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Significant Digits For Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019

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

9 million euros ransom

The wife of a Norwegian billionaire has been kidnapped from her home east of Oslo, according to police there. The abductors have reportedly demanded 9 million euros worth of a cryptocurrency called Monero. [Associated Press]

$1 billion in damages

Jason Rezaian, a journalist with the Washington Post, has filed suit seeking over $1 billion in damages against Iran, “to deter future taking of American hostages.” Rezaian was taken at gunpoint in Tehran in 2014, convicted of espionage at a trial with no witnesses, and spent 544 days in captivity. [The Washington Post]

$438 million in mortgage and rent

Federal workers going unpaid because of the partial government shutdown will owe around $438 million in rent and mortgage payments this month, according to the real estate company Zillow. That figure accounts for about 380,000 furloughed employees and 420,000 working without pay. [MarketWatch]

$800 million

The Chrysler Building, the art deco skyscraper and best building in New York City, is up for sale. But people who know about the sale of enormous buildings think that it might not be able to command the $800 million that the Abu Dhabi Investment Council paid for a 90 percent stake in it shortly before the 2008 financial crisis. [The Wall Street Journal]

11 million years ago

It was, if you can believe it, only 11 million years ago that tomatoes split away from peppers, evolutionarily speaking. But now, thanks to gene editing technology, scientists may be able to activate genes already lying dormant in tomatoes to, yes, make tomatoes spicy again. [Gizmodo]

226 light years away

A crowdsourcing team of citizen-scientists, using data generated by NASA’s now-defunct Kepler Space Telescope, has discovered a planet! It’s called K2-288Bb. It’s about twice the size of Earth, about 226 light years away and in the constellation Taurus. They did this, apparently, by “examining light-curve data from the Kepler with their own eyes, rather than via software.” Congrats! [Engadget]

Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s 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.