Behind the Academy Awards® tallies for 78 years and counting! PwC preserves Hollywood’s best kept secrets

7 February 2012

Nairobi,

PwC celebrates its 78th year leading the Oscars® balloting process on behalf of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Academy). PwC balloting leaders Brad Oltmanns and Rick Rosas will again oversee the tabulation and will be the only two people in the world who will know the identity of the Oscar® winners before the 84th Academy Awards live telecast on ABC at 4 p.m. PT (7 p.m. ET) on Sunday, February 26, 2012.

In the 78 years that PwC has managed the balloting process, there has never been a single security breach. Oltmanns and Rosas lead a tight-lipped team to conduct the same 'tried and true' method that they have used for decades. PwC's long-established balloting system involves the precise tallying of every single ballot at a concealed location to maintain the utmost level of accuracy, objectivity and confidentiality.

"Our long-standing, 78-year relationship with PwC is built on the utmost trust and integrity," said Tom Sherak, Academy president. "We look forward to continuing the tradition with PwC as our balloting partner for many years to come."

Once the votes have been submitted and tabulated, PwC prepares two briefcases with a complete set of envelopes bearing the Oscar winners' names. As a precautionary measure, both briefcases are then transported to the ceremony via separate, secret routes with each of the PwC balloting leaders. As a second preventive measure, the PwC balloting leaders also memorize every winner. During the live telecast, Oltmanns and Rosas remain backstage and hand each envelope to award presenters before they walk onstage.

"PwC's ongoing relationship with the Academy exemplifies the highest level of precision and trust," said Brad Oltmanns, a PwC partner and Oscars balloting leader since 2004. "This is an event we look forward to every year and our precise work with the Academy through the years is a tribute to PwC's renowned heritage and reputation."

"Being involved each year in maintaining the highest level of secrecy is one of the most rewarding assignments of my career" said Rick Rosas, a PwC partner and Oscars balloting leader since 2001. "Our work with the Academy not only highlights our long-term and trusted relationship with Hollywood and the entertainment industry, but also serves as an incredible source of honor and pride for PwC."

PwC Kenya has played the same role in the Tusker Project Fame East African Breweries Limited awards for the last 4 years. Nancy Onyango, PwC Advisory Director and Head of Governance, Risk and Compliance says 'In the last 4 years that PwC has partnered with EABL we have maintained an utmost level of trust and integrity in the process. PwC plays the role of designing the balloting system and ensuring utmost security is enforced in the system and learning from our network experience with the Oscars we have maintained confidentiality and integrity in the process. This has attributed to our involvement with the awards since they began".

Oscars nomination ballots were mailed to 5,783 voting members of the Academy on Tuesday, December 27, 2011, and nominees were announced on Tuesday, January 24, 2012. Final ballots were mailed on February 1, 2012, and completed ballots are due back to PwC on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 (by 5 p.m.).

PwC Fun Facts from 78 Years of Oscars Balloting

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.

For additional information, visit: www.pwc.com/balloting.