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Hundreds of cars line up for Chicago businessman Willie Wilson's $200K free gas giveaway Thursday

Hundreds of cars line up for Chicago businessman Willie Wilson's $200K free gas giveaway Thursday 02:22

CHICAGO (CBS) – As gas prices rise, former Chicago mayoral candidate and businessman Dr. Willie Wilson is helping by donating $200,000 in gas at select locations on Thursday.

The giveaway started at 7 a.m. Lines were forming nearly two hours early at a gas station at Pulaski Road and Montrose Avenue. Too many people were trying to cut the line -- resulting in police, at one point, closing a gas station temporarily. All entrances were blocked until 7 a.m.

One man told CBS 2 he waited in line since midnight for the gas giveaway. 

One woman said that the prices are so high that she can't get her kids to school.

"I have kids, I gotta get them to school every day. The gas prices are just so high I just can't make it," said Stephanie Towns. 

Wilson said he is planning another giveaway on March 31 with the same gas stations, and hopes to add more gas stations in the south and west suburbs.

"People are desperate for money to get gas to get to work, these are peoples' livelihoods," Wilson said.  

The giveaway comes as prices spiked to as much as $4.55 for regular and $5.32 for premium in Illinois, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). Starting at 7 a.m., each customer at 10 different locations will receive $50 in gas until the $200,000 is exhausted. Gas station owners Khalil Abdullah and Amin Ibrahim will lower their prices in order to serve more people.

"The soaring price of gas has caused a hardship for too many of our citizens. The average price of regular gas has gone well over $4 a gallon for the first time in nearly 14 years and is now up nearly 50 percent from last year. The war in Ukraine, a ban on Russian oil, and high taxes are contributing to rising fuel prices," Dr. Wilson said in a release.

Ald. Michelle Harris (8th) will be in attendance at the Citgo location at 9155 S Stony Island with requested traffic barricades and emergency management.    

CPD along with 70 volunteers will assist at the participating locations:

·       Amstar - 368 E. Garfield Blvd

·       Citgo - 9155 S. Stony Island

·       Marathon - 1839 E. 95th Street

·       Citgo - 1345 N. Pulaski 

·       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 Av

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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