Free gas courtesy GTE Financial leads to frenzy on both sides of Tampa Bay

11:39 AM, Oct 17, 2013   |    comments
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Pinellas Park, Florida -- Who doesn't love these words? Free gas! Hundreds of people lined up before sunrise to get gas for $0 per gallon.

People started pulling up at 4:30 a.m. at the Walmart and Murphy USA gas station in Pinellas Park for a chance to fill up their tanks without touching their wallets.

A 20 minute drive, then an hour in line? For April Drayton, there's no question: it's worth it for free gas. 

"Well, it's a good idea for me because I'm a single parent and anything helps, especially gas, taking kids back and forth to school," Drayton said. 

Workers from GTE Financial Credit Union started pumping even before the official 7 a.m. start Thursday because the line in Pinellas Park was growing so quickly.

At the time, around 75 drivers were taking the credit union up on its gasoline giveaway -- $30 worth of gas for members, $15 for nonmembers.

A similar crowd filed into a second station in the Citrus Park are of Tampa. GTE financial says it budgeted for around 600 giveaways in all.

"It's International Credit Union Day and GTE Financial is a local credit union. So we just wanted a fun way to give back to the community -- by giving away free gas," the credit union's Jennifer Maxfield said.

Think April Drayton and her empty-tanked pals are crazy for being here?

"I would say you're crazy for not! It's definitely worth it," she said. 

The lines were long, but that response isn't intimidating GTE Financial; they say they're already considering another round of gas giveaways in the future.

AAA says gas in Tampa Bay is almost 40 cents cheaper right now compared to this time last year. But the average price is still $3.25 a gallon.

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