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Significant Digits For Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, subscribe.

3 winners

Wednesday night’s Powerball lottery drawing had three winning tickets. The final advertised jackpot of $564 million was the fifth-biggest in U.S. history. Earlier Wednesday, when the jackpot was estimated to be $500 million, I wrote there was a 67 percent chance at least one person would win. [ABC News]


4 reactors

After the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster, Japan shut down all its nuclear reactors. On Wednesday, two of those reactors were green-lit to resume generation, joining two reactors already reauthorized to resume. That means there will still be 44 idle commercial reactors. [Kyodo News]


8 percent ABV

Bud Light has created three new monstrosities known as MIXXTAILS, beverages that are 8 percent alcohol by volume and flavored to taste like a cocktail. Our nation has still not recovered from the Four Loko craze. [Eater]


15 to 60 minutes

SpaceX on Wednesday launched a satellite designed to monitor solar storms. The satellite is called Dscovr — presumably losing a couple of vowels to drop weight and save on fuel costs — and can give Earth between 15 and 60 minutes’ notice if an electromagnetic wave of energy ejected from the sun is poised to hit us and cause mass communication and electrical disruption. So that’s nice. [The New York Times]


22 percent

Do you keep a motion tracker on your wrist? I used to, but then I lost it while inebriated, during a FitBit-throwing contest that I totally won. It turns out I may have made the right call; the device might have been logging more steps than I took. Researchers have found there is up to a 22 percent difference between the number of steps a wristband logs and the number someone takes. [Mother Jones]

45 percent

According to the National Science Foundation, 45 percent of Americans believe in astrology, up from 32 percent in 2006. I blame the “Battlestar Galactica” reboot. [The Washington Post]

75 percent

There’s a surprising amount of work that goes into perfect popcorn. We’ve figured out the ideal moisture content, weight and shape for kernels, and since 1950 have cut the unpopped kernel rate by 75 percent. [Los Angeles Times]

9,834 Teslas

Tesla, the electric car manufacturer, moved 9,834 vehicles in the fourth quarter 0f 2014, missing expectations of analysts and internal goals. The company announced it intends to move 55,000 of its Model S and Model X vehicles in 2015. [Bloomberg Business]

60,000 tons of salt

Boston, the frozen tundra that drivers eventually hit when they miss their exit to New York, has dumped 60,000 tons of salt onto its roads after this season’s unrelenting snowfall. The city that was known for dumping its sewage into its harbor is naturally considering dumping its snow into its harbor. When all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. [Popular Science]

$200 million

The amount of Russian money invested in condominiums in New York City’s Time Warner Center. The New York Times identified 20 such condos bought by Russians or citizens of the former Soviet bloc. This is part of a larger trend of foreign investment paying top dollar for the city’s real estate. [The New York Times]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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