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And Nine-Tenths of a Cent

2016 January 03. Sunday.

Have you ever noticed that gasoline prices go to three decimal places?

gas prices

Have you ever seen the third place be something other than nine-tenths? I haven’t. Do they even own slidy squares for eight-tenths or four-tenths? I called a shell station and asked; they don’t.

When I hear talk about gas prices, people forget those nine tenths. The price is $1.879 but most say $1.87, not $1.88. If something costs $2.99 you say $3, not $2, but that’s because the difference is big enough to matter.

Apparently the tenths of a cent were significiant when gasoline cost less than 25 cents per gallon. Tommy Andres writes more thoroughly.

Public Domain Dedication.