Thirty-five-year-old Lynsi Snyder became one of the youngest billionaires in the US this week, after inheriting full control of the burger chain In-N-Out.
Snyder inherited 50% of In-N-Out’s shares when she turned 30, and on Friday — her 35th birthday — she acquired most of the chain’s remaining shares.
The inheritance makes her one of the youngest female billionaires in the country.
The famously reclusive heiress has been married four times and suffered through a spate of family tragedies, including the death of her father when she was just 17 years old.
Snyder has only spoken to the media a handful of times over the past decade. Here’s what we know about her life.
Snyder’s grandparents, Harry and Esther Snyder, opened the first In-N-Out restaurant in 1948.
After her grandfather died in 1976, Snyder’s uncle, Rich Snyder, took over the company. He was at the helm until 1993, when he died in a plane crash.
Snyder’s father, Guy Snyder, then replaced his brother and remained in charge until 1999, when he died of a prescription-drug overdose. Lynsi Snyder was 17 at the time.
In a video interview this year, Snyder said her father battled drug addiction and was in and out of rehab facilities from the time she was 5 years old. He later had an affair, and her parents divorced when she was 12, she said.
Despite everything, Snyder said she was very close with her father. Reflecting on his death, she said, “My world shattered. After my dad died there was no way I was going to be alone.”
After her father’s death, Snyder married her first husband. She was 18 years old. “It wasn’t right,” she said. “I paid the price with a divorce and jumped right into the arms of someone else.” Then she said she started smoking pot and abusing alcohol.
She said she worried she would “meet an early death” like her father, and she eventually married again, had two children, and later had an affair. The marriage dissolved within six years, she said. “I couldn’t feel like a bigger failure at that point,” she said.
She married a third time and had another child with a man she said married her for money and cheated on her for nearly four years before they divorced. “The first time he cheated on me I thought, ‘Well I deserve it,'” she said. “It was terrible.”
Snyder married a fourth time in 2014 to former In-N-Out employee Sean Ellingson. She says she has finally found peace through religion.
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Snyder now lives with Ellingson in this Los Angeles home that she bought for $17.4 million in 2012. The home features 7 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, a tennis court, basketball court, indoor batting cage, movie theater, infinity pool, and an eight-car garage.
In her free time, Snyder says she enjoys drag racing — a hobby she started when she was 18 years old. “I just love muscle cars,” she told NHRA about why she races. “I love the whole sport. I think that it was kind of an escape and a hobby that was a lot of fun and a connection to my dad.”
Snyder named her racing car the “Flying Dutch Fox” in a tribute to her father, who had a car named the “Flying Dutchman.” She said she used “fox” because when she was little, her father called her that. “He told me I was a little fox because I was always climbing on everything and getting into everything,” she told NHRA.
Around the time that she started racing, Snyder said she was the victim of two attempted kidnappings. The first kidnapping attempt happened when she was 17 and still in high school. The second time, she was 24 and working as a manager at In-N-Out. “I ran across the highway,” she told the Orange Coast Magazine, adding that she knew her would-be kidnappers were suspicious because “they had a van with boarded-up windows.”
Snyder also revealed to Orange Coast Magazine that she has a couple tattoos, one of which says “hated” in Hebrew. “It references John 15:18, where Jesus says — this is paraphrased — ‘Do not be surprised when the world hates you, for it hated me,'” she told the magazine.