It is a common fantasy to want to stumble upon a large sum of money by purchasing the winning lottery ticket.
However, the one thing that people have in common when it comes to this, is that it is nothing more than a dream.
Migdalia Cruz was no stranger to life’s struggles, however on thing got her through her tough times, her beautiful son Luis Correa. He made everything she went through worth it.
Eventually, something happened that would turn their lives around. But ,what started out as the best day of their lives quickly turned into the worst day of their lives…
From a young age, Migdalia raised Luis as a single mother. She struggled to get by and provide for herself and her son. She had to face many obstacles to give her son the best life she possibly could.
She struggled for years, endlessly dreaming of getting a lucky break. But soon, she would get her lucky break.
Luis and Migdalia frequently bought lotto tickets and scratch cards in hopes of finally getting their big break.
They finally bought the lucky ticket for the price of $2. That card would change their life, but there was something else in store for the two of them…
It became a routine for Migdalia to scratch her cards the moment she arrived home. However, something was different that day, she was so eager she scratched the card before setting foot in her home.
She took out a stray penny and started scratching the card right there in the car.
She pinched herself just to make sure she wasn’t dreaming.
She sat frozen in her car for a very long time. Her concerned son stepped outside to check on her, and she urged him to sit with her.
What his mother showed him threw him off balance. They weren’t the type of people that attracted good things, but it happened. They couldn’t believe it! His mother purchased the winning ticket.
They won $20,000! They were finally going to be able to live a bit more comfortably. They needed to make the journey to Orlando, Florida in order to claim their winnings. They had no idea that the Deltona Police Department had something else in mind for them.
The police knocked on the family’s door at 5 pm with a search warrant.
Luis and Migdalia were having a cup of tea on the law while dreaming of everything they could buy, when they saw the police cars arrive. They were frozen with fear, and they could not do anything.
They were taken to the police station. Luis seemed to be hit the hardest, he had no idea what was happening, let alone why it was happening.
They thought their luck had taken a turn, but then the implacable forces of the law hit them with no warning whatsoever
They had no idea what they would be accused of. They never could have guessed what the police would be able to find against them.
They didn’t know how serious the charges were. Would the lottery money even be enough to cover the bail? Luis was frozen in bewilderment. He never saw this coming.
As mentioned, Migdalia and Luis had experienced many financial struggles in the past. And sometimes, Migdalia eventually did things she knew were not well regarded by the law.
It wasn’t out of evil; she hadn’t known any better and was just trying to get by. Migdalia’s plan had been borne of good intentions. She always hoped their lives would get a lot easier. Instead, her actions just made it worse.
Migdalia thought she had been smart about things: she kept a low profile and tried to be careful. She never meant for any of this to happen.
“The police have better things to do than making things difficult for a mother and her son just trying to get by,” she told herself. But she was wrong.
It had only been two hours since Migdalia and Luis felt on top of the world. Then the sheriff’s office arrived at their Deltona home with a search warrant, where they found three incriminating bags.
The substances contained in the bags, as well as their weight and quantity, constituted a really serious offence: the charges would probably take every penny from the prize away from them, and maybe even land them in jail for some years.
The sheriff’s office posted to Facebook about the arrest. The arrests were the culmination of a criminal investigation into activities at 2675 Howland Boulevard in Deltona. Luis was released on bail for $6,000 while his mother got out for $5,000.
So finally, they didn’t have to remain detained. But they were left almost penniless, and what would become of them would only be known on the court day.
A third suspect, an unidentified male, was also arrested but not granted any bail. His charges were even more severe.
Migdalia knew what she had done was wrong. It was too complicated a situation to explain, and she knew the authorities wouldn’t care anyway. While it seemed an awful situation, there was more to her story than met the eye.
Migdalia Cruz had been born in the U.S and therefore gained automatic citizenship. Many years later, she had given birth to Luis.
Unfortunately, Luis’s father was later arrested on serious charges and had been detained ever since. Migdalia had been left to fend for herself with a new baby. Her lifelong struggle for survival had begun.
Migdalia’s life had been a difficult one. Separated from her own parents, she was fodder for criminal elements at a young age. With the help of family friends, she managed to finish school and mostly stay out of trouble.
When she met Alphonso, this all changed. Despite his dangerous lifestyle, Migdalia was only 19 and could not grasp the gravity of what she had involved herself in.
Those early days were exciting. Alphonso’s “business” dealings provided them with a home and other comforts. Migdalia was transfixed by Alphonso and thought their life together would always be that way.
When she began feeling ill one day, this all changed. It started with Alphonso becoming cold and distant. It seemed he knew something that she did not.
Alphonso’s cold treatment of Migdalia initially confused and saddened her. He was growing more distant and edgy by the day. Migdalia’s symptoms worsened, but he didn’t seem to care.
Worse yet, the sicker Migdalia got, the more Alphonso seemed to pull away from her. He refused to let her get treatment and kept saying that she should just “wait and see.”
After a week of this bizarre treatment, Migdalia began noticing that her symptoms were usually at their worst in the mornings. It was then that the truth finally dawned on her.
Now that she realized what was really going on, this raised new worries for her. If Alphonso was behaving in this manner, did he truly know what was happening? Either way, she could not understand why he would treat her this way.
Migdalia had avoided the truth for too long. After summoning all her courage, she told Alphonso that she thought she was pregnant. His reaction confirmed that he had realized this too.
Since the truth was now out in the open, Migdalia hoped they could find a way to move forward together, but Alphonso had different plans. Migdalia refused to do what he wanted.
Making it clear that she wanted to keep her baby, Alphonso initially stuck around. He was a different person now. While he tried to hide it, Migdalia could see he was unhappy.
He began taking more significant risks with his business, and his fast-paced life was spinning out of control. It wasn’t long before these risks caught up to him, and Alphonso was taken into custody.
Luis was born a few months after Alphonso had been taken away. Migdalia struggled to find work wherever she could and fended for the two of them. As Luis got older, Migdalia built a meager life for them but always shielded him from the truth.
Life was hard, but they managed somehow. Migdalia had become accustomed to her new life. Luis had brought a new meaning and stability to it. Then suddenly, everything changed again.
Many years had passed. At Alphonso’s request, Migdalia had never gone to see him or allowed Luis to ever meet him. Their old life together had begun to seem like a distant dream. Then one day, Migdalia heard a knock on the door.
Luis was a teenager now and out with friends. Migdalia was stunned to see Alphonso. He was much older now but still looked the same. His request turned her world upside down again. She had no idea what to do.
Seeing how panic-stricken Alphonso was, Migdalia let him in. He explained that he was out on parole but tried to contact an old “business associate” to make some money.
Since he broke his parole conditions, Alphonso was on the run again. So much time had passed, but the moment Migdalia saw him, it was like she was 19 again. At that moment, she realized that she had never stopped loving him.
Against her better instincts, Migdalia kept Alphonso hidden in her basement. On the day of their arrests, she was waiting for a chance to tell him they could now all run away together, maybe even be a real family.
Alphonso had been using a cell phone in the basement and hiding the three incriminating bags there. When Luis was arrested, he never even knew that he had been living under the same roof as his own father for months.
When Migdalia decided to take in Alphonso, she had a very different idea of how things would end. It had seemed like a sign; life giving them a second chance to be a family.
When she had scratched the winning lottery ticket, it felt like life had vindicated her choices. She imagined the three of them building a new life somewhere. She had planned on telling Luis about Alphonso. Now she had no idea how he would react.
After using the lottery winnings to take care of their bail, Migdalia now had to face her son. He was shocked to hear the truth about who Alphonso was and that he had actually been hiding in their basement for months.
Migdalia had never meant for any of this to happen to Luis. All she had ever wanted was to protect him. Now his face and emotions were unreadable, and she wondered if she had permanently damaged the relationship between them.
The love with which Migdalia had raised Luis shone through in the end and he forgave her. Her lottery winnings hadn’t made them rich, but it had kept them from jail.
Eventually acquitted of most of the charges, a large portion of the bail money was refunded. Life was still a struggle. Over the years Migdalia learned that no one else mattered more than her son who was fast becoming a young man himself.
Most people are divided when they hear Migdalia and Luis’s story. While most agree that she made bad choices, many others think of her as a victim of her own circumstances in life.
Either way, her story serves as a cautionary tale of how quickly a well-intentioned life can change when it strays away from the law. Migdalia has been thought of as both a criminal and a victim; what do you think?