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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017

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

I’ve been informed that yesterday was the 538th edition of Significant Digits. I regret the error of not pointing that one out.

1 bull

A bull escaped a slaughterhouse in the New York City borough of Queens on Tuesday morning, leading to a chase. The beast was eventually captured, and now it’s dead. What? It’s not like it was two llamas, people. It was always going to end like this. [The New York Times]

40 percent

Drop in costs for batteries since 2014; global energy-storage capacity is forecast to grow to 15 times current levels by 2024. Giant batteries appear to be the future. [Bloomberg]


Number of reported incidents of drug loss or theft at federal hospitals in 2015, up from 272 in 2009. Not a typo. Geez, we need to get this national opioid thing handled. [The Associated Press]


Number of eligible voters in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that on Tuesday finished voting on who’s going to win Oscars this Sunday. [FiveThirtyEight]

$1.8 billion

Restaurant Brands, the generically named conglomerate that owns Burger King, is buying Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen for $1.8 billion cash. [BBC]

$1.16 trillion

U.S. auto loan debt hit a record $1.16 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2016. That averages out to $6,100 in car payments per licensed driver. [Bloomberg]

It would be a huge help if you participated in FiveThirtyEight contributor James England’s crowdsourced Oscar model.

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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.