Glitch at California gas station lowers gas price to 69 cents per gallon for three hours
Lucky customers in Rancho Cordova, Calif., got a tremendous break on gas prices Thursday, when an error at a local Shell station shaved more than $6 per gallon off the price at the pump.
A glitch at the station seemingly reset prices from $6.99 per gallon for premium gas to $0.69. It took three hours for the station to correct the error, which was plenty of time for word to spread, and that Shell quickly became the most popular station in town.
One customer even posted video of the deal on his Instagram page:
As the nation gets used to the idea of $5 per gallon averages nationwide, that price is a happy memory for most of California. According to AAA, the average gallon of regular sells for $6.42 in the state, the highest rate in the country.
Even for premium gas, the Rancho Cordova Shell station’s $6.99 average was high, though. The average premium gallon sells for $6.77 in Sacramento County (where Rancho Cordova is located), according to AAA.
Gas prices in California haven’t been in the 69-cent range since June 1978 (and even then, the average was likely for regular gas, not premium).
Oil prices have steadily increased of late, nearing $120 per barrel, and the post–Memorial Day period always results in a surge in demand for gas, which has sent prices steadily higher. Drivers have yet to change their habits, however.
“There is a high probability that prices could go even higher in the weeks ahead,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, in a statement.
Sign up for the Fortune Features email list so you don’t miss our biggest features, exclusive interviews, and investigations.