CHICAGO — A gas giveaway sponsored by Chicago businessman Willie Wilson caused gridlock around the city Thursday morning.
Wilson gave away $200,000 in fuel at 10 different gas stations throughout the city.
Starting at 7 a.m., each vehicle received $50 in gas until $200,000 was exhausted — which ended out being about three hours.
The giveaway was at the following gas stations:
- Amstar — 368 E. Garfield Blvd.
- Citgo —9155 S. Stony Island
- Marathon — 1839 E. 95th St.
- Citgo — 1345 N. Pulaski Rd.
- Gulf — 9901 S. Halsted St.
- Mobil — 2800 S. Kedzie Ave.
- Amoco — 7201 N. Clark St.
- BP — 4359 N. Pulaski Rd.
- Marathon — 340 S. Sacramento Blvd.
- Falcon — 43 N. Homan Ave.
Some vehicles started lining up around 2 a.m. at some locations, eventually causing gridlock.
Traffic was at a standstill near the CITGO gas station at 91st Street and Stony Island Avenue. Northbound Stony Island was a disaster with drivers blocking the road as they attempted to get in the line for gas, causing delays back to the Bishop Ford.
Chicago police were on scene of many of the gas stations to help direct traffic.
Wilson said he would not apologize for doing good and said he helped a lot of people get to work and their kids to child care today.
“We did this thinking of just one thing, people needed help. We just thought about this last week. I didn’t think about nothing like that,” Wilson said.
Some residents around the areas of the participating stations were mad at the gesture. They said the traffic caused them to be late to school and work.
“Trying to deliver. Yes , it’s crazy I could stay in line and get it but I refuse. I’m not finna do it. It’s crazy,” Danielle Turner said.
After stations ran out of gas, some residents who had been waiting in line for hours were upset.
“I ain’t get my gas they said it was too many people,” Amir Jones said. “I want my gas.”
The next gas giveaway is scheduled for March 31. Wilson said he’s going to invest more money and expand it to the suburbs.
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Wilson has ran for Chicago mayor twice, most recently in 2019.
As of Thursday, the average price of gas in Illinois is $4.53.