Seems everyone this days is giving gas away as part of a promotional package. Buy a car, get free gas. Buy a boat. Get free gas. Buy a burrito, get gas. Well … kind of.

Anyway, people aren’t interesting in money, jewelery, or even gold. Diamonds aren’t a girls best friend any more. Give ’em gas.

Even the Florida lottery has added gasoline to their list of prizes.

A lottery spokesperson said, “Once a week for the next two months, the second-prize winner in the latest lottery promotion, Summer Cash, will win free gasoline for life. And some people think that is a better deal than the game’s first prize, a quarter of a million dollars. ”

Actually, they’ll be getting a $100 gas card every other week for the remainder of their life. That’s $50 free dollars in gas a week. Or just over 10 gallons. Not that grand of a prize, really. Especially since later this year it will be just under 10 gallons … and will likely quickly diminish.

Funny thing is, people don’t notice that the value of the prize isn’t nearly as good as the first place prize … the quarter million dollars. They just hear free gas and go gaga.

The price of gasoline, of course, makes up a little bit of the price of just about everything; the food we eat, the stuff we buy … and of course the places we go.

But keep in mind, it’s only a portion of the cost of those things.

With the price of gas at $4.20 a gallon, and assuming, 20 miles per gallon, it’s 21 cents a mile. Or $101.01 to get from my home in Lockport to my favorite vacation destination, Washington, DC. Round trip makes it $200 (give or take).

Two years ago, it would have only been $100 for gas for the same trip.

Of course, while on vacation, you’d spend a bunch of money on a hotel, tourist attractions, trinkets, etc. Let’s say $1,000.

So add the gas in, and you’ve got a $1,200 vacation. As opposed to what would have been an $1,100 vacation if gas were $2.10.

Are you really going to skip your vacation over $100?

We need to stop treating gas as though it were gold. Otherwise, it might end up at $1,000 an ounce. And then we really couldn’t afford to go anywhere.