“2023: The Year In Numbers”

The annual data storyteller’s New Year quiz

Every Christmas Eve, my family and two others gather together for a seasonal celebration. Like other families across the country, right across the world.

We’re brought together by long and deep ties. Ties made of ham, egg, and chips. Of champagne, panettone, and all sorts of ice cream. Of shared and divergent hopes and aspirations, and as much personal success as individual struggle.

And we’re also drawn together by post-prandial quizzes. The picture boards are a thing of legend, and this year’s was a couples special, in honour of one of the eight children in the three families announcing his engagement – and bringing his fiancée along for immersion by ham, eggs, chips, champagne, and quizzes. She did VERY well.

A more recent addition to our Christmas Eve fun is a quiz round I first created a few years back: The Year In Numbers. I use my data storyteller’s nose to sniff out stories of the year just passed in numbers. Figures, measurements, statistics. I know I shouldn’t be surprised – it’s my stock-in-trade after all – but this round is perennially extremely popular.

The questions may come from a wide variety of different domains – from sport to politics, celebrity entertainment to current affairs, tech to finance. But they’re all joined together by a very simple thread.


So here – in a new, New Year’s tradition from me on LinkedIn, I’m sharing “The Year In Numbers” quiz. At the bottom of this post, there’s a link to a second blog which contains questions AND answers. But rather than going straight to that, Googling – or, much better, using Perplexity AI to answer the questions – I urge you to embrace the spirit of James O’Brien’s Mystery Hour on LBC radio. See if you, friends, family, or colleagues can’t figure the answers out before reaching for online sources. Or cheating as we call it on Christmas Eve.

I’d be really intrigued to find out how you get on with the quiz. Let me know either by email or on LinkedIn. At lunch this Christmas Eve just passed, the top score was 10/19. Do let me know if you do better.

Q1. After Manchester City, which Premier League team has acquired most points this calendar year and – within five – how many have they got? (2 points) 

Q2. COP 28 controversially took place in Dubai earlier this month. But how much hotter is the world today compared with its 1850-1900, pre-industrial average? (1 point)

Q3. What was the highest grossing movie of 2023 how much has it taken worldwide so far, and was that more, less, or about the same as 2022’s biggest movie, Top Gun Maverick? (3 points)

Q4. 2023 saw the Coronation of King Charles III. But how many days were there between his formal investiture as Prince of Wales and his official Coronation? Answers within 1,000 score two points, within 2,000 just the one point. (2 points)

Q5. The global computer games industry is huge. What was the turnover of the industry in 2023, to the nearest $15bn? Is that more or less than the Saudi Pro League invested in transfers in the 2023 Summer transfer window? (2 points)

Q6. Claudia Goldin became the first woman to win a prize solo and in her own right this year. What was the prize and what did she win the prize for? (2 points)

Q7. Whose two-day appearance in Sweden caused inflation to rise by 0.2% in May? (1 point)

Q8. ChatGPT kick-started the AI revolution just 13 months ago, with its worldwide release. But how many parameters – or calculations – does ChatGPT use to respond to a prompt or query? (1 point)

Q9. How much did failed, gaoled crypto king, Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly offer Donald Trump NOT to stand for president in 2024? And for a bonus point, what was Bankman-Fried’s estimated net worth at its peak, before he went bust? (2 points)

Q10. On average – and to the nearest half day – how many days did the typical British worker work from home each week in 2023? Where did that put us in a global league table, and was that more or less than Japan? (3 points)


 Q11. Tie-breaker (if necessary): What caused seismic activity equivalent to a magnitude 2.3 earthquake on the Richter Scale in Seattle? (1 point)


Happy quizzing.

And when you’ve REALLY racked your brains to answer the questions above, you can find the answers over there.