PricewaterhouseCoopers will play a crucial supporting role in Sunday’s Oscar ceremony, as the official ballot counter.
Price Waterhouse has over 60 years’ experience of handling the ballot papers at the annual Academy Awards, although Sunday’s celebrity-studded bash – where ‘Shakespeare in Love’ (above) is among the favourites for recognition – will be the first for the newly merged PwC.
The firm’s Oscar ballot team, headed by partners Greg Garrison and Lisa Pierozzi, will be responsible for the mailing and counting of ballot papers from over 5,000 Academy members.
Over its 65 years in the job, PwC estimates it has counted over 400,000 ballots, and stuffed the envelopes of 2,400 Oscar winners. It takes seven days to count the ballots for nominations and three more for the winners.
Up until the appointment of PW as ballot conductor in 1935 no attempt was made to keep the voting process secret. The now-famous envelope system was introduced six years later to ensure absolute secrecy. Ivan Betts was the first PW accountant to deliver the sealed envelopes to the presenters on stage, but that practice has since died out.
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