Skip to main content
Significant Digits For Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Welcome to Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news.

9 square inches of skin

Are you a company interested in weird advertising strategies? Nick Symmonds, a runner who has appeared in two Olympic games, is auctioning off nine square inches of skin for advertisers to bid on. He’ll put a temporary tattoo of your logo on his flesh at racing events this year — though he will have to cover it up during actual races because of what he calls “antiquated rules.” During a previous auction for part of his body, he got $11,100 from an advertiser. [Ebay]

72 times

Number of times Donald Trump has been personally sued in federal court since 2000. Since 2000, Bloomberg found that Trump and his companies have either sued or been sued at least 1,300 times. [Bloomberg]

172 delegates

Number of delegates up for grabs in Republican primaries in Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Connecticut tonight. Donald Trump has 95 percent of his current delegate target based on a FiveThirtyEight analysis, and his target tonight is 97 of the 172 delegates available. Ideally, he’ll want more, and he’s favored to win big in many of the states. FiveThirtyEight will be live blogging the results this evening, and if you’re looking to watch the returns live I’ll be on the ABC News live stream tonight repping the site, so by all means check that out. [FiveThirtyEight]


According to a nationwide survey from Visa, that’s how much money the average household with teenagers spent last year on “promposing,” which is exactly what it sounds like. In my day, panicked proposals came during tech week for the musical, when there was a realization that prom was near, and even though you had an AP Latin exam the next morning you should ask a friend to go with you because at least the food was supposed to be good. [Bloomberg]

$3.26 million

Price sold at auction for the “Laws of Base Ball,” a series of documents written in 1856 by Daniel Lucius Adams. It’s believed that the documents represent the first time some modern rules of baseball were put to paper. [ESPN]

$4.25 million

The relatively small amount Texas spent to repave highway shoulders and widen a 6.3 mile section of State Highway 161 during rush hour. It’s early yet, but the project has been a smashing success so far, with traffic moving twice as fast as it was before. But this isn’t how it’s supposed to work — widening highways rarely improves congestion and can make it even worse. Transportation planners are trying to figure out what has gone right so far. [Wired]

If you haven’t already, you really need to sign up for the Significant Digits newsletter — you can be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news! How great does that sound? You should totally do it.

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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.