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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016

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

1st case

The first reported case of Zika transmission in the U.S. was found in Dallas County, Texas. The virus was transmitted sexually, which confirms fears that it doesn’t need mosquitoes to spread. [Reuters]

6 percent

When a company in the student loan business interviewed students about their loans, it found that only 6 percent knew how long they’d be repaying the debt and 8 percent knew the interest rate. [Bloomberg]

8 starts

The Cleveland Browns are reportedly planning to dump quarterback and former first-round draft pick Johnny Manziel. Manziel started eight games and played in 15 since his draft in 2014. He has struggled to perform well on the field and behave responsibly off of it. [ESPN]


The Bernie Sanders campaign reimbursed America’s sweetheart Mark Ruffalo $625 in the fourth quarter of the year. While Ruffalo may be the undisputed greatest actor of his generation, he is apparently not 100 percent up on federal campaign contribution limits. He gave Sanders more money than is allowed. [Gawker]

150 staffers

With less than a week to go before the New Hampshire primary and her prospects for victory in the state not looking great, Hillary Clinton is exporting more than 150 workers in her Brooklyn office to New Hampshire and other early states. The exodus of yuppies from Brooklyn to less exciting places is basically the opposite of what the borough has had to endure for the past several years, so that’s nice I guess. [The Washington Post]

400 bookstores

According to the chief executive of a company that specializes in running malls, intends to open up 300 to 400 brick-and-mortar bookstores nationwide. Kids, “brick and mortar” are substances used to construct malls, much like you’d do in the game Minecraft. [The Wall Street Journal]

548 contacts

About 102,600 people attended the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, an annual showcase of extreme sports put on by ESPN. (ESPN owns FiveThirtyEight.) According to Aspen police, more than two-thirds of the 548 interactions police had with the public were related to alcohol or marijuana. Someone make sure the snowboarders know how to build a rudimentary sploof next year, okay? [Aspen Daily News]


Based on a tabulation of expenses, Hillary Clinton spent the most campaign cash on pizzas of all the candidates running for president in either party. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders — who spent a mere $3,354 on pizza — was presumably railing against how the top tier of pizza-wealthy campaigns accounted for almost a third of all the pizza consumed. [Gawker]

10.3 million non-existent burritos

Chipotle has been rocked by a food poisoning crisis, which has led customers to steer clear of the fast-casual burrito joint until the whole E. coli thing blows over. This led to a 6.8 percent drop in sales, which Bloomberg News calculates to be equivalent to 10.3 million fewer burritos sold than in the same quarter a year earlier. [Bloomberg]

$400 million a year

Yahoo, a technology company that has been in a tailspin since I was in middle school, announced it was planning to cut $400 million per year in expenses, cut the workforce by 15 percent, and allow interested parties to kick Yahoo’s woefully deflated tires to potentially buy the company’s core businesses. I assume Yahoo’s core business refers to a service for secondary burner email accounts created exclusively to subscribe to pornographic websites with something that wasn’t your Gmail, right? What else does Yahoo actually do? [Buzzfeed]

CLARIFICATION (Feb. 3, 1 p.m.): An earlier version of a Significant Digits item about the Zika virus said the first case in the U.S. had been found in Dallas County, Texas. Although there have been other cases in the U.S. of travelers returning from abroad with the virus, the Texas case was the first reported case of Zika transmission in this country.

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.