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Significant Digits For Friday, May 5, 2017

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.

2 busted students

In an elaborate scheme involving air ducts, two students attempted to steal a final exam from an instructor’s office at 2 a.m. at the University of Kentucky. They were busted when the professor returned from a late night meal. [The New York Times]

77 percent

Canadian authorities are recalling Bombay Sapphire gin bottles due to a batch that was 77 percent alcohol rather than 40 percent. I prefer to call those happy little accidents. [The Guardian]


The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would remove several protections for people with pre-existing conditions, cut Medicaid, allow states to get waivers that allow them to drop essential health benefits, cut taxes on the rich, phase out funding for Medicaid expansion and more. It now moves on to the Senate. [Shots, The New York Times]

$783 million

The Trump administration is refusing to release $783 million in payroll data related to over 10,000 government employees operating outside the U.S. [Asbury Park Press]

1.4 billion pounds

How much used vegetable oil was turned into biodiesel last year in U.S. refineries. It’s a pretty lucrative market, which now means that people are stealing gross, used vegetable oil out of the back of local restaurants. [Bloomberg]

$765 billion

The GOP House’s health care bill is estimated to cut taxes by approximately $765 billion. The top 20 percent of earners will get around 64 percent of those savings as health care for the poor is slashed. [NPR]

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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.