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Significant Digits For Friday, June 21, 2019

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. Your regular Significant Digits host Oliver Roeder is out, so Erin Doherty, FiveThirtyEight’s politics intern, will be taking over for the next week. (Don’t worry, Oliver will be back.) In the meantime, got a significant digit? Send it along to @erin_dohh.

21 cities

By 2030, 40 percent of India’s population is predicted to be out of drinking water, according to a report by the National Institution for Transforming India, the country’s main planning agency. By the end of next year, 21 cities could run out of groundwater. Weaker monsoon seasons paired with high temperatures are at least partially to blame for the threat to the water supply in the country. [Al Jazeera]


Round of 16, that is. The U.S. women’s national team topped Sweden Thursday afternoon in a 2-0 victory, propelling the U.S. team into the World Cup’s round of 16 as the first-place finishers out of Group F. A goal in the third minute stunned the Swedes (and some fans, too) and the U.S. managed to hold the lead for the rest of the game. The USWNT will face Spain on Monday in the round of 16. [FiveThirtyEight]

186 pounds

Gunner, a K-9 dog in Washington State, sniffed out $1 million worth of meth on Monday. The meth was distributed between two suitcases and ditched in a bushy area in a Washington State forest, weighing in at about 186 pounds. [CBS News]

65 Bitcoins

The small town of Riviera Beach, Florida paid nearly $600,000 in ransom to hackers that seized control of the city’s computer systems on May 29. The three-week long attack, which took down some of the city’s emails, phones and water utility pump stations, began when a police department employee opened an email with an infected attachment. Despite the City Council’s hefty ransom (exactly 65 Bitcoins), there is no guarantee that the hackers will turn the data over to its rightful owners. [The New York Times]

14.5 million people

We weren’t the only ones captivated by James Holzhauer’s historic “Jeopardy!” run. FiveThirtyEight staffers and approximately 14.5 million people tuned in on June 3 to witness Holzhauer’s defeat after 32 straight victories. Holzhauer’s final television appearance topped U.S. viewing numbers for the first four games of the NBA Finals between Toronto and Golden State, and he garnered more viewers than the initial airing of the series finale of “Game of Thrones.” Yes, you read that right. [Associated Press]

463 pounds

A 12 foot long, 463-pound alligator collided with a semi-truck earlier this month when it tried to cross a Florida highway. The truck won, leaving the unnamed alligator with a seriously injured snout and head. Due to the alligator’s condition, it was put down shortly after the accident. [CNN]

Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.”

If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @erin_dohh (for now).

Erin Doherty was a politics intern for FiveThirtyEight.