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Significant Digits For Monday, Feb. 26, 2018

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

33 percent

The pet food market has grown 33 percent in the past five years, as U.S. pet owners have started purchasing premium food for their domestic beasts. This has led to some mergers and acquisitions, like General Mills shelling out $8 billion for Blue Buffalo Pet Products. [Bloomberg]


37 percent

Senator Dianne Feinstein of California received a mild rebuke from the state’s Democratic party when it did not endorse her in the primary for one of the state’s U.S. Senate seats. Feinstein received only 37 percent of the vote at the statewide convention, while state senate leader Kevin de León took 54 percent of the vote. [The Washington Post]


40 percent

Norway is really, really good at cross-country skiing, but also super uncomfortable being boastful, which is making for some delightful handwringing over its unmatched success at the Olympics this year. The catch-22 for Norwegians is that while they do love winning, one nation dominating a sport is bad for the sport. Since its domination of cross-country skiing began in 2011, viewership of televised European ski races has slid 40 percent. [The New York Times]


$108 million

“Black Panther” had another massive weekend at the box office, beating Disney forecasts to make $108 million in its second weekend in North America. It has made $400 million domestically so far. [Bloomberg]


1.2 billion

Number of golf balls produced annually. Lots of those get lost, and given the proximity of some courses to the ocean, an enormous number of golf balls end up in oceanic habitats. A group of California students cleared the seafloor near Pebble Beach Golf Links of nearly 2,000 of them, but that’s a fraction of the estimated 300 million golf balls that disappear every year in the U.S. [Hakai Magazine]


$12 billion

That’s how much NBC paid for the rights to broadcast the Olympics from 2014 through 2032. That enormous investment is doing fine, but a ratings slide may be making some at Comcast a little skittish. Viewership of the Pyeongchang games was down 24 percent compared to Sochi in the key 18-49 demo. [CNN Money]


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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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