HINESVILLE, Ga. — Motorists passing through an eastern Georgia city did double takes on Monday when they saw gas advertised at prices that had not been seen in at least two years.
The A to Z Food Mart in Hinesville gave motorists a deep discount for a few hours on Monday, charging $1.99 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline, WTOC-TV reported. The $1.99 was for cash or customers with a Chevron credit card. Other credit and debit purchasers paid $2.09 per gallon.
Still, this is Liberty County. What better way to celebrate Independence Day?
Cars were lined up for more than a mile to take advantage of the cheap prices at the Chevron gas pumps, according to WSAV-TV. The discount was good for three hours.
“My daughter told me all about it, so I was like, ‘OK, I’m gonna get in this line,’” Sylvia Andrews told WTOC. “And I drive about an hour and a half a day, so the gas is worth it.”
It almost seemed too good to be true.
Victoria Smith, a Liberty County native who travels frequently between Hinesville and Atlanta, said that these days it typically costs up to $100 to fill her tank.
Not this time. As she prepared to fill her tank, she hesitated, The Savannah Morning News reported.
“Is this a scam?” she wondered.
It wasn’t, according to station owner Ravi Patel.
“We just want to give back to the community, just because the community makes us what we are here as a family, we all came from India to make a better life for ourselves and this is what we need to do to give back to the community,” Patel told WSAV.
Patel said a regular gallon of gas costs him $3.85, so he lost around $1.86 for every gallon pumped, the television station reported. A fuel tank arrived Sunday to top off the tanks and Patel estimated about 5,000 gallons were sold in three hours, the Morning News reported.
Patel told WTOC that he probably lost about $12,000 during the three-hour window, but he said the reaction from the community was worth it.
“I was sleeping one time, woke up I was like ‘Man, I need to do something to give back to the community,’ and I was like, “What can I do to ease the burden on everyone’s wallet?’ and the first thing that came to my head is gas,” Patel told WSAV. “And I talked to my brother as well and he was like, ‘We should put the fuel down,’ so that’s what we did.”
Residents appreciated the low cost, if only for a few hours.
“I feel like it’s 1960,” Emanuel Holmes told the Morning News.
“With the way gas prices are these days, a lot of people can’t afford it,” his wife, Robin Holmes, told the newspaper. “Twenty dollars will only get me a quarter of a tank. It’s a major blessing.”
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