COLLINSVILLE, Ill. — Illinois reached a milestone Thursday afternoon. The average price per gallon ticked up from $4.99 to $5.
While 5 On Your Side was on a virtual call with Gas Buddy's Head of Petroleum Analysis, Patrick De Haan, his tracker updated to reflect the new $5 average.
"I'm just sitting here," De Haan said pointing to his laptop, "I've been watching this Illinois state average at 4.99 and it's driving me nuts, wait oh look, it just hit 5."
The $5 state-wide average includes heavy hitter prices, like the ones in Chicago. The St. Louis Metro East is not far behind the Windy City.
Armando Perez filled up in Collinsville Thursday afternoon.
"It's so expensive nowadays, so I wait till the last minute you know, hoping the prices will go down," he said.
Five dollars is not great, but it is better than $6. De Haan thinks $6 gas in Missouri and Illinois isn't going to happen.
"I really don't see that as a possibility. There's a lot of problems that we have, but I don't think we have enough problems that would get us to $6," he said.
On the other side of the river, Missouri drivers are still paying well under $5, but they're worried it's going to hit that mark.
"St. Louis is still 50 cents a gallon away from that," De Haan says, "The average now is $4.51, so I'm hopeful St. Louis can avoid it."
Regardless, the rise in prices leaves a real sting at the pump...unless you aren't the one paying for it.
"Thank god I don't have a car yet," Trinity Roth tells 5 On Your Side, "I would not be able to do it."
Filling up her mom's car is costing just under $130.
AAA had the national average at $4.59 per gallon for regular gas.