Woman's lotto legacy lives on

WESH - Orlando Videos 2:29 mins

Almost 25 years ago Sheelah Ryan made history when she won a staggering $55 million jackpot in the Florida lottery, becoming the largest single lottery winner in America. With the Florida lottery again hitting huge highs this week locals remember Ryan, who passed away in 1994 of cancer at the age of 69, not for the money she won but for how she spent it. The Ryan Foundation, which she established shortly after her windfall, helped everyone from children, to abused women, to senior citizens and stray animals. "I think it was by the grace of God I won," Mrs. Ryan said in 1989, as quoted in her New York Times obituary. "I realized there must have been a reason He gave me the money, so I decided to give some of it to senior citizens and the homeless." Today, her Ryan Foundation lives on and continues to give to 20-25 organizations each year, says spokesperson Pamela Ohab. "If you had her as a friend," Ohab says, "you really only needed one friend."

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