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Significant Digits For Monday, May 18, 2015

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The number of wins Barcelona and the impossible Lionel Messi are away from completing a historic “treble” — same-year victories in a national league, a national cup and a continental competition. After clinching the La Liga title on Sunday, Barcelona will face Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final on May 30, and Juventus in the Champions League final on June 6. Only a handful of teams in history, including Barcelona in the 2008-9 season, has completed the feat. Here comes treble? [ESPN FC]

7 percent

The share of elite athletes with a heart abnormality, based on a study of 2,354 Italian Olympic hopefuls. You see, this is why I don’t work out. [The Times]


The number of people killed in a shootout between rival biker gangs Sunday in Waco, Texas. The tragedy began as a fist fight, and “quickly escalated,” involving hands, feet, chains, knives and guns. Eighteen people were taken to the hospital. [CNN]


The number of Republican presidential hopefuls who addressed potential supporters at the Iowa GOP’s Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines on Saturday. In roughly 258 days, fully grown Iowans will crowd elementary school gymnasia across the state in a bizarre local ritual known as a “caucus.” [The New York Times]

15 years

The average time that an inmate executed in 2013 had spent on death row. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death on Friday for his role in the Boston Marathon bombing, but he’s unlikely to be executed any time soon, according to my colleague Ben Casselman’s analysis. Tsarnaev’s sentence came in federal court. Between 1988 and 2013, 71 federal defendants were sentenced to death, but only three have been executed. [FiveThirtyEight]


The year of the first lawful same-sex wedding in the United States — at least according to the two men who got married. Forty-four years later, as the Supreme Court considers whether to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, Jack Baker and Michael McConnell “are still happily married, and they love each other.” [The New York Times]

$2,800 a month

The official definition of “affordable” apartment rent for a family of four in New York City, according to a proposal by Mayor Bill de Blasio to extend tax breaks to certain landlords. New York I love you, but you’re freaking me out. If Walter Hickey were here, he’d probably tell me to move to Jersey City. [Capital New York]


The new record for most selfies taken simultaneously, set on Saturday. That many duck faces would strike fear into anyone’s heart, and I haven’t even told you that they were all Cardinals fans in Busch Stadium. The horror. [PR Newswire]

1 million air miles

The top prize offered by United Airlines to any “ethical hacker” who uncovers a major flaw in its security system. The bounty comes after a not-so-ethical hacker claimed to be able to control an airliner via the inflight entertainment system. No word yet on the prize for developing edible airline food, however. [NBC News]

$200 million

The potential payout to victims that Amtrak may face after last week’s derailment in Philadelphia. It’s the upper limit — the most Amtrak would possibly pay — set by Congress in 1997, in an effort to “rescue Amtrak from financial ruin.” The amount may not, however, be enough to cover the costs of the eight deaths and over 200 injuries suffered. [AP]

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The inimitable, vacationing Walter Hickey has handed me the keys to this column, so if you see a significant digit in the wild, tweet it to me @WaltHickey @Ollie. I’ll be here all week.

Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.