Ugh, you guys are seriously the worst -- you keep getting these things right! Let's get right to it:
Kerry Martin flipped her monitor around to arrive at this guess -- creative, but not what we were looking for.
— Kerry Martin (@klgmartin) October 3, 2014
Josh Rovner had a good guess about student loan payoff duration. Sadly, I think those numbers are significantly higher than what's in the chart.
— Josh Rovner (@JoshRovner) October 3, 2014
Washington Post staffers submitted mostly unhelpful guesses, as usual:
— Katie Park (@katiepark) October 3, 2014
But in the end, as many of you guessed, the correct answer was average age of all light vehicles in the U.S.
These figures were in the news lately with Warren Buffett's purchase of a number of U.S. auto dealerships. With the average age of vehicles increasing steadily over the past few decades, some analysts think that there's a lot of pent-up demand for new cars. On the other hand, cars are getting more reliable, and every month that passes without a car payment is, frankly, a gift.
On Twitter, Anthony couldn't freaking *believe* how easy this one was:
— Anthony (@tonyried) October 3, 2014
But he wasn't the first to get it right: That honor goes to Dennis Dillon, who just earned himself the Earlybird Prize for Prompt and Expeditious Accuracy.
@_cingraham average age of cars on the road, I think
— Dennis Dillon (@Adennisdillon) October 3, 2014
But who got it rightest of all? A number of you linked to the Department of Transportation Web site containing the data series, but only one included a link to the release that included 2014's data. That would be commenter afver, who noted the 2014 press release from IHS.
Congrats, afver! You are now a Wonkblog-Certified Data Wizard. Everyone else, let's try this again on Friday.