In June 2022, as gas prices continued to rise around the globe, a photograph went viral that supposedly showed gas prices at a 7-Eleven store had reached $7.11. This picture was frequently shared with the caption: “The prophecy has been fulfilled.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk shared an uncaptioned version of the photograph, leading some to believe that it reflected genuine gas prices at a 7-Eleven store. But though the picture is real, the prices are not. These are “test” prices that were used to mark the opening of a new store.
This photograph was originally posted online in March 2021 by Reddit user u/mbeemsterboer. The original post was captioned “This new 7-Eleven’s test gas prices.” In the comment section, the Reddit user shared some additional information about the photo:
“lol these aren’t actual prices. It was before the gas station was open, they just used 7.11 as the gas prices on the sign to have them working prior to opening”
It isn’t uncommon for a 7-Eleven store to display gas prices of $7.11 in the days leading to a new store opening, the company told us.
“This photo is more than a year old. In the past, it was common for building contractors to test the fuel price signs at newly built, but not yet open, 7-Eleven locations to $7.11 in honor of the store’s name,” a company spokesperson said. “We have since requested that building contractors stop this practice and hope this recently re-circulated photo did not cause any confusion for 7-Eleven customers.”
We have found several additional photographs showing these test prices at various locations. Here’s a photograph of a soon-to-be opened 7-Eleven displaying a gas price of $7.11 with another sign announcing that a new store would be coming soon.