Skip to main content
ABC News
Significant Digits For Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018

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

$220,000 in restitution

In what is almost certainly the most destructive and expensive gender reveal party in recorded history, an off-duty Border Patrol agent last year shot at an explosive target that would then reveal either pink or blue powder, announcing the impending arrival of either a girl or a boy. The explosion, however, started a 47,000-acre wildfire that cost more than $8 million to fight. The agent, Dennis Dickey, recently pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and will pay $220,000 in restitution. [Arizona Daily Star]

$15,000 a month

There is a 2,400-square-foot, $15,000-a-month apartment in downtown Manhattan that was designed explicitly as a staged backdrop for “Instagram stars,” complete with a millennial pink couch and other accoutrements meant to evoke good “feelings,” “scenes” and “vibes.” On the bright side, maybe it’s actually some sort of elaborate trap? [The New York Times]

37 percent

Gallup’s latest polling from earlier this year found that only 37 percent of Americans had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the Supreme Court. This is down from levels close to 60 percent in the 1980s. The larger qualitative question, especially following nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s series of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee: Is the Supreme Court facing a legitimacy crisis? [FiveThirtyEight]

27,940-foot summit

Not only did the Americans James Morrison and Hilaree Nelson climb the nearly 28,000 feet of Mount Lhotse, a sister peak of Mount Everest, but then, once they got up there, they skied back down. Like on skis. They are believed to be the first to ski down Mount Lhotse. [Associated Press]

Up to $300,000 fish

For some wealthy elite in Asia, a new status symbol is the pet fish. Specifically, the colorfully-scaled arowana, aka the dragon fish, which can grow to three feet and are thought to bring luck. Young ones go for just $300, but an adult albino could go for $70,000 and some have been said to reach the $300,000 mark. “At fish beauty pageants,” CNBC reports, “armed guards escort the rare breeds.” [CNBC]

No. 1 most dangerous

Ruby Rose, the actress who has appeared in “Orange Is the New Black” and the shark picture “The Meg,” has been labeled by the security firm McAfee as the most dangerous celebrity on the internet — no one else, apparently, is more likely to land you on a page with viruses or malware. This seems like a terrible, undeserved honor. By publishing this, we here at SigDig headquarters are doing what little we can to battle this mantle. [Associated Press]

Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s new book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s out on Oct. 9 and available for pre-order now — I hope you dig it.

If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.

Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.