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ASK THE TIMES

With the price of gas in the $3 range, why do we still have nine-tenths of a penny to deal with?

Bob Chellberg

No one knows for sure, but it's widely believed to have started as a sales gimmick in the 1930s - 10.9 cents a gallon was more attractive to consumers than 11 cents a gallon - when nine-tenths of a penny actually meant something. It's carried over to today for the same reason cars are priced at $18,995 instead of $19,000. It just looks and sounds cheaper.

Compiled from Times staff and wires. To submit a question, e-mail answers@tampabay.com, or call (727) 893-8179, toll-free, 1-800-333-7505, ext. 8179.

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