Contest Summary and Acceptance Speeches

Tom's 30th Annual Oscar Contest
February 24, 2013

First Place: Denny Atkin (122 points)
Second Place: Robert Lock (115 points)
Booby Prize: David Hensley (0 points)

Contest Summary

Tom's 30th Annual Oscar Contest was a night-long struggle between two contestants who have been competing for at least 20 years. Finally a winner emerged—Denny Atkin, who won for the second year in a row.

Denny finished with 122 points (surpassing his score of 118 points last year) and Robert Lock finished with 115. Amazingly, Denny won despite guessing wrong in a major category (Best Supporting Actor, 10 points) that Robert guessed right. Denny's accuracy in a few lower-value categories made the difference.

David Hensley won the last-place Booby Prize. His perfectly bad score of zero points barely beat frequent Booby Prize winner Leslie Mizell, who scored one point. Leslie's valiant attempt to win the Booby Prize for a record 15th time was foiled when she chose Curfew for Best Live Action Short Film.


Denny Atkin is a Compute! Magazine alumnus, having joined the magazine too late to engage Tom in heated Amiga versus Atari ST debates. Nowadays he manages the Xbox website for Microsoft, despite having written things like "As the Magic 8-Ball said, 'Outlook not so good'" in his days as a technology journalist. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife Dawn and son Carter, who is looking forward to being nominated for Best Supporting Actor sometime in the early 2020s.

Robert Lock was the founder, publisher, and editor of Compute! Magazine and has competed in Tom's Oscar Contest since the 1980s. He won First Place in 2006, tied for Second Place in 2005, and won Second Place in 1990.

David Hensley is another Compute! Magazine alumnus. He is a self-employed business consultant and e-commerce salesperson in High Point, North Carolina. David and his wife Allison are perennial contestants and movie buffs who aspire to see every Oscar-nominated movie each year. David tied for the Booby Prize in 2010. He has plans to construct his own Booby Prize trophy (unbeknownst to Allison). David also holds the Compute! Magazine alumnus record for the most masthead title changes.

Acceptance Speeches

Denny Atkin, First Place:

"Oh, my god. Oh, c'mon. Alright. Thank you so much, Tom. Thank you, thank you! When I saw my name at the top of the list, I had this feeling I could hear half of the Internet going, 'Oh, no. Oh, c'mon. Why. him. AGAIN?' But whatever. I want to thank — because I really understand I'll never be up here again — I really want to thank all my former colleagues, all my friends. This is such a great honor, but the thing that counts the most with me is the friendships and the love and the sheer joy we have shared watching movies together. Thank you!"

Robert Lock, Second Place:

"I should have known to prepare a speech when there was so much focus on the oldest contestant this year. I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to say something funny, but at my age I can't remember. I last won Second Place in 2006, and before that, in 1990. Winning the lifetime title for most runners-up is not good. [Overtime warning: Ding!] I did win First Place a couple of times, too, but one of those was shared with my lovely wife Caroline, to whom I owe much of my longevity. [Ding, ding!] I don't know how Denny got all of those little 1- and 2-point things right. What an embarrassment. There's always next year. I'm starting to sound like a Republican. [Ding, ding, ding!] Since my appearance on this podium is so infrequent, I would like to thank Tom for the patient hours he devotes to all of us who look forward to his contest year after year. And all of you who come back each year. Congrats to Denny." [Ding, ding, ding, ding...cut to commercial.]

David Hensley, Booby Prize:

"Many years ago, after another failed attempt to win the Oscar contest, I decided it would be so much easier to pick losers. I couldn't have been more wrong. Oscar contest winners miss a few categories while the Booby Prize winner usually has to be perfect. Being perfect is so hard. It turns out that picking losers is only easy for Leslie Mizell. (Leslie, thanks for missing your Curfew.) I am now gaining on Leslie's impressive 14 wins and estimate I will be retirement age when I finally pull even with her. Looking forward to retirement now has a whole new meaning. After countless years with one pick spoiling that spotless ballot, I have now achieved every man's dream of two perfect Boobies!"

Return to Tom's Oscar Contest page