We all notice the price of gas on the gas station signs as we are driving, but do you know what "999" on a gas station sign means?

It could mean that the price for gas at that particular gas station is $9.99, but I imagine that they wouldn't be getting my business if it did.

So what does it mean when a gas station puts "999" on the pricing sign?

If they are not selling gas for $9.99 a gallon (and I hope they are not),  it means that the gas station is out of fuel, or unable to sell fuel. Just recently, a gas pipeline was damaged in Alabama, causing gas shortages from Alabama all the way up the east coast. These shortages caused gas stations to run out of fuel more often than usual, prompting them to place "999" on their gas price marquee.

Why "999"? I don't know, but it seems to be an industry standard, with electronic billboards automatically defaulting to that "price" when the station is out of fuel. Others may remove the numbers altogether, leaving no prices on the sign.

Here's a pic I took the other day at the Racetrack on Ambassador Caffery at Willow. The station is being renovated, so the huge sign alerted drivers that gas is unavailable at this time.

Gas Station Sign 999 (Photo by John Falcon)

Now you know!