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Significant Digits For Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017

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


NASA announced Wednesday that it has found seven Earth-size planets at a dwarf star 235 trillion miles from Earth. [The New York Times]

10 acres

Former President Jimmy Carter is leasing 10 acres of his property to a solar-energy company. The solar array on his property is expected to power 200 of his town’s 215 homes for the next 25 years. [Albany Herald]

30 percent to 50 percent

Philadelphia supermarkets and distributors say beverage sales have dropped 30 percent to 50 percent after the city instituted a 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary and diet drinks. On one hand, these are the same people who want to get the tax repealed, and we don’t have hard numbers yet, so take this with a grain of salt. On the other hand, the whole point of the tax is to reduce consumption of stuff that will kill you anyway, so … good job? []


The Democratic National Committee will vote Saturday on a new chair; a candidate will need a majority of votes from the 447 members to take the role. The leading contenders are former Labor Secretary Tom Perez and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota. [The Associated Press]

14,000 residents

San Jose, California, officials instituted a mandatory evacuation for 14,000 residents after record-breaking flooding at a creek. [The Mercury News]

$6.4 billion

How much JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo made on ATM and overdraft fees last year. [CNN]

It would be a huge help if you participated in FiveThirtyEight contributor James England’s crowdsourced Oscar model.

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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.