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$1 million lottery winner poisoned with cyanide, coroner

A Chicago man who died a month after winning the lottery jackpot was murdered, a coroner has ruled.

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Thuan Le, mother of four boys, plans to use her winnings to buy a house, travel, and visit her parents in Vietnam with her $14 million lottery winnings. (Kevork Djansezian/AFP/Getty Images)

A Chicago man who won $1million in the lottery was killed with a lethal dose of cyanide, a US Coroner's office ruled Friday.

The body of Urooj Khan was exhumed in January following concerns from his brother that the businessman had met with foul play.

Cook County medical examiner Stephen Cina confirmed Friday the 46-year-old had been murdered but it was not known if the cyanide was ingested with food or introduced to Khan's system in another manner, CBS News reported.

"Once again, the manner of death is cyanide toxicity. Coronary artery disease is deemed a contributory condition, and the manner of death is homicide," said Cina.

Khan, who ran a dry cleaning business, died suddenly on July 20 after enjoying a celebratory meal with his family at his home in Chicago, a month after he was announced the winner of a million-dollar jackpot, ABC News reported.

The initial report from the medical examiner's office was he died of natural causes but his brother, Imtiaz Kahn, told CBS News he had suspicions he had been murdered.

Imtiaz said he had nightmares about his brother's death and therefore insisted the coroner's office conduct further tests.

After examining fluid samples, the office found a lethal level of cyanide and Khan's death was declared a homicide.

HIs body was exhumed on January 18 and an autopsy examination conducted on the badly decomposed body.

Khan, whose estate is said to be worth $2million, died without a will, and since his death a battle has been fought by his widow, Shabana Ansari and siblings over his estate, including the lottery check.

Ansari and other relatives have denied any role in his death and expressed a desire to learn the truth, CBS News reported.

Khan, who emigrated from India, had opted for the $425,000 lump sum cash payment. He was due to collect his winnings when he died.

"He was a healthy guy, you know?" his nephew Minhaj Khan told ABC News in January. "He worked so hard. He was always going about his business and, the thing is: After he won the lottery and the next day later he passes away -- it's awkward. It raises some eyebrows."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130301/1million-lottery-winner-poisoned-cyanide-coroner