I'm reading the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in English for the first time, and came across the passage when Zaphod Beeblebrox is going to steal the Heart of Gold.
It strikes me that it says things like:
Within seconds he ran out onto the deck and waved and grinned at over three billion people.
It is implied that this is a huge event, and he is the President of the Galaxy, so many, many people should be watching.
Wikipedia says English billions used to be a million millions, but it became more popular to mean a thousand millions around 1950. Given the Earth currently hosts around seven new-billion people, 3 new-billion people doesn't seem to be that many people for the whole Galaxy. The Earth didn't count in that moment - it was being destroyed, and we didn't have intergalactical tri-D TV at the time, anyways - but it still sounds like too few.
On the other hand, at the time of writing, TVs weren't so common, so great events like the Apollo mission weren't seen by that many people live. But, once again, the story is about more technologically advanced civilizations, so it won't be that rare to think of better TV penetration.
So... Is there any canon reference about this, either on the radio shows, books, TV series, movie...? Any interview with Douglas Adams stating this itself?
Were there a thousand million watchers in the Galaxy, or a million millions?