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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017

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


1.5 percent

The King of Saudi Arabia vacationed in Morocco and the trip cost around $100 million. This is an immense figure, even in the context of a national economy: It’ll end up being around 1.5 of the entire 2017 foreign tourism revenue for the nation of Morocco. [The New York Post]


2 shipments

A confidential United Nations report reveals that two shipments from North Korea to the Syrian government agency responsible for that country’s chemical weapons program have been intercepted over the past six months by two U.N. member nations. [Reuters]


63 cents

Questionable — or even fake — polls are having real-world influence. A recent poll showing musician Kid Rock leading the U.S. Senate race in Michigan preceded a wave of bets against his prospective opponent, incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow, on the betting site PredictIt: Stabenow’s share price tumbled from 78 cents to 63 cents before recovering to 70 cents at the end of the day. One problem: The poll came from a previously unknown polling firm and may have originated from PredictIt speculators. [FiveThirtyEight]


10,236,000 viewers

Number of people who tuned in to watch “Game of Thrones” on Sunday, a slight slip from the previous week. The episode had leaked online earlier last week. [TV By The Numbers, @WaltHickey]


90,000 robots

Robot installations in China last year, something like a third of the global industrial robot total. [Bloomberg]


$50 million

Amount of money wagered on the 2015 fight in Nevada between boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Somehow the upcoming bout between the still-undefeated Mayweather and boxing-newcomer Conor McGregor appears to be headed north of that, with a bookies estimating nearly $70 million will be wagered. Despite the inherent underdog quality of McGregor, people are still scrambling to bet on him, albeit in smaller quantities: At MGM Resorts, the average bet on McGregor is $112, versus $3,700 for Mayweather, with 6,000 transactions on McGregor to 200 for Mayweather. [ESPN]


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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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