Illinois Lottery via Reuters
Urooj Khan of Chicago is pictured holding his winning $1 million lottery ticket in this undated handout photo from the Illinois Lottery. Khan died of cyanide poisoning on July 20, 2012, and his death is now a homicide investigation.
The estate of a Chicago man who was poisoned to death right after he won $1 million on a scratch-off lottery ticket will be split between his widow and his daughter from a previous marriage, ending a fight in court.
The settlement was confirmed Thursday by a lawyer for the widow. The widow and daughter agreed not to sue each other for wrongful death unless a criminal investigation yields new information.
A medical examiner ruled in March that the lottery winner, Urooj Khan, was killed by cyanide poisoning. The medical examiner said that he could not determine how the cyanide was administered.
Full coverage from NBC Chicago
Khan died in July 2012, just before he was to collect a check from the Illinois lottery for $424,000 — the winnings after taxes and after Khan chose a one-time payment. He did not leave a will.
His death was ruled natural at first, but a brother raised suspicions, and authorities tested fluids taken from the body before Khan was buried. Those fluids showed the poisoning.
In January, authorities dug up the body to do a full autopsy in hopes of finding further evidence, but the exhumation yielded no significant clues. The death is classified as a homicide, but investigators have been tight-lipped.
Under the settlement, the widow, Shabana Ansari, will get a third of the lottery money, and will keep three dry-cleaning shops that she owned with Khan. The Chicago Tribune reported that the shops are worth about $1 million.
The daughter, Jasmeen, will get the rest of the lottery money, plus five condominiums that were owned by Khan. Those are valued at about $250,000 together, The Tribune reported.
Al-Haroon Husain, a lawyer for the widow, told NBC News that he did not expect his client and the daughter to reconcile.
“I really wish they could,” he said. “There has been a death, and the death has been under unusual circumstances. Both sides are pointing fingers at each other. It’s very tough to reconcile.”
A lawyer for the daughter did not immediately return a call for comment.
Khan, an Indian immigrant, came to Chicago in the 1980s and opened his first dry-cleaning shop in 2004. He bought the lottery ticket at a Chicago 7-Eleven, scratched it off and said later that he was so giddy at what he found that he tipped the clerk $100.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Cyanide poisoning killed $1 million lottery winner, authorities confirm
$1 million lottery winner fatally poisoned by cyanide
Lottery winner killed by cyanide was immigrant, family man
First published December 12 2013, 10:51 AM