The Winners Used to Be Known before the Ceremony
The very first Academy Awards in 1929 actually announced the winners three months before the ceremony! Probably why the prize-giving at the first awards show took only 15 minutes. And until 1940, the winners' names were given to the press, embargoed, ahead of the event. However, in 1940, the Los Angeles Times announced the winners before the ceremony began. Therefore, since 1941, a sealed envelope has been used to reveal the winners at the Oscars.