Motorists flock to Chicago-area gas stations for free fuel | USA News®

CHICAGO (AP) — Long lines of cars stretched for blocks near Chicago-area gas stations on Thursday, signaling that a businessman who made repeated errands for local offices and nationals paid the bill for motorists to fill their tanks for a second time.

Willie Wilson gave gasoline to motorists who showed up at four dozen service stations. Some drivers waited over an hour to collect their $50 worth of gas.

Motorists could continue to fill up for free until Wilson’s tab hits $1 million.

Gas prices have risen across the country. The cost of gasoline soared to nearly $5 a gallon in the Chicago metro area on Thursday, from just over $3 a year ago, according to AAA.

Chicago police said the giveaway slowed traffic Thursday morning, but the department had received no reports of fights, motor vehicle collisions or other major issues related to the giveaway.

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Wilson, 73, hosted another gas giveaway on March 17, donating $200,000 worth of gas from 10 Chicago gas stations. The giveaway caused traffic jams, bad moods and residents’ concerns about the environmental cost of idling engines in their neighborhoods.

Wilson is a self-made millionaire who has run for mayor of Chicago, the United States Senate, and even the President of the United States. He has previously opened his wallet to help people, including posting bail for people in Cook County Jail and giving money to landlords to help pay their property tax bills.

The city faces another mayoral election in 2023.

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