Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Today's Blind Items - Money Talks

I think maybe once or twice a year, I start a blind off by saying something to the point of my jaw dropped when I heard it. It doesn't happen often at all. The thing is though, I guess it really shouldn't have shocked me. Games in sports have been frequently fixed and if there is enough money involved, why couldn't something else be fixed. You would never have thought the entire McDonald's Monopoly game could be fixed for a decade, but it was. Too many security protocols in place. There are never too many if there is a lot of money to be made.

For a long time, bookmakers have taken bets on the results of certain award shows. One of the first few years there was online betting for a certain award show is when this all happened. It caught the online bookmakers by surprise when they finally realized what was going on. Instead of taking the bet off the board though, they quickly lowered the odds as fast as they could without giving away the fact they knew there was inside information somewhere. What they also did was make the favorite a longer shot which the general public then started betting because everyone knew it was going to win. Boy were they wrong.

Apparently to fix the result in this race actually only took the bribing of two people. That is it. The amount of money they were supposed to have been given is $500K each. They each received their upfront money of $250K, but nobody knows if they got the second half of the payment. Also, it isn't like they could go complain to someone if they didn't.

When the betting line opened for this particular award, the favorite was almost even money. That is pretty rare for this award. The second favorite was basically a long shot and opened in some places at 15/1 but most had it about 10/1. The people fixing this particular award were smart. Throughout the month of betting they did small bets. They did a lot of small bets, but nothing that would trigger any alarms. They managed to bet about $500K at this higher odds without ever betting more than $100 at a time. Meanwhile, so many people were betting on the favorite that neither line budged. Then, with three days left before the award, the fixers bet another $500K almost at once spread across the numerous sites that had wagers on the award. Alarms went off on all these sites and the decision they made was to dramatically lower the odds on this particular nominee while raising the odds on the favorite. The public had no idea what was going on They saw the nominee they knew was going to win suddenly looking way more attractive and they poured money into it. It was never going to be enough to cover the losses if the fixed nominee won, but it would certainly help.

Sure enough, the night of the show, everyone at home and at the show all had their jaw drop when this nominee won. The payouts totaled about $12.5M. 

42 comments:

MontanaMarriott said...

Hmmm Marisa Tomei's Oscar Win?

Unknown said...

Enty also thought jaws would drop at MV being Jennifer Lopez

sandybrook said...

Is this Lady Gagas Golden Globe award for AHS?

Tricia13 said...

Jennifer Lawrence/Silvee Linings Playbook

Tricia13 said...

With all the betting references

sandybrook said...

Online betting websites like bovada.lv allow betting on pro wrestling so why not fixed award shows like GG and such?

No Wuckin' Furries said...

The chick from "Precious." Or Halle Berry.

Unknown said...

Tomei's win was in the early 90's when online betting wasn't really an option.

Three 6 Mafia got the Oscar for their song in Hustle and Flow in 2006 which was considered an upset. There's also 2006's "Crash," and "Moonlight" beat "La La Land," which we all remember as a big upset.

Maybe I read it wrong, but I don't see anything that looked like it was for a specific gender, person, or category? But those are the only ones I can think of that could possibly fit the bill.

Jon said...

Shakespeare In Love/Saving Private Ryan

Moose said...

When would online betting for Oscars first have been allowed? Looks like it was allowed in 2009 (I found a reference to it), but I wonder if it could go back as far as 1993, when Tomei won.

Unknown said...

When Juliette Binoche won instead of Lauren Bacall

Guesser said...

@Unknown,you are right,the blind says everyone knew it was going to win. So it is likely a movie or song. Look for a major upset during the early years of online getting for films. A fix on getting would never make my jaw drop,happens all the time.

Unknown said...

Just digging around more and "Life of Pi" in 2012 for best Director (Lee) instead of "Argo" (Affleck) or "Lincoln" (Spielberg) was a bit of a surprise. Another was "Slumdog Millionaire" in 2008 for Best Picture against "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Milk."

This whole blind is so ridiculously vague that there are a lot of possibilities. Tomei would fit if this didn't specifically reference online betting. That alone makes me think it's at least post-2000. Anything before that was difficult to navigate on the web aside from AIM and ICQ. They had online betting as early as 1994, but it wasn't until the late 90's that it was more popular.

Guesser said...

Betting,not getting stupid autocorrect.

Defending Champ said...

The odds of race drama Crash winning the best picture Oscar have been slashed, but Brokeback Mountain remains the hot favourite.
UK bookmaker William Hill cut Crash's odds from 8/1 to 6/4 but still put Brokeback Mountain ahead at 1/2.

Gator said...

La La Land vs. Moonlight for Best Picture

Defending Champ said...

Looking back at the legendary “upset” win of Crash in 2006, it was actually still second favourite. It also had a lot of momentum in the public’s eyes, with its odds shifting from a huge A$9 to just A$2.50 in the days before the ceremony.

Unknown said...

Crash and Brokeback could be it. The clue states "When the betting line opened for this particular award, the favorite was almost even money. That is pretty rare for this award. The second favorite was basically a long shot and opened in some places at 15/1 but most had it about 10/1" So the favorite would be "Brokeback" and the 2nd Nominee would be "Crash."

From what I am reading, it sounds like they bet 500k on the long shot (Crash?) and then another big 500k bet which is what triggered them to lower the odds on this nominee (Crash) and while raising odds on the favorite (Brokeback). This made betting on the favorite (Brokeback) more attractive, which caused the public to pour more money into betting for it. They were pretty much convinced it would win anyways.

Then "Crash" is announced and folks are floored. I could see that working as Brokeback was a damn good movie and had all the trappings of an Oscar winner. That said, this could also really work for "Saving Private Ryan" and "Shakespeare in Love," in 99 but the timeframe is still questionable for a strong online-betting presence IMO.

Unknown said...

Crash winning over Brokeback Mountain. Even Jack Nicholson's jaw hit the floor when he announced it.

UniversalEnergy said...

American Idol with Adam Lameet and Kris Allen. That show is the one I remember having a lot of press about people gambling and believing Adam would win. I didn't bet because my dad pointed out that it wasn't for sure. I'm sure Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller were the ones paid off.

Boo Hearne said...

I am going waaayyyy back for this one. Pia Zadora for Butterfly. I was watching it on TV and saw the stunned, totally in shock looks on everyone's faces when her name was announced. My daughter and I died laughing at the sight. Her filthy rich Israeli husband bought it for her. Was it the Golden Globes? Think so.

Krab said...

Golden Globes for Pia and it tarnished the awards for many years after.

Brokeback Mountain should have won, dammit. Crash was formulaic and dumb.

Sd Auntie said...

It was totally bought @boo and ruined what little of a career she had.

Ringo said...

Spotlight for best movie agaisnt Mad Max and The Revenant?

yoyodyne said...

As a longtime online bettor, I would go with Crash. You could bet on these in small size in the 98-99 era but nothing remotely as big as mentioned that early.

Brokeback not winning was such a huge shock. Total Oscar bait. and the odds moves fit.

Definitely not Marisa Tomei.

Hamid said...

Either Crash or Shakespeare in Love. Weinstein is not only a sexual predator, he also pulled dirty tricks during award campaigns. I wouldn't be surprised if he did this for Shakespeare in Love.

Imsoconfused said...

The child seems more mature with their wording. I would think this is someone closer to 18.

hothotheat said...

Could this be Kobe's stupid little cartoon?

Boo Hearne said...

Krab & Sd Auntie: Glad someone here remembers the good times!

Yes, it did ruin what career she had. And yes, it definitely set the Golden Globes back 100 years!

I also remember that year, at the Academy Awards. the host saying: "If a bomb were to drop on this theater right now, Pia Zadora would be the working-est actress in Hollywood!" It took ten minutes for the crowd to stop laughing. I can remember that, but can't tell you what I had for lunch today!!!

Unknown said...

Legal online gambling started in the mid-90's, and it exploded in the late 90's, early 00's, so I would look at a timeframe of 98-2004. "One of the first few years there was online betting for a certain award show is when this all happened."

Crash would fit very well here.

Guesser said...

The Crash/Brokeback Mountain guess seems to be it,the payoff way too high for anything older. I too remember the Pia zadora fiasco, but really,it just exposed what everyone already suspected. And no
Online betting.

timebob said...

Pia's husband paid to have a category created for her New Star of the Year. It's not like she swept the best actress category. While completely ridiculous they went for it, trashing any shred of reputation.


I'm with everyone else, sounds like Crash.

Jon said...

Crash was way better than Brokeback.

LooksLikeCRicci said...

Crash makes perfect sense to me. There was an audible gasp in the room when it was announced as the winner.

I remember a gasp with Tomei's Oscar win, too, but as everyone else has pointed out, online betting wasn't a thing just quite then...

Brayson87 said...

Oh FFS it's all fixed lol

cheesegrater15 said...

I've never understood betting. Math sucks.

mercyprosperity said...

Sandra Bullock? G Paltrow for SIL?

Casey said...

Crash for the win. I found this article: "Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) March 3, 2006 - Although not everyone is ready to see a gay romance dominate the Oscars, Brokeback Mountain is an obvious favorite with both critics and odds makers. Aces.com favors the controversial picture to win at 1-10 odds (odds at Aces.com as of March 1, 2006).
Although Aces.com is a little bit of Las Vegas online, they’re offering better payouts than Vegas hotels on Brokeback Mountain. The Las Vegas Sun reports that the Wynn Las Vegas, for example, put the movie's odds at 3-5.
“I know some books have shortened the odds on Brokeback Mountain this week,” said Aces.com Manager Rene Quesada. “We’ve still got it at 1-10 though -- a pretty good payout if you think Hollywood is ready to honor a gay cowboy movie. If not, you could go with Crash -- but a three dollar bet only wins two.”

Youre Tired said...

Argo is totally forgettable though. The Oscar was much more deserved for The Town

Youre Tired said...

Ben’s Oscar

The Parrot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
StarryNeiht said...

Crash ultimately won because a bunch of homophobes were at the wheel.

Simples.

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