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Significant Digits For Monday, Oct. 24, 2016

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

10 times

The Chicago Cubs are going to the World Series for the first time since 1945. The Cubs have not won the World Series since 1908, when there was still an Ottoman Empire. Moreover, their victory in the National League Championship Series means the L.A. Dodgers are not going to the World Series. This is the 10th consecutive time that the Dodgers have made the postseason without making it to the World Series, a first in professional baseball! History made by both teams. [ESPN]

13.7 percent

In a typical election year, Utah should pretty much be a lock for the GOP. But it is not a typical year, and Republican Donald Trump has a 77.2 percent chance of winning Utah, according to FiveThirtyEight’s polls-only forecast. Nine percent of FiveThirtyEight simulations see Democrat Hillary Clinton winning the state, but 13.7 percent have it going to independent conservative Evan McMullin, a candidate previously so unknown that the web publishing platform where I’m writing this still considers his last name a typo. [FiveThirtyEight]

37.5 cents

On Nov. 1, the per-gallon gasoline tax rate in New Jersey will jump from 14.5 cents — one of the lowest in the nation — to 37.5 cents, one of the highest, to fix the state’s road system. The hike was signed into law Oct. 14, and two state senators are already trying to repeal it. []


The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals estimates that there are a half-million feral and stray cats hanging around New York City, and having them here is apparently worth the horrifying cat sex noises I hear outside my apartment regularly. The cat colonies keep rodent populations down, and groups of them have been deployed to rat-heavy areas. [The Associated Press]

$85.4 billion

AT&T Inc. has agreed to buy Time Warner Inc. — home of CNN, HBO, DC Comics and more — for $85.4 billion, pending regulator approval. [Bloomberg]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.