The first really big surprise of tonight's Oscar ceremony occurred when Mark Wahlberg announced the award for Best Sound Editing. It was a tie: Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall shared the award. Was this the first tie in Oscar history?
No. It is quite rare, however. In the ceremony’s 85-year history, there are two famous ties: In 1932, Frederic March received only one more vote for Best Actor over Wallace Beery. The Oscar rules then in effect "considered such a close margin to be a tie." Under the current rules, dual awards are only granted to exact ties. And in 1969, Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn tied for the Best Actress Award, with 3,030 votes each.
There have been three other ties: Best Documentary Short went to both A Chance to Live and So Much for So Little in 1949. In 1986, Artie Shaw: Time Is All You’ve Got and Down and Out in America both won for Best Documentary. And, most recently, in 1995, the Oscar for Live Action Short went to both Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life and Trevor.*
*This post has been updated to mention the ties in 1949 and 1986. We also corrected the spelling of Barbra Streisand's first name.
TODAY IN SLATE
Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man
The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.
Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.
Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution
Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show
Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada
Now, journalists can't even say her name.
Lena Dunham, the Book
More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.