A few days ago The Huffington Post wrote a story that asked the question: "What Would Happen If A Presenter Announced The Wrong Winner At The Oscars?"
The majority of the story centers on the famous Oscar Urban Legend that Jack Palance announced the wrong name when Marisa Tomei won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in My Cousin Vinny.
Also, in 1964, Sammy Davis Jr. was given the wrong envelope. Davis was presenting Best Adaptation or Treatment Score, but ended up announcing the Best Original Score recipient instead. “They gave me the wrong envelope?” he asked upon realizing what had just happened. A PwC representative quickly emerged to hand him the proper information. “Wait’ll the NAACP hears about this!” Davis joked.
The HuffPo story explains that only Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz of accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (the firm that tabulates the winners) know the winners before they are announced. They were asked what the protocol would be if a screw up of this magnitude were to occur and Cullinan said:
"We would make sure that the correct person was known very quickly. Whether that entails stopping the show, us walking onstage, us signaling to the stage manager — that’s really a game-time decision, if something like that were to happen. Again, it’s so unlikely."
This is exactly what happened at the 2017 Oscars! Did Brian Cullinan know something we didn't? Was The Huffington Post in on it?