Free gasoline for 200
June 2, 2008 · Updated 9:34 AM
Like many Americans, Ronnie Short is feeling the pain at the gas pump.
So the Kent woman found some immediate relief early May 23 by taking advantage of a rare gas giveaway at the Safeway Fuel Center in Auburn.
Short committed herself to a long line at the store on Auburn Way South at 7 a.m. and patiently made the cut. She was the last of 200 non-commerical motorists to receive 10 free gallons of unleaded or diesel fuel, compliments of Washington State Lottery.
One man camped out in his vehicle overnight. Other cars started to arrive by 3 a.m. The parking lot was filled by 4:30, well ahead of the giveaway’s official 6 a.m. start.
Safeway and the Lottery have been conducting the free gas giveaway at the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend for three years. Auburn was one of three sites in the state doing the promotion last weekend. Spokane and Kennewick were the others.
“I’m surprised I made it, actually,” Short said while pumping in the fuel, at $3.83 a gallon, into her Dodge Ram pickup truck. The cost to her was nearly two hours of waiting in line and the purchase of a $10 Mega Millions Quick Pick ticket at the station.
Lottery wanted to promote its own cause by helping fight soaring gas prices, said Christopher Liu, Lottery director.