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Old 01-09-2013, 08:13 AM   #41
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Doomed I tell ya.


Illinois man killed by cyanide poisoning after striking it rich in lottery - CNN.com


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(CNN) -- One day, Urooj Khan jumped for joy after scoring a $1 million winner on an Illinois lottery scratch ticket.
The next month, he was dead.
Investigators initially ruled Khan's manner of death natural. But after being prompted by a relative, the medical examiner's office in Cook County, Illinois, revisited the case and eventually determined there was a lethal amount of cyanide in Khan's system.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:15 AM   #42
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Publicity kills. Especially publicity with the lottery.

Even if you are a LBYMer and want to manage your lottery winnings correctly, the publicity of the lottery will draw hoards of undesirables in your direction. Many of these people have no idea of the value of money. It can eat you alive.

The OP story exposes that Whittaker had some demons that were let loose by the winnings and hoards of hanger ons. The tragic story above about the cyanide exposes what I believe are some of the undesirables who have no idea of just what this fellow really had, which in today's money was not ultimately a lot. But to a crack head, it was a lifetime-plus. (Not saying a crack head did this, but hope you get the drift.)
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:47 AM   #43
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So, if his body had been cremated, there would have been no way to do the forensic work, right?

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Old 01-09-2013, 10:09 AM   #44
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I know that some states require that the lottery winner(s) are made public which opens the doors for 'unsavory types' to pursue the winners.

I wonder if a winner could hire a lawyer or some other representative to be their public "face"? I'm guessing that this would require some sort of a legal document to keep the rep from absconding with the money.

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Old 01-09-2013, 10:29 AM   #45
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I know that some states require that the lottery winner(s) are made public which opens the doors for 'unsavory types' to pursue the winners.

I wonder if a winner could hire a lawyer or some other representative to be their public "face"? I'm guessing that this would require some sort of a legal document to keep the rep from absconding with the money.

omni
In Illinois, they're required to publicly name the winner. The IL lottery guy talked about it for the last big lottery payout. They provide public proof somebody actually won the lottery and that it isn't a scam. Even if you have an attorney, they still name the winner, you can't stay anonymous, with more information (city name, street name, TV news may even show your house) than necessary too. It makes you want to relocate if you're the "lucky" winner.

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So, if his body had been cremated, there would have been no way to do the forensic work, right?

-ERD50
I'm not a scientist, but I think the cyanide would still be traceable in the ashes if analyzed.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:07 PM   #46
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I'm not a scientist, but I think the cyanide would still be traceable in the ashes if analyzed.
Not if you scatter them.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:38 PM   #47
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I wonder if a winner could hire a lawyer or some other representative to be their public "face"? I'm guessing that this would require some sort of a legal document to keep the rep from absconding with the money.
A friend of mine and his GF won $44MM in the VA lottery a few years ago. They looked into various ways to hide their identities, including selling the ticket, even securitizing it. No deal.

So they hired a PR agent to help them minimize exposure. He gave them interesting advice, for example a press conference and statement was mandatory. But he was advised to dress badly and read from a piece of paper for the statement - local TV didn't run it. They also downplayed their comfortable stations in life to minimize that becoming a story in itself. So he, instead of being an exec at a brokerage firm 'worked for a financial services company' and she, instead of being an oral surgeon 'worked in a dental office'.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:43 PM   #48
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A friend of mine and his GF won $44MM in the VA lottery a few years ago. They looked into various ways to hide their identities, including selling the ticket, even securitizing it. No deal.

So they hired a PR agent to help them minimize exposure. He gave them interesting advice, for example a press conference and statement was mandatory. But he was advised to dress badly and read from a piece of paper for the statement - local TV didn't run it. They also downplayed their comfortable stations in life to minimize that becoming a story in itself. So he, instead of being an exec at a brokerage firm 'worked for a financial services company' and she, instead of being an oral surgeon 'worked in a dental office'.
Sounds like they're probably smart enough to avoid falling into the same traps as many of the unsuccessful lottery winners do. Would you be willing to give us a brief update on how they've done since winning?

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Old 01-09-2013, 12:46 PM   #49
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jon, that is interesting! I'd like to know, as well, just for curiosity's sake!
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:54 PM   #50
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Put it in context, they were in late middle age with very successful careers - this wasn't their first million.

Also - $44MM is the headlne number, the sum of all payments if you take it over time. My buddy was 62 then, he was obviously going to take the lump sum.

44MM 'headline' -> $26MM lump sum -> 14MM after tax -> 7MM each.

So good money for sure, but not '44MM' when the rubber hits the road.


They did expand and renovate a townhouse that he was living in. He retired, but he was a year or two away anyway. She quit her practice (probably 10 years earlier than she would have), which took 2 years due to the deal she had with her partners.

I had dinner with him a year or so after he got the money. I asked him what had changed in his life, besides the expansion/reno of the home.

He said 'I still eat out most nights, like I did before, but now when they hand me the wine list, instead of starting at the top and working my way down, I start at the bottom and work my way up'
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:38 PM   #51
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<SNIP>

I'm not a scientist, but I think the cyanide would still be traceable in the ashes if analyzed.
I was a scientist (though not forensic). I can't confirm, but my guess is cremation would probably destroy this particular evidence. There are several forms of cyanide (sodium, potassium, hydrogen, etc.). All of these elements would naturally be found in the body so would probably not be otherwise distinguishable following cremation. The "-CN" part of the cyanide will burn once it becomes hydrogen cyanide upon contact with body acids. Unless there remains some of the actual -CN, I doubt there would be a way to tell. But, YMMV.

This is another sad ending to a long list of tragic lotto-winner stories. Any time we turn the "rackets" over to the gummint, they multiply the problems. Consider, if you will, the idea of the lotto is to buy a ticket or two per week (maybe blow a dollar or four). Enjoy the fantasy of winning a few grand for a week. Then do it all over again the next week. In reality, the "pots" get huge because the games have so many numbers in them. Then, many people buy 50, 100, 200, even 500 tickets as the pots start to get large. IOW, used as "sold" to us, the lotto would not be a big deal for either the winner OR the gummint. I have no moral objection to the lotto, but I do believe gummints KNEW it would cause problems. Gummints went for it anyway because it DOES work for them at least in the short run (which is what most gummints are concerned with.) Again, YMMV.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:45 AM   #52
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The only people who stand to benefit from the death of the winner is the hiers ... this case will crack open like a soft peanut. IMO that's why "a relative" requested the autopsy.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:28 PM   #53
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He said 'I still eat out most nights, like I did before, but now when they hand me the wine list, instead of starting at the top and working my way down, I start at the bottom and work my way up'
That's awesome!

I have an idea how my lifestyle would change if I had a windfall like that. I would pay off my debt, quit my job, and buy a couple of toys, then invest the rest. I don't think there's any chance of me getting a windfall like that though, so I just have to get there on my own.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:36 PM   #54
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For me there's no chance at all, because I don't buy lottery tickets!

Funny thing, after he won, I told other friends to quit buying tickets - because what are the odds I'd know *two* jackpot winners?
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:42 PM   #55
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For me there's no chance at all, because I don't buy lottery tickets!
Me neither, unless the pot is at a record level, then I'll throw in a dollar or two but I categorize it as an entertainment expense. I'm notoriously unlucky though, but I have been lucky for others. I purchased tickets for my office pool (which I'm not part of) and one of the tickets matched all the numbers except for the powerball.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:50 PM   #56
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Last night, CBS news reported that Khan's wife had to file an affidavit that his wife and daughter were the only legal heirs. They're questioning if she really was his legal wife. CBS also mentioned she tried to cash the check the day after he died too. Just saw this story about the in laws and IRS troubles too:

IRS placed liens on home of cyanide poisoning victim in effort to collect back taxes from his father-in-law - chicagotribune.com
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:05 PM   #57
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Till death do us part.
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