Thursday Numbers

Quote for today…

The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence; the past is a place of learning, not a place of living. ― Roy T. Bennett

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” If 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 lottery jackpots, COVID numbers, unemployment, Montana State Library, Drag Queen Story Hour, Biden approval numbers, gas tax, fake news, worldwide gas prices, and more!


That’s the jackpot for Saturday’s Powerball lottery. (Source)


That’s the jackpot for Friday’s Mega Millions lottery. (Source)

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 have been 86,636,381 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 1,012,607.


Commissioners of the Montana State Library, which manages a variety of state records and information systems, are considering scuttling a nearly $300,000 rebranding project because of what they regard as the new logo’s visual proximity to the LGBTQ Pride flag. (MTFP)

What a crock. Turn off Fox News and join the real world….


In the week ending June 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 229,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 2,000 from 229,000 to 231,000. The 4-week moving average was 223,500, an increase of 4,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 500 from 218,500 to 219,000. (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’s how many people attended the “Drag Queen Story Hour” at ZooMontana in Billings Wednesday. (Billings Gazette)

Nice turnout! Good job ZooMontana and 406 Pride!


According to, that is President Joe Biden’s current approval rating. (Source)

Last week, Biden’s approval rating was 40%.


President Joe Biden on Wednesday called on Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months — an election-year move meant to ease financial pressures that was greeted with doubts by many lawmakers. At issue is the 18.4 cents-a-gallon federal tax on gas and the 24.4 cents-a-gallon federal tax on diesel fuel. If the gas savings were fully passed along to consumers, people would save roughly 3.6% at the pump when prices are averaging about $5 a gallon nationwide. (AP)

I do not think this will happen…


Donald Trump once said, “I love the poorly educated,” so he must love some of his local MAGA followers in Great Falls. Some of his followers have been sharing a photo on social media that claims to show the gas price of $7.11 at a 7-Eleven Store in mid-June 2022.

It is fake. (Source)

0.084 – 11.35

That is the average price per gallon of gas around the world as of June 20, 2022. (Source)

In the USA, the average price on June 20 was $5.19. The week before (June 6), the average price in the USA was $5.19.

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2 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. 50,000

    The estimated monthly revenue from the countywide extra 3% marijuana tax that the Cascade County commission is belatedly sending to voters to approve (or not) this November. That would be an extra $600,000/yr to be split between county and cities in it. Seems like maybe enough to hire on maybe four extra sworn officers between county and cities? Some of our City commissioners have been going on about that need for some time. So what the heck was the County waiting for? This could have been addressed last fall, or in this past primary, and the money would already have been flowing. There was no need for a petition in this case.

    The world surely works in mysterious ways. For the longest time Commissioner Briggs said he had no intention of asking county voters for that extra tax, none. GF City Manager Doyon constantly dismissed the possibility of marijuana tax money telling the City commission that the County had no intent of imposing that tax, and in one recent work session went as far as to tell them it wasn’t that much money anyhow. On June 7 Yellowstone County voters roundly rejected their commission’s attempt to de-legalize. Then poof! all of a sudden on June 14 Doyon appears in front of that recent multi-level governmental pow-wow saying, “Tax it! Tax away!” – which seemed odd for a guy who had so recently been pooh-poohing enough money to pay for four extra police officers in the county. And now all of a sudden out of the blue on June 21 Briggs and the County commission do a fast 180 and decide oh hey, I guess we’re going to put that on the ballot after all. Just strange. These people must have suddenly “evolved” for some reason.

  2. The great thing about America is that a person can dress up however they want. Guys want to be girls, girls want to be guys, and dudes from back East with thick Maryland accents can dress up like cowboys. It’s just not a biggie. I came across this video for all those wannabe macho faux cowboys still trying to convince everyone that their swagger isn’t a swish!

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