Skip to main content
ABC News
Significant Digits For Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015

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

1 downed plane

NATO has called an “extraordinary meeting” after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border. Russia claims the plane was over Syrian airspace, but Turkey claims it had crossed the border into its territory. [The Washington Post]

4.90 seconds

Lucas Etter, age 14, is the first person to solve a Rubik’s cube in less than 5 seconds in a sanctioned competition. A few months ago I tried to learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube as a party trick, and I can basically get it down to the last part, but only after a couple of minutes. Lucas makes me look like a blind pirate when it comes to Rubik’s cubes. [FiveThirtyEight]

12 minutes, 5 seconds

Earlier this year, NBC rolled the dice. They let Donald Trump appear on “Saturday Night Live” for 12 minutes and 5 seconds, and the episode pulled in a huge viewership. But now NBC needs to offer equal time to candidates who are, shall we say, less of a draw. John Kasich, Mike Huckabee, and Lindsey Graham are all confirmed to appear later this week in some markets and on this weekend’s SNL. 12.08 minutes have also been allotted to human rounding error and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore. [Variety]


According to a new national ABC News/Washington Post poll, Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, is only slightly preferred to Donald Trump, a local entrepreneur, when it comes to a candidate’s perceived ability to handle terrorism. [The Washington Post]

51 percent

That’s the percentage of Americans who say it’s the U.S. government’s responsibility to make sure Americans have health insurance, the first time that figure has been greater than 50 percent in seven years. [Gallup]

250 grams

The FAA is asking that any drone that weighs more than 250 grams now be registered with the agency. [TechCrunch]


The number of NYPD arrests involving marijuana as of Oct. 20. That’s 40 percent lower than it was last year. [New York Post]

1.4 million

Number of chlamydia cases in 2014, the highest number of cases on record, according to a new report Tuesday. The Center for Disease Control estimates that there are 20 million new STD infections per year. Because of antibiotic resistance, syphilis and chlamydia have become as difficult to treat as they are to spell. [USA Today]

$4.6 billion

Petco, the company that sells stuff for pets, was purchased by CVC Capital Partners and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board for $4.6 billion. [Bloomberg]

$19.5 billion

Amount spent annually on cable set-top boxes, about $231 per person per year. [Bloomberg]

If you haven’t already, you really need to sign up for the Significant Digits newsletter — be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.