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Significant Digits For Monday, Oct. 17, 2016

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


Number of guns previously owned by Al Capone now in the possession of the IRS, which put the mobster away for tax evasion. The IRS recently sent the wrong gun owned by Capone — one obtained in in the 1930s, not the one confiscated in a raid in 2004 — to the Mob Museum in Vegas, thus reminding the agency of the abundance of Capone-related riches in its vaults. [The Wall Street Journal]

$1.25 million

Investor Peter Thiel will give Donald Trump $1.25 million in support of his candidacy. I thought the whole point of Silicon Valley venture capital was to invest early? [Reuters]

$10 million

A map of the world from 1531 will go on sale for $10 million later this month. The goat-skin map is believed to be the earliest to detail New York Harbor. [Bloomberg]

$61.8 million

The value of the coins that Americans throw away every year. Some companies are trying to tap into that “market.” [Bloomberg]

$2.2 billion

Sales of personal wet wipes in 2015. The industry is booming — and wreaking havoc on sewer systems. The issue comes down to what precisely defines “flushable.” Just because you can flush it does not mean you should; the definition, for advertising purposes, was set by an industry group, not the people who actually run sewer systems. [The Atlantic]

$3.1 billion

Amount spent on Halloween costumes in the U.S. according to the National Retail Federation. All told, consumers will spend $8.4 billion on the holiday, which explains those Halloween popup stores appearing all over the country. [Tedium]

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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.