The Man Who Loves Numbers


Rick Rosas
Pricewaterhouse Coopers accountant

Every year now for the past eight Oscar ceremonies, Rick Rosas has walked the red carpet, patiently run the media interview gauntlet and taken his place inside the Kodak Theatre for the show.

Rosas is one of the pair of accountants for PricewaterhouseCoopers that dutifully tabulates the votes and inscribes the winners onto the cards sealed inside the oversized envelopes. Since 2002, he has zealously guarded the voting results -- which have security on a par with nuclear launch codes. Only he and fellow PwC operative Brad Oltmanns know who's going to win before the nominees -- and the Academy -- do.

Rosas originally wanted to join the FBI. "It was the mid-1980s, and unfortunately the bureau had a hiring freeze at the time," Rosas, 44, laments. "I interviewed, but it didn't work out. I like to think that in my Oscar job, it's a lot like being with the FBI, just without the firearms."

Rosas has been an accountant since he graduated from college and has been with PwC for 13 years. "This wasn't something I set out to do, but it's fun," the low-key Rosas says. "You also don't really lobby for the job. It just kind of happens. There have been only 12 of us in this job in the 75 years our company has been counting the Oscar ballots."

A husband and father of 21⁄2-year-old twins, Rosas notes that his life outside of work involves "playing golf and chasing babies." He takes no rooting interest in the Oscars but takes his job seriously enough to see every nominated film.

And no, he has never been bribed to spill the results in advance "except in fun" and won't even tell his wife, who sits in the audience.

As for where he and partner Oltmanns have done their tabulating work this week, it's something that can't be disclosed, Rosas maintains. "But I can tell you Brad and I are in the same room while we're doing it," he says. "We have to keep an eye on each other."
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