Thursday Numbers

Quote for today…

Direction is so much more important than speed. Many are going nowhere fast. – 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 – Alex Jones, lottery jackpots, COVID numbers, unemployment, Army National Guard, House/Senate projections, Biden approval, most politically engaged states, gas prices, and more!


Jurors ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Wednesday to pay $965 million to Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims’ relatives and an FBI agent, who said he turned their loss and trauma into years of torment by promoting the lie that the rampage was a hoax. (AP)

Jones is scum…


The Mega Millions lottery jackpot is still growing! The estimated jackpot for Friday’s drawing is $494,000,000. (Mega Millions)

The Powerball jackpot is not too shabby, either. It is $454,000,000. (Source)

Good luck!


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 96,836,953 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 1,061,490.


In the week ending October 8, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 228,000, an increase of 9,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 219,000. The 4-week moving average was 211,500, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 206,500. (DOL)

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


Soldiers are leaving the Army National Guard at a faster rate than they are enlisting, fueling concerns that in the coming years units around the country may not meet military requirements for overseas and other deployments. According to officials, the number of soldiers retiring or leaving the Guard each month in the past year has exceeded those coming in, for a total annual loss of about 7,500 service members. The problem is a combination of recruiting shortfalls and an increase in the number of soldiers who are opting not to reenlist when their tour is up. (AP)

I still think serving in the military is an honorable thing…


According to, the Republicans currently have a 71% chance of winning the majority in the House. (Source)

Last week the chance of Republicans winning the House was 69%.


According to, currently, the Democrats have a 65% chance of keeping the majority in the U.S. Senate. (Source)

Last week the chance of Democrats winning the Senate was 67%.


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

Last week, Biden’s approval rating was 42.3%.


WalletHub says that Montana is the 12th most politically engaged state. (WalletHub)

Check out how your state ranks by clicking on the link.

0.060 – 11.13

That is the price range per gallon of gas worldwide as of October 10, 2022. (Source)

In the USA, the average price per gallon of gas on October 10 was $3.99. Last week (Oct. 3), the average price in the USA was $3.99.

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3 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. Good Morning Jackie,

    Thanks again for your column. I too am getting more of the last minute political hit pieces. But today, I saw an ad for Ryan Zinke trying to tie Monica Tranel to President Biden and Nancy Pelosi.
    After watching the January 6 House Investigative Committee’s presentation showing Speaker Pelosi taking charge and trying to mobilize help to the Capital while Trump sat in his private dining room watching it unfold on television.

    And a quick review of the accomplishments of President Biden in dealing with COVID, a war in eastern Europe, his work on the environment and the economy, etc., all fought tooth and nail by the Republicans in Congress It certainly makes me want to vote for Ms. Tranel.

    Zinke’s record of disgrace and his allegience to Trump certainly cannot be attractive to the average Montana voter.

    Hopefully, the voters will recognize the paradox of this ad and see it for the cynicism it represents in trying to fool the average voter with scary pictures and assertions not fully tied to reality.

    • I’m thinking the Zinke/Tranel race may be closer than people think. I sense some uneasiness from the MAGA folks because the attacks on Tranel are intensifying. Should be a fun election night with that race and the state Supreme Court race getting lots of attention. Thanks, JmB

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