Kathy Gilroy may be one of the most ardent gambling opponents in all of Illinois, but she sure is enjoying the $25,000 sweepstakes she recently won at Stella’s Cafe, a gambling parlor in her hometown of Villa Park, Chicago.
Ms. Gilroy, who is obviously doing the Lord’s work by eradicating raffles and bingo from the face of the earth, argues she’s no hypocrite. She says this was a free sweepstakes.
As the Church Lady once said: How convenient.
Still, the rush and excitement of winning a fat jackpot obviously left Gilroy with a teeny tiny tinge of guilt.
“I called a pastor friend and said, ‘Oh my God, should I send it back? What do I do? Do I donate it?” she told the Chicago Tribune. “He said, ‘Don’t feel guilty. You just got paid for all your volunteer work against gambling.’ “It’s God showing his grace on me.”
It’s too bad Gilroy shows less grace on others who gamble — at charitable fundraisers. Most recently, she alerted authorities to a $1.6 million Queen of Hearts fundraiser raffle put on by a local Veterans of Foreign Wars post. The raffle was suspended because it didn’t have a legitimate license.
“Kathy Killjoy was the least of what they called me,” she told the Belleville News-Democrat.
The raffle rattler once halted a raffle — looking to raise money for needy college students — because it was unlicensed and not put on by a nonprofit, as required by law.
Ironically, for somebody who’s so opposed to rolling the dice, “Kathy Killjoy” certainly loves poker. She plays video poker machines at gambling cafes if she is given a free promo card.
Decades ago, Killjoy used to gamble at racetracks. But her attitude toward gambling changed when she won $700, only to quickly lose it back to the track.
Um, perhaps Kathy is just anti-losing.
Jerry Zeborowski, the VFW commander at the post whose raffle was canned by our hero, was perplexed to hear that Gilroy had won a sweepstakes.
“It’s ironic that someone who’s anti-gambling would enter something like that,” he said. “That’s a little hypocrisy there, don’t you think?”
But Killjoy — we mean Gilroy — is fond of sweepstakes and has a longtime lucky streak when it comes to entering them. Before her $25,000 win, she said she’s won prizes including electronics and trips to the Bahamas and California.
A video of Gilroy, a 68-year-old woman who sells supplemental health insurance for people on Medicare, shows her giddy at winning the sweepstakes, even though she continues to try to make the distinction that it’s not gambling.
“This was a no purchase necessary (sweepstakes), which I’ve been entering for years,” she said. “And I signed up for the various clubs, just to see what they sent out, and I got an email about this particular promotion, so I participated.”
Gilroy then detailed that she entered at multiple locations in her hometown before the grand prize drawing in a nearby city.
Sounds a lot like hedging your bets, but what do we know?
“Lo and behold, I won the grand prize,” she said, excitedly giggling at her winnings. “But I didn’t have to gamble anything.”
But lo and behold, further into the video, she argues that gambling used to be relegated to Las Vegas or Atlantic City, but now it’s showing up in neighborhoods. How terrible! It’s almost like people can win $25,000 in their backyard!
“The closer it is to people, the more likely they are to be tempted,” she said, perhaps exposing her own inclination. “It’s not a destination like it was with Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
“Now, it’s too available, and that’s what causes addiction.”
No word yet on whether or not Gilroy plans to enter any more sweepstakes, but we have a feeling she’ll press her luck.