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Significant Digits For Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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

1 human toe

A bar in Dawson City, Yukon, has lost its iconic human toe, which it uses in a horrifying local tradition where a shot of whiskey is consumed with the digit floating in the glass. The penalty assessed by the bar is $2,500 for swallowing or stealing the toe, up from $500 after someone several years ago swallowed the toe and simply threw down $500. They want the toe returned. [CBC]

1.7 percent

Tuition costs rose at the slowest rate on record, going up 1.7 percent in May from a year earlier. This highlights an interesting and crazy stat: College tuition and fees have never, ever gone down in the nearly four decades that the measure has been tracked as part of the Consumer Price Index. They’ve slowed down the pace of that increase, but still; even like food and steel get less expensive sometimes. [Vice]


The Girl Scouts of America will offer 18 new badges recognizing the field of cybersecurity in a bid to entice even more of its girls into technology fields. [GSUSA]

51.9 percent

With 51.9 percent of the vote, Republican Karen Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff to win the special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District by about 4 percentage points. The vote had national implications: Many saw the tight race as a referendum on current GOP policies in a longtime red-leading district. [FiveThirtyEight]

249 feet

Lake Ontario levels have risen to an elevation of nearly 249 feet, two feet higher than last year and inching toward the 1952 record. There’s been widespread flooding. [The New York Times]

$601 million

Spotify posted its largest-ever loss last year, $601 million, despite seeing higher than ever subscriber growth. The company intends to go public as early as this year. [Ad Age]

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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.