You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.
A bottle of 60-year-old Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 single malt whisky sold yesterday for a record $1.1 million at Bonhams auction house. A former master distiller at Macallan described the vintage as “quite intense, dry, and tasted of dried fruit with some hint of warming spice.” I think I’ve discovered the arbitrage opportunity of a lifetime. A few ounces of cardamom and a few bags of assorted dried fruits can be had for about $20. Bonhams, hit me up. [The New York Times]
8 in 9 chance
Allow my colleague Clare Malone to take you on a little tour of New Jersey, where there’s a Senate race going on. The incumbent Democrat, Sen. Bob Menendez, is facing a Republican challenger named Bob Hugin. Our Classic model gives Menendez a nearly 90 percent chance to hold the seat. But one recent poll has the race within the margin of error and two others show it within low single digits. Our headline pretty much sums it up: Democrats Really Could Lose That New Jersey Senate Seat. [FiveThirtyEight]
Maya Gabeira, a Brazilian surfer, surfed a 68-foot wave off of Portugal, setting a record for a woman surfer. She was officially awarded her Guinness World Record this week. Tubular! [ABC News]
37 percent of adults
According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control, 37 percent of Americans said they’d eaten fast food within the past 24 hours. Contrary to what one might’ve guessed, fast food consumption was also positively correlated with income. Thirty-two percent of lower-income people ate fast food daily, compared to 36 percent of middle-income people and 42 percent of higher-income people. [CBS News]
More than 200 million cellphones
Bzzt. Bzzt. Bzzt. “Presidential Alert: THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” Odds are that’s what your phone did and said yesterday afternoon. More than 200 million American cellphones received the alert, operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A 2015 law maintains that such a test must be run every three years, so look forward to that. [BBC]
Over the past few years, a North Korean hacking group called APT38 has attempted to steal more than $1 billion from banks around the world and gotten away with hundreds of millions, according to an American security firm. In February 2016, for example, it stole $81 million from the central bank of Bangladesh and the money is thought to have been laundered in casinos. [Associated Press]
Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s new book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s out on Oct. 9 and available for pre-order now — I hope you dig it.
If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.