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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015

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

1 percent

In New York, any apartment sale of $1 million or more incurs a 1 percent mansion tax, meaning that a $1,000,000 home costs an extra $10,000 compared to a $999,999 home. This means that people trying to sell their apartments in that price range typically aim slightly lower than $1 million. Think of it as the same reason 99 cent stores caught on, only for plutocrats who would probably have enough leftover cash to fund a Most Dangerous Game if they’d just move to Jersey instead. [The New York Times]


Average number of vacation days taken by the American worker last year, a 35-year low and down from 21.1 days in 1996. Somewhere the French are mocking us. Oh, also, you’re going to ruin your kids if you don’t take vacation days, a new study says. [Harvard Business Review]

25 percent

Right now the Trans-Alaska Pipeline is operating at only 25 percent capacity. As demand for oil has bottomed out, Alaska — which derives a substantial portion of its revenue from the petroleum business within its borders — is trying to find a way to crank up production. [BBC]

91.4 percent

That’s how accurately umpires have called balls and strikes during the MLB playoffs through Oct. 10, compared to the season average of 91.6 percent. Not bad, umps, but we’re still keeping our eyes on you. [FiveThirtyEight]

98.4 percent

The Kansas City Royals faced the Houston Astros on Monday, and just as it appeared the Astros had the game on lock — leading 6-2 with the bases loaded, and FanGraphs giving them a 98.4 percent chance of victory — the Royals grabbed the game back, going on to pull in four runs in two innings. [FanGraphs]

101 words

An 82-year-old Georgia woman named Serpentfoot is trying to change her name to a 101-word articulation of her philosophy. We here at FiveThirtyEight, a site that is admittedly a mouthful, wish the very best of luck to Nofoot Allfoot-69-mouth-tail-solids-liquids-gases-animals-vegetable-mineral-all-predators-and-prey-that-consume-and-move-with-feet-fins-wings-wheels-canes-roots-limbs-vines-landslides-dust-wind-water-fire-ice-gravity-vacuums-black-holes-going-over-under-around-and-through-Our-Greater-Self-our-habitat-the-cosmos-of-which-we-are-but-part-and-where-all-life-feeds-upon-other-life-from-the-smallest-atoms-or-bacteria-to-the-great-black-holes-and-dog-eat-dog-and-“Last-Suppers”-where-we-are-what-we-eat-or-consume-and-each-lives-on-in-the-other…∞ Serpentfoot in her petition to the state. [Times Free Press]

$43.6 million

Remember all that bad press last week about how employees of one daily fantasy site were caught using inside information to play at a rival daily fantasy site and win a ton of money in the process? I bet you thought it would spell some sort of negative consequence for the industry, right? Maybe distrust among the players, or perhaps a negative impact on revenue? Nah. FanDuel and DraftKings pulled in a combined $43.6 million in entry fees this past weekend, the largest haul for the pair ever. [Bloomberg]

447,776,222 euros

How much Greece owes the International Monetary Fund in a payment due today. The nation is expected to be paying off creditors well into the 2050s. Let’s just see how this payment goes. [The Wall Street Journal]

$20 billion

Annual cost of illegal fishing worldwide. A renegade illegal fishing crew that led authorities on a 10,000-mile chase was convicted Monday in a São Tomé and Príncipe court. [The New York Times]

$67 billion

Dell bought cloud storage company EMC for $67 billion in one of the largest-ever transactions in the technology business. [Wired]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.