Skip to main content
ABC News
Significant Digits For Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018

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

300 new Scrabble words

The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary is newly out in a sixth edition. It adds such gems as “bestie,” “bizjet,” “qapik,” “twerk” and “zomboid.” But more importantly, “ok” and “ew” have been added to the supremely useful list of two-letter words. There are now 106 of those in the book. Pay close attention now: aa, ab, ad, ae, ag, ah, ai, al, am, an, ar, as, at, aw, ax, ay, ba, be, bi, bo, by, da, de, do, ed, ef, eh, el, em, en, er, es, et, ex, fa, fe, gi, go, ha, he, hi, hm, ho, id, if, in, is, it, jo, ka, ki, la, li, lo, ma, me, mi, mm, mo, mu, my, na, ne, no, nu, od, oe, of, oh, oi, ok, om, on, op, or, os, ow, ox, oy, pa, pe, pi, po, qi, re, sh, si, so, ta, te, ti, to, uh, um, un, up, us, ut, we, wo, xi, xu, ya, ye, yo, za. [The Associated Press]

15 of 17 candidates

Fifteen of the 17 candidates President Trump has endorsed in open Republican primaries for the House, Senate or governorships won their races — that’s the highest share (88 percent) of any endorser studied by my colleagues for an article published Monday. Others on the list included the Koch network (86 percent), the National Rifle Association (57 percent) and Right to Life (45 percent). [FiveThirtyEight]

$2 billion deal

Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. is close to buying Italian fashion house Gianni Versace for $2 billion. Wow — that is a whole lot of pebbled leather accordion totes or whatever! [Bloomberg]

10,000 Spotify users

More than 10,000 Spotify users have signed up for a collaboration between that music streaming service and Ancestry, the genealogy company that offers an in-home saliva test. The partnership provides a playlist generator that uses the “ethnicities and regions that make up your heritage,” based on your DNA test, to recommend you music. Yeesh. In my case, I suspect, the playlist is chock-full of Kraftwerk, Rammstein, a little Beethoven and a dash of A-ha. [Quartz]

4,300 people kicked out

A test program in Arkansas is meant to assess the Trump administration’s notion that work requirements for Medicaid can help people out of poverty. But within the first month, more than 4,300 people in the state were kicked out of the program, often because, some advocates argue, the people did not know about the program at all. The open rate on informational emails, for example, was between 20 and 30 percent, according to the state. [The Upshot]

Nearly $18 million worth of cocaine

Two pallets of bananas that were donated to a Texas prison also contained nearly $18 million worth of cocaine hidden beneath them. That’s really a bunch — of cocaine. A Dole lot — of cocaine. Hey, Chiquita out, these pallets are ripe — with cocaine. Am I right? [The 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.