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The largest prime number now has more than 23 million digits

After 14 years of trying, a 51-year-old electrical engineer has discovered the largest known prime number, those endearing figures divisible by only themselves and one, New Scientist reports. The number—277,232,917 – 1—has more than 23 million digits, nearly a million more than the previous record. A personal computer owned by Jonathan Pace uncovered the number as part of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, after 6 days of continuous computation. The new record holder is a rare find even for primes, as it’s only the 50th known Mersenne prime, a number one less than a power of two.

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