Lottery gives motorists free gasoline

Like many Americans, Ronnie Short is feeling the pain at the gas pump.

  • Monday, June 2, 2008 3:18pm
  • News

Ronnie Short fills up her truck as the last customer to receive free gasoline from the Washington State Lottery on Friday morning. Her Dodge truck sported the sign that signaled to other motorists that she was the last of the 200 eligible customers to receive the free fuel.

Like many Americans, Ronnie Short is feeling the pain at the gas pump.

So the Kent woman found some immediate relief early Friday morning by taking advantage of a rare gas giveaway at the Auburn Way South Safeway Fuel Center.

Short committed herself to a long line at 7 a.m. was the last of the 200 non-commerical motorists who were eligible to receive 10 free gallons of unleaded or diesel gasoline, compliments of the Washington State Lottery.

Safeway and the State Lottery officials have been conducting the free gas giveaway at the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend for three years now. Auburn was one of only three sites in the state doing the promotion. Spokane and Kennewick were the others.

Short was babysitting at her East Hill home when she decided to try her luck at the pump. She made the same trip before the holiday weekend two years and was rewarded.

“I’m surprised I made it, actually,” she said while pumping in the fuel, at $3.83 a gallon, into her Dodge Ram 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.

“I put gas in my truck the other day, but I wanted to fill it up,” she added. “I’m glad I did.”

Soaring gas prices are raising fears and concerns from American motorists. State Lottery officials wanted to promote its own cause by helping out.

“Gas prices are over the top right now, so we decided to give customers a smile when they buy Mega Millions,” said Christopher Liu, director of Washington’s Lottery.

According to Jacque Coe, Lottery communications director, the gas giveaway went well. Supported by the Auburn Police Department, Coe and co-workers arrived at the station early to orchestrate the traffic and reduce tensions.

“It’s a good promotion and people seem to like it,” Coe said. “Unfortunately, gas prices are $4 a gallon and above. … The gas prices definitely have increased awareness, and people were well aware of (the promotion).”

One man camped out in his vehicle the night before. Cars started to arrive by 3 a.m. The parking lot was filled by 4:30, well ahead of the gas giveaway’s official 6 a.m. start.

The promotion was held in coordination with Friday’s Mega Millions drawing.

More in News

Bellevue family moves bullied girl out of state due to ‘persistent harassment’

Family says school staff accused girl of stealing ice cream.

Pro-gun activists gather on the steps of the Capitol building for a rally on Friday. Photo by Taylor McAvoy/WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Gun rights activists call for a halt to five firearm bills

Hearings for all the bills are scheduled for Monday morning.

The Washington State Senate chambers. Photo by Lincolnite/Wikimedia
Back in the majority, Senate Democrats moving fast to pass backlogged bills

Bills on pay equity, gay conversion therapy, gun regulation, and voting rights are all on the “to do” list.

Panelists talk Martin Luther King Jr., what it’s like to be black in Bellevue

Linda Whitehead grew up in Norfolk, Virginia in the 1960s when, during… Continue reading

New bill could put Washington salmon farms in jeopardy

The bill is at least partially in response to an August incident in which 30,000 Atlantic salmon escaped.

Washington state capitol campus. Photo by Visitor7/Wikimedia
State lawmakers hear a proposal to outlaw sexual orientation conversion therapy

The bill’s sponsor says that it includes religious protections and does not discourage families from seeking non-medical therapy.

Bellevue legislator introduces bill to put WIAA under state oversight, expand basketball playoffs

Bill would place WIAA under oversight of Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Lawmaker unveils ambitious plan to protect Salish Sea

The bill would aim to restore salmon while cutting down on toxins and noise pollution.

Most Read