Thursday Numbers

Quote for today…

Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it. – Andy Rooney

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 – lottery jackpots, COVID numbers, unemployment, House/Senate projections, Biden approval, trust in the mass media, Most & Least Energy-Efficient States, gas prices, and more!


That is the Powerball Jackpot for Saturday’s lottery drawing. (Powerball)


Two tickets sold in California and Florida matched all the numbers for the $494,000,000 Mega Millions lottery jackpot on Friday. (Mega Millions)

Pro-Tip: If you have friends and/or relatives in these states, call and see how they are doing…


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 97,083,662 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 1,064,058.


In the week ending October 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 214,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 2,000 from 228,000 to 226,000. The 4-week moving average was 212,250, an increase of 1,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 500 from 211,500 to 211,000. (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 75% chance of winning the majority in the House. (Source)

Last week the chance of Republicans winning the House was 71%.


According to, currently, the Democrats have a 61% chance of keeping the majority in the U.S. Senate. (Source)

Last week the chance of Democrats winning the Senate was 65%.


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

Last week, Biden’s approval rating was 42.4%.


At 34%, Americans’ trust in the mass media to report the news “fully, accurately and fairly” is essentially unchanged from last year and just two points higher than the lowest that Gallup has recorded, in 2016 during the presidential campaign. (Gallup)

These days you can get your news to fit your political preferences – and that is not good for the USA.


This week the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on 2022’s Most & Least Energy-Efficient States, with Montana coming in at 31. In order to determine which states are doing more with less energy, WalletHub compared 48 states across two key dimensions, “Home Energy Efficiency” and “Auto Energy Efficiency.” (WalletHub)

Check out the complete report by clicking on the link (above).

0.060 – 11.13

That is the price range per gallon of gas worldwide as of October 17, 2022. (Source)

In the USA, the average price per gallon of gas on October 17 was $4.09. Last week (Oct. 10), the average price in the USA was $3.99.

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6 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. ” I squandered my resistance for a pocket full of mumbles. All lies and jest: Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”

    • Ahhhh…The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel!

      “In the clearing stands a boxer
      And a fighter by his trade
      And he carries the reminders
      Of every glove that laid him down
      And cut him ’til he cried out
      In his anger and his shame
      ‘I am leaving, I am leaving’
      But the fighter still remains, mhmm.“

      • I wondered who would reply. I should have known you would know this pithy tune. Good blog, by the way. Keep up the good work. Rest assured the persuadable are reading 🙂

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