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Significant Digits for Tuesday, June 23, 2015

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

Two-thirds majority

According to the South Carolina Heritage Act of 2000, that’s the state Legislature supermajority required to remove the Confederate flag from the state Capitol’s grounds. A Public Policy Polling survey released Monday found that 64 percent of registered voters felt U.S. government buildings should not fly the Confederate flag. Another 15 percent had a neutral or unsure reaction, and 21 percent were in favor. [FiveThirtyEight]

3 misdemeanors each

Three American heroes who sky-dived from the roof of the nearly completed 1 World Trade Center tower in 2013 were each convicted of three misdemeanors for their awesome story. The jurors, presumably realizing they were in the presence of three stone-cold badasses, declined to convict them of the felony charge of burglary, because really the only thing the trio broke into was our hearts. Also, technically, 1 World Trade Center. They were convicted of two counts of reckless endangerment and also violating an ordinance against parachuting off buildings. That last one is particularly disappointing, because I did not realize such a law already existed in New York, and how rad would it be if the city had to make a new law specifically after these heroes, you know? [The New York Times]


Hawaii is now the first state to raise the minimum smoking age to 21, effective Jan. 1. The rule also applies to electronic cigarettes. [Reuters]

75 percent

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 75 percent of expected Democratic primary voters had Hillary Clinton as their first choice for the nomination, with closest runner-up Sen. Bernie Sanders earning 15 percent. [NBC News/Wall Street Journal (PDF)]

88 percent

The U.S. women’s national team beat Colombia 2-0 in the first knockout round of the women’s World Cup on Monday. The U.S. squad will face China on Friday, and according to FiveThirtyEight’s model has an 88 percent chance of winning that game. Overall, the U.S. team now has a 32 percent chance of winning the tournament, slightly behind Germany, which has a 34 percent chance. [FiveThirtyEight]


That’s the veterinary bill for a dog who ate what was most likely an edible product infused with THC, the compound in marijuana that gets you high. As always, readers, please refrain from throwing your psychoactive drugs on the ground on trails. Pretty sure they taught us that in D.A.R.E. [ABC 7 News Denver]

2,000 leads

The New York State Police are still looking for two escaped prisoners in upstate New York and have found a promising lead in DNA at a cabin in Owls Head, which is a real name of a real town, apparently. A spokesman said police have checked in on 2,000 leads, which is more than 100 leads per day since the June 6 escape. [Reuters]

67.6 million

Obese American adults now outnumber adults who are merely overweight: 67.6 million Americans over age 25 are obese, and 65.2 million more are overweight. [Los Angeles Times]

$1.6 billion

That’s how much airlines took in during the first quarter of 2015 in bag fees and reservation change fees. The fees are annoying, but they’re also one of the main reasons airlines are profitable these days. [Associated Press]

$2.7 billion

The U.S. energy industry did not have a good first quarter, given the collapse in the price of oil. Texas mining, oil and gas workers were among the hardest hit, losing $2.7 billion in wages in the three-month period. [Quartz]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.