Misleading "$1" Gas Sign Lures Drivers in Virginia

By David Culver
|  Saturday, May 24, 2014  |  Updated 6:57 AM EDT
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Drivers heading through a busy stretch of Manassas, Va., are doing a double take. The Raceway gas station at 7402 Sudley Road is advertising fuel for a dollar a gallon, but that's not what customers are finding when the pull up to the pump.

Most prices along this stretch range from $3.51 per gallon of unleaded to $3.58.

But a dollar a gallon has drivers shocked.

"That's absolutely a good price. I'll buy it from here," Vince Eberlein said.

"Oh my God. I wouldn't believe that!" another driver chimed in.

And you shouldn't believe it. The excitement ends when you pull up to the pump. It's wrapped in plastic and roped off.

So why the sign?

"I don't have zeroes," owner Jaliya Weerumenda said. "That's the reason they put '1.'"

Weerumenda runs the convenience store and operates the gas pumps, which are closed because they're replacing the tanks.

He says he's not trying to lure people into his shop with the billboard, but rather he simply ran out of "zero" signs.

It's confusing for some and it even gives them the wrong impression.

"One [sign] is a dollar and the other one looks like it's misleading...," said a driver named Jackson.

Car after car pulled into the station only to realize there's nowhere to fill up.

But most added while they wish the prices were true, they know it's just too sweet of deal.

"I said the pumps have to be down. If they've got a gallon a dollar sign, the pumps have to be down," said Eberlein.

Instead they're spending their visit shopping at Weerumenda's shop, adding that they enjoy his customer service.

In the meantime, Weerumenda says he's planning to make some changes to the sign to ward off the "wishful thinkers."

He's now looking for some more zeroes.

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