Would You Take Free Gas for Life, or $250K?

In Florida lottery, most prefer fuel, even though math doesn't work out

By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 8, 2008 8:14 AM CDT

(Newser) – Florida lottery players have the chance to win "free gas for life," and if that sounds too good to be a second-place prize, it is. The weekly runners-up will get free, but not unlimited, fill-ups worth $2,600 per year—which is unlikely to add up to more than the first prize, the New York Times reports.

But plenty of Floridians are still more eager for free gas than for the $250,000 jackpot. “If gas keeps going up and up—and I expect it will—then I’d rather have free gas for life,” said one. And while not everyone is flouting logic and math, ticket sales have been steadily rising since last week.

With prices pushing $4.30 per gallon in South Florida, a lottery poll found that 90% of players would prefer their winnings in gas, rather than cash.
With prices pushing $4.30 per gallon in South Florida, a lottery poll found that 90% of players would prefer their winnings in gas, rather than cash.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
The prize of a lifetime of free gas comes with strings attached. The winner won't get unlimited fuel: the prize consists of a $100 voucher every two weeks for life.
The prize of a lifetime of free gas comes with strings attached. The winner won't get unlimited fuel: the prize consists of a $100 voucher every two weeks for life.   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
The first prize in Florida's Summer Cash lottery is $250,000. The second, a lifetime of free gasoline, is even more coveted, though it's likely not to have as high a face value in the end.
The first prize in Florida's Summer Cash lottery is $250,000. The second, a lifetime of free gasoline, is even more coveted, though it's likely not to have as high a face value in the end.   (AP Photo/ M.J. Schear)
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