Central Florida woman's lotto legacy lives on

Published On: Aug 22 2013 07:41:53 AM HST

A woman who won the Florida Lottery 25 years ago used her winnings to make a difference, and though she's gone, her legacy lives on.

Sheelah Ryan, of Winter Springs, won $55 million in 1988. At the time, she was the single largest lottery winner in America.

Ryan's friend, Pamela Ohab, runs the Ryan Foundation.

"We give normally to 20 to 25 organizations a year, (and) check with them throughout the year," Ohab said. "That's what Sheelah wanted us to do."

Ryan spoke to WESH 2 after her big win and said she wanted to help women and children.

"(Women) getting ahead, being treated fairly," Ryan said, was a big concern for her.

Ryan was one of the founders of Safehouse of Seminole County. She gave more than $100,000 to remodel the original building.


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