You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.
$238 million apartment
That’s the new record price for a home in the U.S., paid by hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin for a 24,000 square-foot penthouse on Central Park South in New York City. Meanwhile, the government doesn’t know how it’s going to pay for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistant Program, which feeds some 40 million Americans, come March. [The Wall Street Journal]
$6 billion in back pay
By the end of the week, federal workers going without pay thanks to the partial federal government shutdown will be owed $6 billion in back pay, a study by Sentier Research found. For scale, that’s more than the $5.7 billion that President Trump has requested for border security. [The Washington Post]
Juan Guaido, the Venezuelan opposition leader backed by the Trump administration, declared himself interim president of that country yesterday. Nicolas Maduro, who took the presidential oath of office two weeks ago, gave American diplomats 72 hours to leave the country, saying he’d “decided to break diplomatic and political relations with the imperialist U.S. government.” [Associated Press]
713 confirmed and probable cases
The Democratic Republic of Congo is experiencing the second-largest Ebola outbreak in history, with 713 “confirmed and probable cases” and 439 deaths. The country confirmed 14 new cases of the hemorrhagic fever yesterday — the largest increase since the outbreak began in August. [Reuters]
A bit of good news: A literal ray of sunshine. Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska, is the northernmost city in the United States, well above the arctic circle. And yesterday, it saw its first sunshine in 66 days. Not all that shines is warm, however — temperatures in Utqiaġvik felt like -30 Fahrenheit. [Accuweather]
$284,803 in prize money
Virtual agrarians, rejoice. The studio behind the hyper-realistic “Farming Simulator” video games is committing $284,803 in prize money to fund a “Farming Simulator” e-sports league. It will feature teams of three and “will challenge them with competing across a number of different farming-based tasks.” [Kotaku]
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.