Mistake Puts Gas Price at Only 18 Cents

Thu Jan 27, 5:52 PM ET

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By CHUCK BROWN, Associated Press Writer

OMAHA, Neb. - A misplaced decimal point gave drivers a surprisingly good deal on gas, and even inspired some threats of violence at a west Omaha filling station Wednesday night.



Carolyn Folsom, who occasionally helps her brother and father run the self-service, attendant-less Shell station, said she goofed Wednesday afternoon when entering prices into the computer that runs the fuel tanks. A gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline was supposed to cost $1.89 but ended up costing only 18 cents.

"I don't know if my finger missed the nine or what," Folsom said. "The whole family is laughing about this. I will never live this down."

Folsom said about 500 gallons of gas were sold during the several hours the price was down, costing the business about $1000. The station does not have an attendant and the only way to pay is at the pump, so the mistake went unnoticed for hours.

A fuel truck driver who came to deliver gas discovered the problem and tried to block the entrance of the station with his truck, Folsom said.

But by then word was out and the rush for cheap fuel was on.

Folsom said one person threatened to hit the fuel truck driver with a hammer if he didn't stop blocking the entrance.

"That's the thing that upsets me," Folsom said. "I mean, grow up."

Folsom said her father fixed the price about 7:15 p.m. And he's forgiven her for the mistake, she said.