Poisoned Lottery Winner's Family: All Drama

Urooj Khan's widow and siblings fought over the estate

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 12, 2013 3:44 PM CST

(Newser) – A family drama has emerged in the life of an Indian-American man who died from cyanide poisoning before he could collect on a $1 million lottery ticket, the AP reports. Urooj Khan's siblings and widow, Shabana Ansari, had been fighting over his estate; his father-in-law was tens of thousands in debt to Uncle Sam; his ex-wife had suddenly appeared, tormented over not seeing her daughter; and that daughter moved in with Khan's sister after he died. But authorities are keeping mum about possible suspects thus far.

Because Khan died intestate, Ansari and their daughter should inherit everything—but his siblings are inquiring about their rights, according to Ansari's lawyer. For now she is administrator of the estate, which was built on dry-cleaning businesses and real-estate investments. One puzzler: Ansari says she cooked the lamb curry that she, Khan, her dad, and Khan's daughter ate the night he got sick, but Khan's sister says he was a strict vegetarian. Authorities plan to exhume Khan's body in the coming weeks to learn more about the poisoning.

This June 2012 photo shows Urooj Khan, center, holding his $1 million lottery check with his family. At left is Khan's wife, Shabana Ansari.
This June 2012 photo shows Urooj Khan, center, holding his $1 million lottery check with his family. At left is Khan's wife, Shabana Ansari.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of WMAQ-TV in Chicago)
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