Price error at gas station causes fuel frenzy

$1.01 gas at Pasadena Conoco brings huge crowd

Published On: Apr 10 2012 07:52:47 AM CDT   Updated On: Apr 10 2012 12:28:32 PM CDT
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PASADENA, Texas -

A price mistake at a Conoco gas station in Pasadena had people flocking to the station and filling up their cars.

The Conoco station accidently sold gas for $1.01.  The price was supposed to be $3.78 for regular unleaded, which is a savings of $2.77 a gallon.  The error lasted for more than an hour overnight Monday before the mistake was discovered and the pump was reset.

The owner said his station got new pumps last week and a technical problem caused a malfunction in the system.

Even though the Conoco sign read $3.78 for regular unleaded, word quickly spread about the cheaper gas.

The owner said he ended up selling 1,500 gallons of gas for $1.01.

"It was a technical problem and I have a $5,000 loss," said Fnu Moiz, the owner.

"We didn't believe it," said Daniel Quintero, one of the drivers who took advantage of the cheap gas. "I ended up filling up my truck, my wife's car, my dad's truck and his other truck."

Drivers spread the word to their friends by phone and social media. The area around Queens and Allen Genoa got so crowded, police came out to direct traffic.

"When they told me on Facebook, I thought it was a joke," said one driver. "Then my brother told me so we just came down."

Other drivers called it blessing.

"Finally, we're getting a break," said, Mr. Quintero. "Economy's bad right now so they're giving us a break ... might as well take advantage."

Conoco shut off the pumps until they could be repaired.

According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas in Houston is about $3.89.  The last time gas was officially $1 a gallon was in 1986.