Oscar ties — How frequently do they happen?
Best Sound Editing winners 'Zero Dark Thirty' and 'Skyfall' (Photo: Sony/MGM)
Oscar office pools are now in complete and total anarchic disarray with the Academy Award for Sound Editing going to not one but two winners.
Mark Wahlberg and his best friend Ted surprised the attendees (and millions of viewers) at the 84th 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 rare, as the odds of an Oscar tie can be as much as 1000 to 1, according to Johnny Avello of Wynn Las Vegas, though Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager Kevin Bradley believes it might be more like 25 to 1. For the record, there have been only five previous ties in the history of the Academy Awards.
The first tie happened in 1931-32, 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 Inside Movies (via the AMPAs database).
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, though Bradley suggests simplifying the process by paying whoever had more correct guesses over all the categories.