Thursday Numbers

Quote for today…

A wise person knows that there is something to be learned from everyone. – Unknown

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

This week’s topics include the Mega Millions jackpot, deaths from coronavirus, unemployment, fully immunized Montanans, Gianforte’s employment plan, The Western Word poll results, Biden’s new vaccination goal, Trump & Facebook, alone in the wilderness, and much more!


That’s the jackpot ($370 million) for Friday night’s Mega Millions lottery. (

You can’t win if you don’t play…


That is how many people have died in the United States from coronavirus, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. There are 32,558,066 cases across the country so far. The first death in the USA was reported on February 29, 2020. (Johns Hopkins)

Last week the death total was 574,330.


In the week ending May 1, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 498,000, a decrease of 92,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. The previous week’s level was revised up by 37,000 from 553,000 to 590,000. The 4-week moving average was 560,000, a decrease of 61,000 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500. The previous week’s average was revised up by 9,250 from 611,750 to 621,000. (DOL)

*Note: On Thursdays, this column is published right after 6:30 a.m. (Montana time), so I can post the latest unemployment numbers.


That is how many Montanans have been fully immunized for COVID-19. (Source)

Last week the number of fully immunized Montanans was 315,296.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Montana’s estimated population in July 2019 was 1,068,778.

We should all be wearing masks and practicing social distancing until we have a higher percentage of fully immunized Montanans.


Montana Governor Greg Gianforte announced two measures to address the state’s severe workforce shortage and incentivize Montanans to reenter the labor force. The State of Montana will launch a return-to-work bonus program, utilizing federal funds authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act. Return-to-work bonuses will be paid to unemployed individuals who rejoin the labor force and accept and maintain steady employment for at least one month. The Return-to-Work Bonus initiative will offer $1,200 payments to individuals receiving unemployment benefits as of May 4, 2021, who subsequently accept employment and complete at least four paid weeks of work. (News.MT.Gov)

Additionally, Gianforte announced that beginning June 27, 2021, Montana will no longer be issuing supplemental $300 weekly payments to claimants under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program.

I think it’s a little too early to implement these measures and they may end up harming some people.


Here are the results from the latest poll from The Western Word that asked, “What Overall Grade Would You Give The 2021 Montana Legislature?”

F – 74.36%
D – 15.38%
B – 05.13%
C – 02.56%
A – 02.56%

Thank you for participating!


President Joe Biden set a new vaccination goal to deliver at least one shot to 70% of adult Americans by July Fourth as he tackles the vexing problem of winning over the “doubters” and those unmotivated to get inoculated. (AP)

Get vaccinated!


Four months after Facebook suspended President Donald Trump’s accounts, having concluded that he incited violence leading to the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the company’s quasi-independent oversight board upheld the bans. But it told Facebook to specify how long they would last, saying that its “indefinite” ban on the former president was unreasonable. The ruling, which gives Facebook six months to comply, effectively postpones any possible Trump reinstatement and puts the onus for that decision squarely back on the company. (AP)

He will need Facebook if he decides to run for President again – many of his uneducated followers keep up with him this way.


A woman who went missing nearly six months ago was found living in a tent in a national forest in Utah, subsisting on a diet including grass and moss — after a drone that was searching for her crashed nearby, authorities said.

The 47-year-old, who wasn’t publicly identified, was discovered Sunday in a remote campground of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. (NY Post)

The old grass and moss diet – I should try it.