Lottery Post.

                      When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

                      There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers


                        United States
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                        September 7, 2011
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                        Posted: January 11, 2013, 6:05 pm - IP Logged

                        Should of kept his mouth shut about his win.

                        I Agree!


                          United States
                          Member #116272
                          September 7, 2011
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                          Posted: January 11, 2013, 6:07 pm - IP Logged

                          Illinois is not one of those anonymous states, how do you keep a $1million

                          win a secretWhat?

                          By NOT jumping up and down in the store saying "i woo a million"...... For starters...........


                            United States
                            Member #116272
                            September 7, 2011
                            20244 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: January 11, 2013, 6:10 pm - IP Logged

                            He was somewhat affluent to begin with so he definitely needed estate planning and should have formed a trust in which his attorney could have made the claim. 400k isn't too large an amount in terms of lottery jackpots so I doubt few would have interest in knowing who was under that trust.

                            I Agree! Could it be that the curse and acting stupid work hand in hand?