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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015

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4 years

Thelma, a python, spent four years living the single life in a zoo in Louisville, Kentucky, but somehow managed to wind up pregnant and lay more than 61 eggs. Scientists say the snake had a virgin birth, and that female-only reproduction is far more common than we realized. [BBC]


5.5 percent

Films released in January account for an average of 5.5 percent of the annual total gross for wide-release films, making January the second-lowest grossing month after September. This means that movies that come out this month typically aren’t very good, and films are going to be bad for a few more months. [FiveThirtyEight]

12 percent

A Hunter College analysis of petitions for guardianship found that 12 percent of 700 cases filed in Manhattan were brought by nursing homes against their patients. Pursuing the costly litigation to gain guardianship of their elderly patients — and full legal powers and complete financial control over them — is a strategy some nursing homes use as a means of bill collection. [The New York Times]

12.5 percent

Listeners who noted a distinct similarity between Sam Smith’s 2014 song “Stay With Me” and Tom Petty’s 1989 tune “I Wont Back Down” have had their suspicions confirmed with news that Smith and Petty have settled out of court over owed royalties. Petty and singer-composer Jeff Lynne now have a 12.5 percent songwriting credit on “Stay With Me.” [Consequence of Sound]

16 percent decrease

Ratings for the NFL Pro Bowl, which I’m told happened Sunday, were down 16 percent from last year. [Sports Media Watch]


477 percent

Alcohol-delivery app Drizly said orders were up 477 percent on Monday in New York City and Boston compared to a typical Monday, as people gathered essentials ahead of a forecasted blizzard. [Business Insider]


600 plows

In case you haven’t heard, the East Coast got a little snow Monday night. Earlier on Monday the New York State Department of Transportation announced plans to activate 600 out of a total 1,444 available snow plows to handle the storm. [NY.gov]


$6 million

Should Alex Rodriguez hit six more home runs for the Yankees — to tie Willie Mays’s career total — he’ll get a $6 million bonus, and a further $6 million for each subsequent player he passes on the home-run list. (And remember, the Say Hey Kid got his number without substantial and systemic steroid abuse.) The Yankees are not enthusiastic about paying Rodriguez, who was suspended last year for using performance-enhancing drugs. [New York Daily News]

$899 million

The political network controlled by conservative industrialists Charles and David Koch announced its intention to spend $899 million on the 2016 campaign. For perspective, the Republican National Committee and its congressional campaign committees spent $657 million total in 2012. [The New York Times]

One more plea for the newsletter: Sign up for it now and be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news. And, as always, if you see a significant digit in the wild, tweet it to me @WaltHickey.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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