Everyone has fantasized about winning a massive amount of money, for some people, it’s their biggest dream. Can you imagine buying the winning lottery ticket? You could buy whatever your heart desires, you can do anything!
Although winning the lottery is a wonderful dream, it remains just that… A dream.
It Seemed Like A Good Day
Migdalia Cruz had not had an easy life but one thing made it all ok: the strong relationship she had with her son, Luis Correa, was worth every struggle she’d been through. And one thing is for sure: there had been a lot of those.
Finally, one day, something happened that made her see the light at the end of the tunnel. But what was to start as their lucky day quickly turned into their worst nightmare.
The Story Of Migdalia
At a young age, Migdalia had to raise Luis all by herself as a single mother. She struggled financially, and sometimes she had to do difficult things to make sure her son would be alright.
After so many years of struggling, she was still waiting for a lucky break in life. If only she’d know it was closer than she thought.
Avid Lottery Players
Both mother and son had pinned all her hopes into winning the lottery and they were avid players, buying scratch cards whenever they could.
This time they just happened to buy the right card. Spending a mere 2 dollars for a single card would end up changing their lives forever. If only the surprises would have stopped there.
The Lucky Scratchcard
Waiting until she was home to scrape off the gray covering that protected the results hidden beneath was a ritual. This time she couldn’t wait any longer, not even to get into the house.
She pulled out a loose coin and began scratching the card right in the car.
She Couldn’t Believe Her Eyes
She was left speechless and astonished, staring at the card. She just couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
She sat so long in the vehicle that Louis came outside to check that everything was alright. That’s when she told him to get in the car right away.
Luis couldn’t believe what his mother was showing him. Nothing like this had ever happened to them before. They had always bought the tickets in hope of winning. But it was still surreal to look at the little ticket and see the numbers all lined up.
This wasn’t some fifty dollar prize either. It was the very top winning amount: a whopping twenty thousand dollars. They would have to travel to Orlando to collect the big prize. Little did they know that the Deltona Police department had different plans for them.
Five In The Evening, Police At Their Door
The time was 5pm when the team arrived at the family’s house to execute a search warrant.
Migdalia and Luis were standing outside on the front lawn, most likely thinking of all the lovely things they could buy, when they saw the unmistakable flashing blue lights pull up beside the house. They both went from feeling invincible to cold panic flooding their veins. But there was nowhere to run.
They Called Their Lawyer
Mother and son were taken to the police station. Luis was hit hardest, not knowing what was going on or why this was happening.
Right when their luck finally seemed to take a turn, the implacable forces of the law were hitting them with no warning.
They Didn’t Know What They Were In For
They didn’t know what they would be accused of or what the police would be able to find against them.
They didn’t know how serious the charges would be or whether the lottery money would be enough to make bail. Luis, in particular, was bewildered. He never expected this to happen.
The Past Of Migdalia And Luis
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.
She Thought They Wouldn’t Get Caught
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.
Would They Make Bail?
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.
The Third Person
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.
They Couldn’t Escape Their Past
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.
Life Wasn’t Easy
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.
A Whirlwind Romance
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.
She Was Confused
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.”
She Felt Trapped
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.
She Refused To Listen
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
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 Him Again Was Hard
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.
That Fateful Day
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.
Not How She Imagined It
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.
Still Her Little Boy
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.
A Cautionary Tale
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?