1. ITV Report

Lottery winner poisoned by lethal dose of cyanide

A US lottery winner who won nearly $500,000 died after being poisoned with cyanide shortly before he was due to collect his prize.

46-year-old Chicago lottery winner Urooj Khan Credit: APTN

At first, authorities thought 46-year-old Urooj Khan, who lived in Chicago, died of natural causes.

But a relative called for toxicology tests to be carried out, and six months later traces of cyanide were discovered.

Medics say such cases are extremely rare.

In June last year Urooj Khan stopped off near his home to buy the ticket for an instant lottery game.

Instead of the full $1 million (£622,000) prize which is usually paid in instalments, Khan opted to take his winnings in a lump sum of just over $600,000 (£373,000). After taxes, the winnings amount to about $425,000 (£265,000).

Khan said he would put some of his winnings into his dry cleaning businesses and donate some to a children's hospital.

'7-Eleven' shop near Khan's home in the West Rogers Park neighbourhood Credit: APTN

Lottery officials wrote a cheque to Khan for his winnings but he was unable to collect the money because he suddenly fell ill and died within hours.

The preliminary investigation showed no suspicious circumstances. But a relative contacted the doctor who carried out the autopsy to suggest he may need to look again at the case.

Saint Francis Hospital in Illinois where Urooj Khan died Credit: RTV

If a lottery winner dies the money typically goes to his or her estate.

It's now likely that Urooj Khan's body will be exhumed.