Contest Summary and Acceptance Speeches

Tom's 32nd Annual Oscar Contest
February 22, 2015

First Place Prize: Rebecca Willingham (116 points, earlier ballot)
Second Place Prize: David English (116 points, later ballot)
Booby Prize: Amy Helen Johnson (0 points, earlier ballot)
Booby (tie): David Hensley (0 points, later ballot)
Booby (tie): Leslie Mizell (0 points, later ballot)

Contest Summary

Tom's 32nd Annual Oscar Contest was decided by the tie-breaker clause in the contest rules: the earlier ballot wins.

Rebecca Willingham and David English both finished with 116 points, but Rebecca submitted her ballot about six hours sooner, so she won the First Place Prize and David won Second Place. This is Rebecca's first victory in Tom's Oscar Contest. Rebecca, a recent college graduate, is a Chicago-based theatre director. She is thrilled to finally see Julianne Moore win the Oscar she should have received for Far from Heaven, and she agrees that Birdman was the best movie of 2014. Many long-time contestants know her uncle, Compute! magazine founder Robert Lock. Read Rebecca's acceptance speech.

David English is a writer, film buff, and former editor at Compute!. He won the contest in 2011 and finished second in 2010 and 2002. Visit his websites, Filmzoid and Classic Film Preview. Read David's acceptance speech.

The last-place Booby Prize was decided in the same way. Amy Helen Johnson, David Hensley, and Leslie Mizell all finished with a perfect score of zero, but Amy won the Booby Prize by submitting her ballot about eight hours before David and about 16 hours before Leslie. This is the fifth time Amy has won or shared the Booby Prize, and she won Second Place in 2001. Amy is a freelance writer in Seattle who has appeared on TV's Jeopardy. Read her acceptance speech.

Finishing close behind the top winners were Tim Midkiff (114 points), Computer Average (a computer-generated contestant, which scored 113 points), and Robert Lock (112 points). Another computer-generated contestant, Computer Booby (which strives for the lowest score), finished with 3 points.

Acceptance Speeches

Rebecca Willingham, First Place Prize:

"Wow what an incredible honor! Everything is awesome! Thank you to Tom for hosting such a fun event every year! Thank you to my Aunt Caroline Lock and Uncle Robert Lock for their introduction to this tradition. Thank you to my mom for watching every ceremony with me since 2002 and for texting throughout when we couldn't be together. Thank you to my boyfriend Joey for his support of my Oscar dreams. And finally, thank you to Peter Jackson. My obsession with the Lord of the Rings trilogy led to my passion for the Oscars, which is finally paying off 13 years later."

David English, Second Place Prize:

"OMG, I tied for first place, but actually ended up in second place because my ballot was turned in later than Rebecca Willingham's ballot. Maybe this is one of those time-glitch movies where I need to keep reliving the experience over and over again, until I'm able to send in my ballot hours, then days, earlier. After 3,476 tries, I'm almost there. Oops, there goes that alarm clock again.

"Or maybe this is one of those alternate-universe doppelganger movies where there are two of me doing slightly different things at slightly different tempos until together we pass through a swirling space portal. Hey, is that Matthew McConaughey over there in front of a movie theater showing Contact and Interstellar on a double bill? Oddly, the two films are being projected simultaneously, but just out of sync with each other.

"I would like to thank Rebecca Willingham, without whom I wouldn't have been able to achieve this mathematically imprecise tie. Maybe next year we should join forces to double our scores. No, that can't be right. That's not how math is supposed to work—that is, unless you're stuck inside a movie."

Amy Helen Johnson, Booby Prize:

"I am humbled by this achievement. Maintaining comprehensive ignorance about such a broad cultural phenomenon requires hard work, dedication, and an unseemly interest in online video games. But I never wavered in my commitment to earning the Booby Prize. I have achieved not only fame, but also a full set of +10 armor that will make the fiercest monster quake. Also, 'Nah, nah, David and Leslie!"

Return to Tom's Oscar Contest page