Urooj Khan’s official Illinois Lottery photo.

By divine or design, for these lottery winners, the dream happened: They bought the right ticket from the right vendor on the right day.

By fate or fault, however, these winners also became fatalities of their own good fortune.

In a robust economy, the lottery is the great equalizer, anyone can hit it, at any time — that’s the dream.

Generally speaking, lottery players are happy for the winners when they’re trotted out in front of the cameras by lottery officials. The winners represent hope; perhaps, next time, they will be the lucky one in 175 million lottery players to hit the jackpot.

In a lopsided economy, the bulk of lottery players are spending their money with purpose and strategy, and want — perhaps expect if they buy tickets in bulk—to win. On average, households that make less than $12,400 a year spend 5 percentof their income on playing the lottery.

Dr. Stephen Goldbart, author of “Affluence Intelligence” and co-director of the Money, Meaning & Choices Institute notes:  “The map to finding the American Dream has been radically altered. (The lottery) lets you believe in magic: that you will be the one who spent a little and got a lot; that you will defy the extraordinary odds against winning.”

Killed: Urooj Khan, 46, won $1 million from the Illinois lottery and then someone slipped cyanide into his food and killed him. “I want the truth to come out in the investigation, the sooner the better,” said Shabana Ansari, 32, his wife. “Who could be that person who hurt him?”

Sadly, this isn’t the first time a lottery winner has met a tragic, shady end. Take a look.

Deputy Editor, Rolling Out