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Significant Digits For Monday, Oct. 15, 2018

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

150 stores

The venerable retailer Sears — kids, think of a company like Amazon but in a physical building and without books, I guess? — is planning to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy and close up to 150 stores. Ten years ago, Sears employed over 300,000 people. Now, Sears and Kmart, which is owned by the same hedge fund manager, employ just 68,000 combined. [The New York Times]

$143 million

Channeling my inner Walt Hickey here: “Venom,” a movie about a very-long-tongued “sentient alien Symbiote with an amorphous, liquid-like form, who requires a host, usually human, to bond with for its survival” (per Wikipedia), remained in the No. 1 box office slot for a second weekend in a row, bringing in $35.7 million. “A Star Is Born,” the Bradley Cooper-Lady Gaga vehicle, took second place with $28 million. “First Man,” a movie about Neil Armstrong which somehow caused a controversy about flags, took third with $16.5 million. I saw “The Old Man & the Gun” this weekend, which cost me $15 not including Sour Patch Kids. It was fine. [Box Office Mojo]

46 percent vs. 6 percent

The two parties’ fates in the House and the Senate are, oddly, moving in opposite directions, as Democrats’ prospects look pretty rosy in the House while Republicans look increasingly likely to hold the Senate. “One obvious but overlooked difference between the House and the Senate is that Democratic incumbents have very little exposure in the House but a ton of it in the Senate,” my colleague Nate Silver wrote. To wit: There’s a 46 percent chance that the tipping-point race in the Senate will be one with a Democratic incumbent; there’s only a 6 percent chance that’s true for the House. [FiveThirtyEight]

30 years

Wales, thanks to torrential rains brought by Storm Callum, is experiencing its worst flooding in 30 years, according to the government-sponsored group Natural Resources Wales. One man died in a landslide in the village of Cwmduad. Some 100 sheep were washed away in Pontargothi, and a horse had to be rescued in Monmouthshire. [BBC]

$65 million settlement

Speaking of huge retailers, Walmart may soon pay a $65 million class-action settlement for making its cashiers stand, and failing to provide them with “suitable seats.” The suit was first brought in 2009, and some 100,000 current and former cashiers are eligible to receive payment. [Fortune]

56 consecutive games

Last night, for the 56th straight game stretching back to 2014, Tom Brady was favored by the Vegas oddsmakers to win his football game — that’s a Super Bowl-era record. Kurt Warner was favored in 55 consecutive games from 1999 to 2003. Brady and his New England Patriots did indeed beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 43-40 — but they didn’t beat the spread. [ESPN]

Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s new book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s in stores now! I hope you dig it.

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

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.