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Significant Digits for Monday, Jan. 4, 2016

You’re once again reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news, back from a bacchanal of a New Year’s week.

0 percent chance

In a gut-wrenching post to his blog on Saturday, George R.R. Martin, the author of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, confessed that the next book in the series would not be published before the premiere of the sixth season of “Game of Thrones” on TV. As a result, the sixth season will spoil some of the book’s plot. Fans, present company included, are kind of broken up about all this. [NotABlog]

2nd carrier

China is constructing its second aircraft carrier and is claiming that everything on it will have been designed and built by China. [Popular Mechanics]


As expected, Uber’s surge pricing on New Year’s Eve was very high. In Miami Beach, surge pricing was spotted as high as 9.9 times the normal fare. [The Grio]

15 to 150 militia members

An armed militia has taken over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Oregon. While the armed militia claims 150 people have commandeered the government property, reports in the area say the number could be closer to around 15 people. The occupation is led by Ammon Bundy, the son of that guy who had an armed confrontation over grazing fees owed to the federal government. [Oregon Live]

20 percent

Probability that the Carolina Panthers win the Super Bowl, the highest of any NFL team that has made the playoffs, according to the FiveThirtyEight Elo model. [FiveThirtyEight]

29 percent

IRS penalties have increased for Americans who do not have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The nudge appears to be working: Enrollment is up 29 percent compared to this time last year. [The New York Times]

48 hours

After Saudi Arabia executed a Shiite cleric who had criticized the kingdom’s treatment of Shiites, Iranians burned Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran. Saudi Arabia is furious and has cut diplomatic ties with Iran, a largely Shiite country, over the attack. The Iranian ambassador and other diplomats now have 48 hours to leave the country. [Bloomberg]

200 journalists

ACI Media Group began delivering the Boston Globe on Dec. 28. Rather, they started mostly delivering it — there have been widespread delivery problems across the region. On Sunday, about 200 Boston Globe employees pitched in and delivered newspapers to subscribers who had been snubbed by the newspaper’s new delivery team. [The New York Times]

$5,000 per case

New York’s lawsuit against DraftKings and FanDuel has shifted a bit: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman now wants the companies to pay a $5,000 penalty for every consumer affected, and for the companies to pay back all the money they made related to the alleged violations. The suit claims that New Yorkers spent $25 million on DraftKings alone in 2014. [Yahoo News]

$1.51 billion

Total haul of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” worldwide, with $740.3 million of that from the domestic market. In a week, the film opens in China, which could advance that worldwide financial haul substantially higher. [Bloomberg]

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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.