Oscar ties — How frequently do they happen?
Oscar office pools were sent into complete and total disarray after the Academy Award for Sound Editing went to not one but two winners.
Mark Wahlberg and BFF Ted surprised the attendees (and millions of viewers) at the 85th Annual Academy Awards with the announcement that the Oscar for Best Sound Editing went to both “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Skyfall,” two completely different movies about secret agents on secret missions.
Weird, right? It’s also extremely rare, as the odds of an Oscar tie are 1000 to 1, according to Johnny Avello of Wynn Las Vegas. In fact, there have been only five previous ties in the history of the Academy Awards. Weird, right? It’s also extremely rare, as the odds of an Oscar tie are 1000 to 1, according to Johnny Avello of Wynn Las Vegas. In fact, there have been only five previous ties in the history of the Academy Awards.
The first tie happened in 1932, when Fredric March and Wallace Beery tied for Best Actor for “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and “The Champ,” respectively. This wasn’t an exact tie, mind you — Beery received one vote more than March, but the rules at the time stated two winners would be honored if the count was within three votes. The rule subsequently changed, according to the Academy.
The other four ties are as follows:
— 1949: “A Chance to Live” and “So Much for So Little” tied for Best Documentary Short.
— 1968: Barbara Streisand and Katherine Hepburn tied for Best Actress for “Funny Girl” and “The Lion in Winter,” respectively.
— 1986: “Artie Shaw: Time Is All You’ve Got” and “Down and Out in America” tied for Best Documentary Feature.
— 1995: Franz Kafka’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Trevor” tied for Best Live-Action Short.
Well, we now know how hard a call it can be when it comes to sound editing! Meanwhile, our sympathies go to the curators of every Oscar office pool around the globe — according to Avello, if you don’t have written rules, you have to pay both winners.