To say that Michelle De La Cruz has been going through a lot recently is an understatement. The 44-year-old Fountain Valley woman told us she lost her mother six months ago, she’s been helping to take care of her dad who lives in another town, and to add insult to injury – “My car, I just recently spent like $1,000 in car repairs,” De La Cruz said.
Suddenly, there’s a bright spot. De La Cruz won $750,000 playing the California Lottery’s new $10 Bonus Crossword Scratchers game. “I started shaking,” De La Cruz said about the moment she revealed the crucial 10th word on the ticket’s bottom puzzle. De La Cruz and her husband raced it over to a nearby store, where all heck broke loose. There was jubilation, and not just from the couple. The clerk who checked their ticket got in on it too. “He started screaming,” Michelle said, adding that it didn’t stop there. “He came from behind the counter and gave me a big hug.” Actually, Jerry De La Cruz admits “We were all screaming in the store!”
And who can blame them. This sudden and substantial win couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. “I needed a little bit of a break,” Michelle said. “I wasn’t asking for a lot, just a little bit.”
Michelle bought her ticket at Fountain Valley Mini Mart & Liquor, which is located at 9520 Warner Avenue in Fountain Valley. To think of what this win means to her family leaves this Lottery winner nearly speechless. “It’s just a breath of fresh air,” Michelle said. “It’s amazing!”