As far as contesting, some prizes included an automatic coffeemaker, a home freezer, a radio, 3 pairs or Arthur Murray shoes, even a supermarket shopping spree. Through pre-planning and strategy, Evelyn walked away with exotic foods, expensive meats, caviar, candy and snacks - all totaling $411.44 (equivalent to 3,000 worth today). It was awhile later that while life went normal for Evelyn, pen at hand with contesting, 3 of her children had flown the nest: oldest - Leann went to nursing school and 2 of her sons were signed to play baseball for the Detroit Tigers.
There were some prizes won over time that bore no use within the Ryan household. When there wasn't a contest to ready for, in spare time, Evelyn sold writing articles and contributed them for $5.00 a piece.
After the news of "Bruce's" win, Evelyn received a letter from a woman, Doretha Shaeffer, who was with a group called 'The Affadaises', who shall I say, were ALL more than equal experts at contesting and asked her to join - even with the hike to Payne, OH. After joining, they became like soul mates. After seeing Evelyn's success, other Ryans contested their own ways. After some of the older Ryan kids had flown the nest into their own lives, it didn't stop Evelyn from finding the joyous inspiration for the next contest.
One morning things came to crash, Evelyn, reading the morning paper, read they were in debt of property taxes. But as luck would have it, Dr. Pepper was sponsoring "The Time Of Your Life" contest w/ thousands in cash, a trip to Europe and a new car. Things came worse for the Ryans when they were found to owe the bank $4,000 in a small amount of time. If there was ever a time at a miracle, NOW was the time they REALLY needed it.
As they awaited anxiously for a response back, they were preparing for an ending when they received word from the sponsors of Dr. Pepper for an interview as a finalist. Spending what little cents they had left, they spent on the product for the interview. Nerves ablaze for the week following when the call came that changed them forever: they won the GRAND PRIZE!! 3,440.40 cash, a trip to Switzerland (to be cashed in), Finally a trip to Dallas, TX, to be 'Queen For A Day' and a new car. Initially they were all, excluding the trip to Dallas, cashed in to pay the debt.
|The REAL Evelyn Ryan|
JC Penney's to work before retiring. Only prior to his death in 1983, Kelly had saved away an amount of money for only Evelyn to live on until her death in 1998.
In 2007, a feature film was made based on this book, promptly titled 'The Prize Winner Of Defiance, Ohio' accounting and telling the trials and successes of Evelyn Ryan and her winnings starring Oscar nominee Julianne Moore as the remarkably brave Evelyn, with real-life help by the Ryan children.
Evelyn Ryan (d. 1998)
Kelly Ryan (d. 1998)
author and daughter Terry "Tuff" Ryan (1946-2007)
|The REAL Evelyn and Tuff Ryan|
In My Opinion: