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Math explains why Pete Campbell was so excited on this week’s Mad Men

Note: This article contains plot details from Sunday’s episode of Mad Men, as well as spoilers regarding the fate of the U.S. dollar between Sunday’s episode of Mad Men and the present day.

Pete Campbell does not have a good poker face. So in this week’s Mad Men, when he hears the dollar figures involved with Sterling Cooper & Partners’ potential sale of a majority stake to McCann Erickson, he can’t help smiling. It’s the beaming grin of the newly wealthy. As Pete notes with glee in the partners meeting, he has a 10-percent share in Sterling Cooper, and that will entitle him to a $3 million payout if and when the sale goes through.

While $3 million may not sound like much—no, wait, $3 million does sound like much. But it sounds like even more much when you convert it to 2014 dollars. One Reddit contributor who goes by the Mad Men-appropriate handle I_Am_Intoxicated has run the numbers for all the partners in this deal, using the U.S. Department Of Labor’s inflation calculator to approximate equivalent payouts if the big ad-industry merger took place today. So now you know: That’s Pete Campbell’s $21-million smile. [via Uproxx]

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