By Charlie De Mar

(CBS) — A gambling watchdog from the western suburbs has won big, taking home a $25,000 sweepstakes.

“This has been quite interesting, it’s totally unbelievable,” Kathy Gilroy tells CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar.

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Gilroy, who’s entered various sweepstakes her whole life, signed up at a Villa Park gambling parlor and won a cash drawing.

“I’ve never won from a gambling place before,” she says. “I said, ‘Do I give it back? Do I donate it?'”

She’s a bit torn, given her reputation as a gambling critic.

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Most recently, Gilroy raised a red a red flag on an unlicensed VFW raffle in Morris that was worth more than $1 million because the place technically was not running a legal game. It was later straightened out, after much publicity.

“I only enter the legal ones,” says Gilroy. “Gambling is theft by consent; you let somebody else steal your money.”

Online, some are quick to call her a hypocrite for collecting the check. But Gilroy says she doesn’t spend money on gambling. “It’s all free,” she adds.

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Gilroy says she’s already invested her $25,000 winnings.

Charlie De Mar