02/21/2013 03:43 pm ET Updated Apr 23, 2013

Oscar Odds


This week, I posted mathematical Oscar predictions in 21 categories on my website, Ben's Oscar Forecast. Now that I have these numbers, there are many fun ways to parse the data, and I can calculate the percent chance that various feats occur on Sunday night. For example, based on my algorithm, I've found:

  • Odds that Best Picture and Best Director go to the same movie: 8%
  • Odds that Argo becomes the second film ever to win Best Picture and nothing else: 7%
  • Odds that Silver Linings Playbook becomes the fourth film ever to sweep the "Big Five": 0.02%

How about the acting awards? Most critics, as well as my numbers, agree that Daniel Day-Lewis and Jennifer Lawrence are the favorites, but let's dig deeper to learn some more interesting facts:

  • Odds that Lincoln becomes the third film ever to win three acting awards: 5%
  • Odds that Silver Linings Playbook becomes the first movie to win all four acting awards: 0.04%

So a clean sweep isn't too likely for David O. Russell's love story. But some other categories that typically go together have a bit more of a chance at honoring the same movie:

  • Odds that either Life of Pi or Skyfall wins Best Original Score and Best Original Song: 8%
  • Odds that Argo, Life of Pi, or Skyfall wins Best Sounds Editing and Best Sound Mixing: 10%
  • Odds that Anna Karenina, Lincoln, or Life of Pi wins Best Production Design and Best Cinematography: 16%
  • Odds that Life of Pi sweeps the six technical categories: 0.009%

If you're into more dispiriting predictions, we can calculate facts about losses, not just wins:

  • Odds that Lincoln breaks the all-time record for Oscar losses, going 0/12: 3%
  • Odds that Django Unchained goes 0/5: 44%

Ouch. It seems that Quentin Tarantino has nearly a 50/50 shot of going home without any trophies. Anyway, here are a few more miscellaneous ones, because this is too much fun to stop:

  • Odds that either Moonrise Kingdom or Flight wins Best Adapted Screenplay, even without a Best Picture nomination: 7%
  • Odds that a European country wins Best Foreign Film: 89%
  • Odds that Anna Karenina wins all four of its nominations: 0.1%

Do you have any similar questions that you'd like me to calculate? Just leave a comment at and I'll respond with the percent chance of your scenario coming true.