Thursday Numbers

Quote for today…

There is no “we” in chocolate. – Unknown

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.

Topics include – Jim Beam, Mega Millions, Montana cannabis sales, COVID numbers, unemployment, House/Senate projections, Biden approval, new Missoula Mayor, inflation, gas prices, and more!


Beam Suntory said Wednesday it is aiming to produce more Jim Beam bourbon while cutting back on its greenhouse-gas emissions. The company, which is owned by Japanese parent Suntory, said it would invest $400 million in renewable energy systems while boosting bourbon production at its largest Kentucky distillery. (CNBC)

What is your favorite bourbon?


The Mega Millions lottery jackpot is getting huge. The estimated jackpot for Friday’s drawing is $256,000,000. (Mega Millions)

Good luck!


So far in 2022, Montana dispensary operators have sold more than $201 million of cannabis ($133 million coming from adult-use sales) in a state that only houses roughly 1.1 million residents. Those sales have provided the state with nearly $29.3 million in tax revenue. (Cannabis Business Times)

No matter what the critics say, I think this is a good thing.


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 95,490,512 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 1,048,989.


In the week ending September 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 213,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 4,000 from 222,000 to 218,000. The 4-week moving average was 224,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 1,000 from 233,000 to 232,000. (DOL)

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


According to, the Republicans currently have a 72% chance of winning the majority in the House. (Source)

Last week the chance of Republicans winning the House was 74%.


According to, currently, the Democrats have a 71% chance of keeping the majority in the U.S. Senate. (Source)

Last week the chance of Democrats winning the Senate was 70%.


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

Last week, Biden’s approval rating was 42.5%.


After 22 rounds of voting and numerous comments voicing frustration over the selection process, the Missoula City Council selected council member Jordan Hess to serve as Missoula’s mayor until 2023 during a meeting Monday. (Missoulian)

That would have been fun to watch…


Lower gas costs slowed U.S. inflation for a second straight month in August, but most other prices across the economy kept rising — evidence that inflation remains a heavy burden for American households. Consumer prices rose 8.3% from a year earlier and 0.1% from July. But the jump in “core” prices, which exclude volatile food and energy costs, was especially worrisome. (AP)

0.084 – 11.23

That is the range of the price per gallon of gas around the world as of September 12, 2022. (Source)

In the USA, the average price per gallon of gas on September 12 was $3.96. Last week (Sept. 5), the average price in the USA was $4.10.

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6 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. Good Morning Jackie,
    Your numbers are generally pretty interesting and today’s presentation continues that situation.
    One number that struck me is the amount of sales and tax revenue from the sale of cannabis. Since you are adept at doing this type of research could you present the comparason amongst the monies spent, the tax revenue generated and the social costs (law enforcement, addiction issues, etc.) of cannabis, liquor and gambling?
    I think this would be enlightening to everyone, especially in relation to the issues you have been recently discussing related to cannabis elections, dispensery locations, and law enforcement in Great Falls and Cascade County?
    I hope this peaks your interst.

      • You could try contacting our City Manager. He’s continually making the claim that any revenue from marijuana will never make up for the costs. Even though he has never enumerated those costs or said how he came up with them, he must have some credible dispassionate source(s) because I doubt he would try to slide by a simple Appeal to Authority argument.

        Probably has the same cost/benefit analysis for alcohol, tobacco, and gambling right at his fingertips too. And fancy city staff produced Powerpoint presentations showing why we like those but dope is bad, replete with eight-by-ten color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one is.

  2. The Montana legislature with its fat state budget surplus it is itching to give away should return any non-earmarked portion of that $29.3 million in dope taxes to the “green” counties. If they hadn’t intentionally undermined the original referendum’s proposed revenue distribution formula some of that money would be flowing to counties today.

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