After using a special sequence of numbers to win the lottery Hurley begins to experience a string of bad luck that finally gets him stranded on the island
Hugo Reyes, more often known by his nickname Hurley, was born to Carmen and David Reyes in Miami, Florida, the family later moved to Santa Monica, California.
Growing up Hugo was very close to his father, they spent a great deal of time fixing up David's old Camaro. Then suddenly in 1987, David packed up and left his family for what would become 17 years without an explanation. To help ease his depression of his father leaving Hugo turned to food for comfort.
While growing up Hugo was in an accident. A deck that he was on collapsed and killed two people. He believed this was his fault because of his weight. Because of his belief that this was his fault and his depression Hugo's mother had him committed to the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute. While he was in Santa Rosa his doctor, Dr. Brooks kept trying to convince Hugo that the accident was not his fault. He also believed that Hurley was punishing himself for the accident by overeating, the doctor said he could help by getting him on a diet. One day at Santa Rosa Hurley played Connect Four with another patient, Leonard Sims, a man who wouldn't say anything but kept repeating a series of six numbers - 4,8,15,16,23,42.
Hugo listened to his doctors advice and began his diet until a "friend" of his named Dave told him to stop the diet and not conform to what the doctor wanted him to do. Dave turned out to be an imaginary friend made up by Hugo. Dr. Brooks believed that Hugo making this friend up was a troubling sign and prescribed medication to make Dave go away. Dave told Hurley not to take the pills. Dr. Brooks decided to shake up Hugo's belief that Dave was real by taking a picture of the two of them and showing it to Hurley. After he realized Dave was not real he shut him out of his life by locking him out of the hospital in a Dave inspired escape. Hurley then began to resolve the issues that brought him to Santa Rosa.