Thursday Numbers

Honesty has a power very few people can handle. — Unknown

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you’re a first-time visitor, this is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm and humor.

This week’s topics include Mega Millions lottery, MLB pitcher Gerrit Cole, Greg Gianforte, unemployment claims, Lawrence VanDyke, FCS football quarterfinals, college basketball, Kansas City Chiefs & the AFC West, plus much more!


That’s the jackpot for the next Mega Millions lottery drawing on Friday. (

That would make a nice Christmas gift…


That’s the contract signed by MLB pitcher Gerrit Cole. Cole agreed to a $324 million, nine-year contract with the New York Yankees on Tuesday night. (AP)

Great googly moogly…


That’s how much Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-MT) is worth according to an email from the Montana Democrats, who stated, “Gianforte is the richest Congressman in the entire country.”

It is kind of ironic that two of the richest members of Congress; Gianforte and U.S. Senator Steve Daines are from Montana and neither was born here. Another rich out-of-stater, Matt Rosendale, is trying to follow in their footsteps.


In the week ending November 30, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 203,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 213,000. The 4-week moving average was 217,750, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 219,750. (

Thursday’s data is released at 6:30 a.m. Mountain time, well after this column is published. Click HERE to see Thursday’s unemployment data.


With a 51-44 vote, the U.S. Senate confirmed Lawrence VanDyke to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. This was President Donald Trump’s 50th circuit court appointee and the 10th on the Ninth Circuit. (

VanDyke is from Bozeman, Montana, and graduated from Montana State and Harvard Law. He is 47 years old. His birthday is Dec. 12. What a birthday present!

Having the majority in the U.S. Senate has its perks for Trump-like getting your judges confirmed and, as we will soon see when you are impeached…


Only eight teams remain in the 2019 FCS football championship after the second round concluded Saturday night. The tournament will next resume with the quarterfinals on Friday, Dec. 13. (

Two of those eight teams are Montana State Bobcats and Montana Grizzlies! Friday night is when the Bobcats and Grizzlies play:

  • Austin Peay vs. No. 5 Montana State | 6 p.m. on ESPN3
  • No. 6 Montana vs. No. 3 Weber State | 8 p.m. on ESPN2

Times listed are Mountain Time.


There are only five undefeated major college basketball teams left. They are:

11-0 Liberty, 10-0 San Diego State, 9-0 Ohio State, 8-0 Auburn, and 8-0 Duquesne. (CBS Sports)

I don’t really care – it’s still football season!


With a victory over the New England Patriots, my Kansas City Chiefs won their fourth consecutive AFC West title. (USA Today)

Chiefs are starting to play better.