Skip to main content
ABC News
Significant Digits For Friday, April 1, 2016

Welcome to Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news.

A public service announcement: Today is April Fool’s Day, which means much of the internet will be terrible. Be extra-skeptical is all I’m saying.

0 Canadian teams

It’s a dire year in Canada: It is now mathematically impossible for any of the seven Canadian teams in the NHL to make it to the playoffs this year. The last time there was a hockey playoff without Canadian teams was 1970. [CBC]

12 to 14 movies

Amazon has said it intends to release 12 to 14 original movies annually through Amazon Studios. The first such film was Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq,” which was released on Amazon to Prime users in February, soon after it was released in 305 theaters to qualify for awards consideration. Amazon Studios bought four independent films at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. [Wired]

16 minutes

People taking the sleep-aid drug Belsomra fell asleep six minutes faster than those taking a placebo and stayed asleep 16 minutes longer, according to the company’s large-scale clinical trial. Despite this modest effect, its manufacturer, Merck, spent $96 million promoting the drug last year, and analysts believe over the next decade it will become the top-selling insomnia drug on the market. [The Huffington Post]

50 delegates

South Carolina’s Republican party makes candidates pledge to support the eventual nominee in order to get on the primary ballot. Donald Trump made that pledge and got on the primary ballot, and later won 50 delegates in the state. But on Tuesday, he said he has been treated unfairly and will no longer pledge to support the eventual nominee. This has thrown those 50 delegates into doubt, according to the South Carolina GOP chair. Sad! [TIME]


How much a women’s soccer player on the U.S. national team makes per exhibition game, with a bonus of $1,350 for a win. If that person was playing for the men’s national team, the game check would be $5,000 with a win bonus of between $6,250 and $17,625. This disparity — plus the relative success of the world champion women’s soccer team compared with the not-world champion men’s soccer team — has led five players to file a federal wage discrimination complaint. [The New York Times]


Amount sought by two fisherman who recovered a United States Geological Survey buoy that came unmoored from its home at a depth of 300 meters outside of Monterey Bay, California. The government would very much like this expensive scientific device back; the fishermen claim they salvaged it and thus own it, and would prefer to give it back in exchange for $13,000. [Ars Technica]

If you haven’t already, you really need to sign up for the Significant Digits newsletter — be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news.

And if you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to @WaltHickey.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.