After celebrating her 35th birthday in May, Lynsi Snyder became the majority owner of the beloved fast-food chain In-N-Out Burger, bringing her net worth to an estimated $1.3 billion, according to Forbes.
Snyder first took over in 2010 as president of the company that her grandparents, Harry and Esther Snyder, founded in 1948 and was once run by her uncle, Richard, and father, Guy. She’s been named one of the most trustworthy leaders in the country, but her rise to the top has not been picture-perfect. Below are a few fast facts about the reclusive heiress.
1. She’s extremely private.
Snyder has been known to shy away from sharing details of her personal life, only doing a handful of interviews during her career. “We back away from it because we don’t want to be in the spotlight,” she told CBS News in 2015. “We don’t want a bunch of attention and we want to do what we do best and that’s serve some good burgers to our customers.”
Snyder also maintains her privacy because of safety reasons. The businesswoman told Orange Coast magazine she was nearly abducted once when she was 17 and a second time when she was 24 by kidnappers in a “van with boarded-up windows.” Though the experiences have kept her from sharing much about her own family, she hasn’t let it ruin her spirit. “It all helped mold me into who I am now,” she said.
2. She’s been married four times.
After her father died of an overdose in 1999, Snyder says her world was “shattered” and she found comfort in men. “There was no way I was gonna be alone,” she said in January for a testimonial on the Christian media platform I Am Second. “He was gone, so I had an even greater reason to fill the void.”
At age 18, Snyder married her high school sweetheart, Jeremiah Seawell. After two years together, they divorced and she “jumped right into the arms of someone else.” Snyder had two children with her second husband, Richard Martinez, but they also divorced after six years.
Snyder recalls her third marriage to Val Torres, Jr. as one riddled with cheating and abuse. “He cheated on me while I was pregnant, disrespected,” she said. “Never had I been talked to the way he talked to me—treated like trash. It was the worst time of my life.”
Snyder went on to divorce for a third time in 2014 and later met her current husband, Sean Ellingson. Now the mom of four currently runs the “Army of Love” foundation with Ellingson.
3. She struggled with addiction.
Snyder says the end of her first marriage left her feeling isolated from the rest of her family—and she started mimicking the habits of her father, who was in and out of rehab since she was 5 or 6 years old. “I started smoking pot, drinking—which were things I really had wanted to stay away from after watching my dad,” she told I Am Second. “I realized that I’m gonna follow in the footsteps of my father and that I’m going to meet an early death if I do not get right with God and follow him.”
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4. She’s a devout Christian.
Snyder credits her faith for saving her life. “I really value the love and good times I had with my dad but even that can’t compare completely to the love that God has for me,” she said. “God got me back up after all of these failures and he can lift me up and see me go forward and I know that he can be glorified.”
She also has two tattoos dedicated to Jesus: “It’s part of a Bible verse. Matthew 6:10. It says, ‘Your kingdom come, your will be done,’” she said of the first. The second one reads “hated” referencing John 15:18, “where Jesus says—this is paraphrased—‘Do not be surprised when the world hates you, for it hated me,'” she said.
5. She’s an avid drag-racer.
“I’m a lot like my dad, a little bit of a daredevil,” Snyder told Orange Coast of her favorite fast-paced hobby. “I like an adrenaline rush. My dad took me to the racetrack for the first time when I was 2 or 3. … Anything with a motor, that was in my blood.” In 2015, she made an appearance on Jay Leno’s Garage to show off her father’s 1941 Willys Coupe and “talk cars and burgers.”