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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017

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

3 former soccer officials

The first of many prosecutions of world soccer officials began in Brooklyn earlier this week, with the kick off of the racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering trials of José María Marín, Juan Ángel Napout and Manuel Burga. More than 40 others were also arrested in connection to allegations of corruption in international soccer, with 23 already pleading guilty. [The Guardian]

18 counts

The jurors in the bribery trial of New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez deadlocked once again Tuesday on all 18 counts. The judge told them to continue deliberating. [The Associated Press]


Illumination Entertainment, which makes movies like “Sing” and “Minions,” is reportedly close to a deal with Nintendo to adapt the Super Mario Bros. franchise into a film. Nintendo is currently on track for its best financial year since 2010. The last time that Mario hit screens was in 1993 with the “Super Mario Bros.” live action film, a movie so bad that one of the most popular franchises on Earth has not seen a movie theater since. [CNN]

4.62 billion acres

That’s the total amount of cropland on Earth, according to a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey. Interestingly, that’s about 15 to 20 percent more than earlier estimates, as some areas were previously mapped inaccurately or unmapped altogether. [Bloomberg]

$5.5 billion

How much Google spent on traffic acquisition costs in the third quarter of 2017. That’s about 23 percent of its ad revenue. Google has to pay to get its search engine front and center on browsers, mobile phones and other services. One example: Firefox just rolled out a browser update that makes Google, not Yahoo, its default search engine. Yahoo was previously paying more than $300 million per year for that; it’s unclear what Google’s tab is. [Bloomberg]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.