OSCAR, THE SECRET STORY

Next Monday night, 75 million Americans will watch the Oscars. As in other televised spectacles--election night, the Super Bowl--there will be winners and losers. Unlike viewers of those other competitions, however, Oscar watchers will have no idea of the score. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences resolutely refuses to reveal the raw vote totals. Why? One reason may be that if the numbers ever did appear, folks at home might realize that it does not take all that many votes to win.

There are 5,614 voting members of the academy. This is a pretty good-size electorate, but, even so,...

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