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Thursday, February 23, 2012

And the Oscar goes to…PwC!

We all know how it goes: the latest Twitter-trending star leaps up on stage to present a golden mummy to someone important. Then - without fail - the elevator music begins, cuing the celeb to disappear back into the sea of famousness.

However, here’s where it all begins…

Once the Academy casts their fateful ballots, number crunchers from Big 4 accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers hunker down and tally all the votes. The auditors stay completely mum until the very second that the envelopes are opened to reveal the winner. And, to PwC’s credit, after all these years, there still hasn’t been a single slip up.  PwC’s tried and true balloting system involves the precise tallying of every single ballot at a hidden LA locale to ensure complete secrecy and security.

"Just the way Rolls-Royce continues to build cars by hand, we continue to count by hand," said Brad Oltmanns, managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers-Los Angeles.

Pretty cool, huh? So, Sunday at 4pm Pacific Time, let’s raise our glasses to a pretty cool group of CPAs. Sorry Mr. Clooney…this time the Oscar goes to PwC!

PwC Fun Facts from 78 Years of Oscars Balloting
*Information from

As Hollywood prepares for the 84th Academy Awards, PwC has tallied some other numbers to illustrate what has gone into keeping Hollywood's biggest secret under wraps and getting the world’s most famous statuettes into the hands of the winners:

  • 450,000+: The approximate number of ballots counted by PwC in 78 years on the job.
  • 2,600+: The number of winners' envelopes stuffed since the envelope system was introduced in 1941.
  • 1,700: The approximate number of “person-hours” it takes the PwC team every year to count and verify the ballots.
  • 78: The number of years PwC has conducted the Oscar® balloting.
  • 24: The number of awards categories to be tabulated for the 84th Academy Awards at a secret location known only to the members of the small PwC ballot team.
  • 7: The number of days it takes to count the ballots for nominations.
  • 3: The number of days it takes to count the final ballots.

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