Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Blind Items Revealed #9

November 6, 2018

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.

Crash beating Brokeback Mountain for Best Picture in 2006

42 comments:

longtimereader said...

You kind of have to admire the audacity of a scam pulled off that well.

Nutty_Flavor said...

Interesting. The first in a long line of totally unwatchable and mostly forgotten "Best Picture" winners. Anyone see "The Artist" recently? How about "The Hurt Locker."

Tricia13 said...

They were both remarkable films in their own rite.
Crash was a brilliant and relevant study of the human condition imho

J said...

I tried to watch the Artist a second time a few years after it's release and couldn't get into it. With Hurt Locker that happened on first viewing.

Nutty_Flavor said...

They were both OK films, but not better than other films in their year that did not win Best Picture.

And I wouldn't call either influential.

"Brokeback" is still seen and referenced. "Crash", not so much.

Nutty_Flavor said...

At any rate, the next obvious question is, who were the two people that were bribed? Someone at Price Waterhouse?

Nonya Bidness said...

Truly sad if the fixing of the Oscars make your jaw drop, enty - considering you report on child trafficking and murder.
Lame!

Krab said...

Brokeback Mountain is a great movie. Crash, meh.

But hell, lots of great movies are robbed at Oscar time. Is Forrest Gump a better picture than Pulp Fiction? hahahahahaNO.

tulsa70s said...

Crash was great when it was called Grand Canyon.

prixie said...

I watched The Artist in a very pricey theatre and boy did I regret it. The insane money I spent was the only reason I stayed in my seat till the end. And Crash was not better than Brokeback. Everyone knows that and everyone knows it was fixed the moment the award was announced.

MDAnderson said...

Ill go back a little Nutty and say that Shakespeare in love shouldn’t have won over Saving Private Ryan and English Patient shouldn’t have won over jerry McGuire and Fargo. What do the two movies have in common?? Miramarx/Harvey. Liked both movies but there were better candidates.

octobear said...

Both were fantastic.

Tricia13 said...

Happy 2019 MD🎊
Looking forward to seeing you here this year !!!

Baby Cakes said...

Smh

Krab said...

Yeah, Fargo should have won. Now that is a truly great picture if you ask me and you didn't.

Nutty_Flavor said...

I would agree with you on those two, MDAnderson.

Back in the early days of the Oscars, Best Picture used to rotate between studios - Universal one year, RKO the next, MGM one year, Fox the next, Columbia the next, etc.

So it's never been a pure contest. There was nonsense from the beginning, like something called "Calvacade" beating out a piece of genius like "I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang" because it wasn't Warner Brothers' year.

MDAnderson said...

Happy New Year Tricia!! Looking forward to getting our snark on!! Love ya and wish your family the best!!

MDAnderson said...

I welcome your opinion either way Krab. Happy New Years.

CJ said...

Oscars wins have often seemed rigged to me.

Andi F said...

People bribed=the 2 Price Waterhouse employees with the breifcases with all the envelopes.

drew holthaus said...

Ive thought the Oscars were fixed ever since ShShakespeare in love won

Flashy Vic said...

I'm surprised anyone ever assumed it wasn't rigged.

I was well into my adult years before I found out that it was (supposedly) voted on. I just assumed it was all a stitched up Buggins Turn from the film makers cartel.

longtimereader said...

Goopy sure did put the 'work' in to get her oscar, i'll say that for her.

Sarton Bander said...

No wonder her snatch is steaming!

Sd Auntie said...

Right @MD. Shakespeare in love was a joke and every GP movie!

Sd Auntie said...

Glad Weinstein no longer has any influence. Good riddance!

Humor Me said...

Wow - the Oscars are fixed. Just like the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus - not real.
I remember watching and was dumbfounded when Crash won BP.

Brian Van said...

Funny to see the comments about how the Oscar winners from the last 20 years are not rewatchable. Like that's anything new. Go look at the winners from the 80's sometime. Tell me how many of those movies you want to see again, lol

McJ 2051 said...

It's never been a 'fair'contest. Studios 'campaign' on certain films. Films released later in the year tend to do better. Films of certain types tend to do better. Sometimes actors get the Oscar not for the performance in question but for the body of work. Ditto the director. It isn't a popular vote by the public but by industry insiders so networking goes a long way. The choices tend not to bear up to scrutiny years later -- either popularly or critically. Direct bribes are just raising the ante. It's already a 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' set up. All entertainment is.

Nutty_Flavor said...

There were actually some excellent winners from the 80s. “Amadeus” holds up great; just saw it last year with a live orchestra playing the soundtrack.

1988 was a particularly good year: “Rain Man” won, but “Working Girl” and “ Dangerous Liasons” were also nominated.

Nutty_Flavor said...

Wait, gotta add “A Soldier’s Story”, nominated for Best Picture in 1984. (Amadeus won that year)

Howard Rollins is fabulous (and gorgeous) in this movie, and it’s also one of Denzel Washington’s first big roles.

The plot is tight and suspenseful - based on a play - and it has a clever and unexpected take on racism in the 1940s south.

Highly recommended.

plot said...

I didn't even remember The Artist till you guys mentioned it. The Hurt Locker I loved because it was experimental and introspective - rare these days. Great tone and mood, too.

Walked out of Shakespeare in Love after 15 minutes to see another film at the theater I preferred greatly, can't remember what it was now. Yeah, old Harv really put some serious money in that Oscar campaign.


@Krab

Agree on Fargo, one of my favorites of all time. It deserved everything that year.

Cody said...

Nutty Flavor- Amadeus is one of my favorite movies - would be wonderful with the orchestra! Thanks for sharing 😊

Cee Kay said...

I liked The Artist.

@plot Well, Harvey probably got Goop to swallow. That would have been worth throwing around a few million to him!

timebob said...

PWC has been with the Oscars since 2001 and it's always 2 people doing the counting. Seeing what happened in 2016. That's a lot of money to switch a title on a card.

mike m said...

Platoon is an Oscar winner from 1987 that is still watchable today. Great cast.

Heather Allison said...

Marisa Tomei?

ron hobbs said...

Full Metal Jacket was never even nominated. Next.

theotherginger said...

Crash was a great film... it was a huge shock when it won though. The worst in my memory is Shakespeare in Love beating Saving Private Ryan. Bull-fucking-shit. That movie was okay. Saving Private Ryan is EPIC. Weinstein and his minions did that... and gave Gwyneth her gold statue. Gross.

plot said...

Since this will now be buried, word is that Gwynneth's part in SiL had to be dubbed for large portions because her accent and rhythm were not up to snuff. Just saying...

Em22 said...

I quit part way into Crash. It was a little slow... Boring . Lol, to me anyway And, never saw Broke back, as I can't stand cheating stories, Esp ones that involve gay men, using a women for a front while wasting her life and going behind her back. Lol, pisses me off a little too much. It's bad enough to be cheated on. So, ya, I skipped that one altogether

Em22 said...

Loved Fargo... Even loved the first season of the series.. Second one, eh..

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