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PwC Tabulates Final Ballots for 83rd Academy Awards®, Continuing a 77-Year Tradition of Guarding Hollywood’s Best Kept Secrets

03/02/2011 10:35
This year, PwC celebrates its 77th year leading the Oscars® balloting process on behalf of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Academy). With final ballots mailed and completed ballots due on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 (by 5 p.m.), PwC continues its tradition in tabulating the votes – which will not be revealed until the 83rd Academy Awards live telecast on ABC at 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET) on Sunday, 27 February 2011.

PwC’s balloting leaders, Brad Oltmanns and Rick Rosas, will be the only two people to know the identities of the Oscar winners before they are revealed to the rest of the world. Identities of Oscar recipients are kept completely confidential until they are announced during the live ceremony. In 77 years working with the Academy, PwC has continued to keep Hollywood’s best kept secrets, and there has never been a single security breach.

“Trust and integrity are the foundation of our 77-year-long relationship with PwC,” said Tom Sherak, academy president. “We look forward to continuing this tradition with PwC as our balloting partner for many years to come.”

Oltmanns and Rosas lead a tight-lipped group of PwC accountants who work on the project at a concealed location. The meticulous process has remained the same each year, as the PwC team hand counts every single ballot to ensure the highest level of accuracy, objectivity and confidentiality.

“We take pride in our long-standing relationship with the Academy Awards in tabulating every single ballot by hand for the world’s most highly-anticipated and prestigious entertainment industry celebration,” said Brad Oltmanns, a PwC partner and Oscars balloting leader since 2004. “Our work with the Academy Awards is a testament to PwC’s heritage in providing clients with the highest degree of trust, precision and value.”

To ensure the utmost secrecy and security, PwC prepares two briefcases with a complete set of envelopes bearing the Oscar winners’ names. Both briefcases are then transported to the ceremony via separate, secret routes with each of the PwC balloting leaders. As a second precautionary measure, the PwC balloting leaders also memorize the names of the award winners. At the show, Oltmanns and Rosas remain backstage and hand each envelope to award presenters before they walk onstage.

“PwC takes great pride in leading the Oscars balloting process, and it’s a personal honor for me to be involved in such a high-profile event, and helping to keep the tradition of ensuring accuracy and confidentiality,” said Rick Rosas, a PwC partner and Oscars balloting leader since 2001. “Our work with the Academy illustrates our long-standing association with Hollywood and the entertainment and media industry at large.”

Oscars nomination ballots were mailed to 5,755 voting members of the Academy on Monday, 27 December 2010, and nominees were announced on Tuesday, 25 January 2011. Final ballots were mailed on 2February 2011 and completed ballots are due back to PwC on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 (by 5 p.m.).

PwC Fun Facts from 77 Years of Oscars Balloting

As Hollywood prepares for the 83rd 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 77 years on the job.

2,575+: 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 by hand.

77: The number of years PwC has conducted the Oscar® balloting.

24: The number of awards categories to be tabulated for the 83rd 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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