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Significant Digits For Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016

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

6 medal winners

Nine athletes, six of whom won medals, were disqualified from the 2008 Beijing Olympics after their doping samples were retested and failed. [ESPN]

17 percent

Aircraft passengers seem to be getting more unruly. There were 10,854 incidents in 2015, according to the International Air Transport Association, up almost 17 percent from the year before. [The Wall Street Journal]

19 percent

The NFL has TV viewership issues right now, and there are a whole lot of potential reasons for that. But viewership of English Premier League soccer matches is also down 19 percent, so this could be a broader issue. [The New York Times]

62 percent

Look, when I signed up for this gig, I realized a lot of things could happen. Couple years back, if you’d told me, “Yeah, Dallas and the Eagles will fight to lead the division,” I’d say, sure, worse things have happened to better people. If you said, “There is a show about Luke Cage,” I’d revel in our good fortune but realize we’ll still never get the Hawkeye show we deserve. If you told me, “Donald Trump will win several states in his bid for the presidency,” I’d say, sure, while difficult to comprehend, that’s possible. But if you told me that the Chicago Cubs — the team that last won the championship when the Ottoman Empire was still kicking — had a 62 percent chance of winning the World Series, I’d say you were full of crap. And yet here we stand. [FiveThirtyEight]

85.7 percent

Probability that Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, according to the FiveThirtyEight polls-only model. If you want to know how Trump might win, by golly, we have that too. [FiveThirtyEight]


This year at least 3,800 people have died crossing the Mediterranean Sea to try to reach Europe, a grim new record, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. [CNN]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.