Thursday Numbers

Quote for today…

I don’t know where you got your opinion, but I hope you kept the receipt. – 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 – lottery jackpot, COVID numbers, Montana Millionaire, unemployment, House/Senate projections, campaign literature, Biden approval, voter turnout, Britt Reid, interest rates, gas prices, and more!


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

A ticket sold in Montana won $2 million in last night’s drawing.


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 97,611,400 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 1,069,449.


It took about 29 hours this year for all tickets for the Montana Millionaire game to be sold, reflecting the growing popularity of the lottery offering in which the ticket often serves as a holiday gift. The 280,000 tickets went on sale for $20 at 5:30 a.m. Nov. 1 at 834 outlets and sold out by 10:30 a.m. Nov. 2, said Daniel Iverson, spokesman for the state-run Montana Lottery. (Helena IR)

Good luck!


In the week ending October 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 217,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 217,000 to 218,000. The 4-week moving average was 218,750, a decrease of 500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 219,000 to 219,250. (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 an 85% chance of winning the majority in the House. (Source)

Last week the chance of Republicans winning the House was 81%.


So far this election season, I have received about 72 pieces of campaign literature in the mail.

Is this a great country or what?


According to, currently, the Republicans have a 53% chance of winning the majority in the U.S. Senate. (Source)

Last week the chance of Democrats winning the Senate was 54%.


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

Last week, Biden’s approval rating was 41.8%.


Four in 10 U.S. registered voters say they plan to vote before Election Day or have already voted, a higher proportion than in recent midterm elections. Significantly more voters plan to vote before Election Day this year (41%) than did in 2010 (26%), the first time Gallup asked the question in a midterm election year. (Gallup)


With a week left until Election Day, 28% of registered voters in Montana have already cast mail-in ballots, representing less than half of the ballots that were sent to voters last month. (Lee Newspapers)

Don’t forget to vote!


Former Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison for driving while intoxicated and causing a 2021 crash that severely injured a 5-year-old girl. Reid, who is the son of Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, had pleaded guilty to a single felony charge of driving while intoxicated, causing serious injury, for the Feb. 4, 2021, crash. (KC Star)

This is a light sentence for destroying the young girl’s life.


When the Fed ended its latest policy meeting Wednesday, it announced that it was pumping up its benchmark rate by a substantial three-quarters of a point for a fourth straight time. Its key rate now stands in a range of 3.75% to 4%, the highest in 15 years. (AP)

Like I said last time, interest rates are going up and Great Falls and Cascade County are raising our taxes. Now they want us to pay for a public safety levy. Bite me…

0.060 – 11.13

That is the price range per gallon of gas worldwide as of October 31, 2022. (Source)

In the USA, the average price per gallon of gas on October 31 was $3.96. Last week (Oct. 24), the average price in the USA was $4.02.


Cristian Javier and Houston’s bullpen combined on just the second no-hitter in World Series history, silencing a booming lineup and boisterous fans as the Houston Astros blanked the Philadelphia Phillies 5-0 Wednesday night to even the matchup at two games each. (AP)

That was quite a game. Historical!

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8 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. 0 (zero, zip, zilch) is also the number of credible reports/news stories since Monday of fentanyl in Halloween candy.

    Zero stands in stark contrast to the impending deluge that was most surely about to swamp the candy bags of America’s kids according to the very loud and lurid pre-Halloween claims of numerous duplicitous Chicken Littles of the Republican persuasion, ferociously fearmongering ahead of the 2022 election. (Much like they did with ebola before the 2014 midterms.) Even our Montana R senator and a local MAGA commissioner spread it on thick.

    Oddly enough, crickets on the subject from those types since Monday, for whatever reason.

    It’s a shame these pols can’t or won’t put anywhere near the same time and energy into warning parents about keeping guns locked up so kids don’t accidentally shoot their siblings, friends, parents, themselves, whomever. Because that truly is a real thing that happened many times around the country in October and in the days since.

    Following opinion piece examines the Halloween fentanyl claims and public officials/politicians’ true motivations.

    • Terry,
      Good observation. Unfortunately, now that marijuana is being eliminated as a revenue stream for federal funding for law enforcement, they need to turn their focus to a new subject. Marijuana users etc. were easy prey and many a department got fat on confiscation of funds and property, particularly vehicles in the process.
      Fentynal, sadly, is an extremely dangerous drug that seems to be replacing meth as the drug of choice for many users. But no one connects this use to the continuing ravages of opiod addition as placed upon us by Big Pharma. Unfortunately, there is little assistance to the addicted beyond criminal prosecution. Fentanyl is big business and really very little is being done about it beyond the Halloween scare tactics you point out. I wish I had an answer but I’m not being paid to come up with one either.
      I enjoy your comments.

      • The law enforcement-centric after-the-fact “War on Drugs” approach to the drug problem has been in effect since Nixon announced it in 1971, 50 years ago, and we see the stellar results today. It’s been working so well that adding small armadas of new police officers and court officials to deal with the problem after the fact is still the preferred approach.

        The Public Safety Levy that the city of Great Falls might possibly (nudge nudge, wink wink, possibly) ask us to consider next year seems to be limited to adding such additional public payroll, as shown in a first cut document from City staff that the commission reviewed the other evening.

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