Urooj Khan died last July the day after the Illinois lottery issued him a check for more than $420,000, the Associated Press reports. Khan hit the $1 million prize and elected to take the one-time payout rather than an annuity. He won the money playing a $1 scratch-off lottery game in a Chicago convenience store.
Khan had just sworn off gambling following a religious pilgrimage. The clerk who sold him the ticket says Khan told him this would be the last time he played.
Initially, no autopsy was performed because the death wasn’t considered suspicious. However, after a request from a relative, further tests were performed, and the results showed cyanide poisoning caused Khan’s death.
Death by cyanide poisoning is extremely rare. Cook County Medical Examiner Stephen Cina told the Associated Press: “It’s pretty unusual. I’ve had one, maybe two cases out of 4,500 autopsies I’ve done.”