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A California gas station manager has been fired after accidentally setting the price to 69 cents per gallon by misplacing the decimal, costing the station $16,000 before the mistake was fixed

A customer prepares to pump gas into her car at a Chevron gas station in May 2022 in San Rafael, California.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

  • A California gas station manager has been fired for setting gas prices at 69 cents per gallon rather than $6.99 after accidentally misplacing the decimal.
  • Customers flooded the station to take advantage of the mistake, costing the place $16,000 before it was fixed.
  • Gas prices haven’t been 69 cents since 1978. The current average in California is $6.435 per gallon.

A manager at a gas station in California is out of a job after accidentally reducing prices to just 69 cents per gallon.

John Szczecina was setting prices at the Shell gas station in, California, last week when he moved a decimal by accident, marking gas per gallon as 69 cents instead of $6.99.

Several hours passed before anyone fixed the mistake. In the meantime, customers flocked to the station to capitalize on the unintentional deal, costing the establishment $16,000 before the error was corrected. 

Szczecina said he was fired because of the error.

“I thought, ‘This is a nightmare,'” Szczecina said, according to CBS13. “I put all three prices on there except the diesel, but the last one kind of didn’t go, you know, right.”

“So I just took responsibility for it and I said, ‘Yeah it’s my fault, and I’m to blame,'” he added. 

The mistake gave customers a chance to fill up their tanks on a gas price not seen in more than four decades. The last time gas cost 69 cents in the US was October 1978, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Gas prices have been squeezing consumers’ wallets for months. In California, the average cost per gallon of gas was $6.435 as of Wednesday morning, according to AAA. Nationwide, gas costs $5.014 per gallon on average.

A person claiming to be Szczecina’s sister has set up a GoFundMe to help repay the lost revenue, as Szczecina is worried about being sued, CBS13 reports. On Wednesday, it had raised about $5,600.

Szczecina did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

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