Kentucky Has 4th Best Odds of State to Produce Best Actor Nominee

When you think of horse racing, you don’t think of Hollywood and when you think of the Oscars, you don’t think of Kentucky. But since 2000, the Bluegrass State has produced the fourth highest percentage of Best Actor nominees at the annual Academy Awards.

Lexington native George Clooney leads the way, with nominations in 2012 for “The Descendants,” 2010 for “Up in The Air,” and 2008 for “Michael Clayton.” Clooney didn’t win any of them, but he did win a Best Supporting Actor statue for “Syriana” in 2006 and co-produced the 2013 Best Picture “Argo.”

Next up is Owensboro-born Johnny Depp. Media reports of erratic behavior and a sordid, high-profile domestic abuse trial have taken a bit of the luster from Depp the actor, but he’s often been weird and great. He was nominated as Best Actor in 2008 for “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” 2005 for “Finding Neverland,” and 2004 for “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.” 

Depp hasn’t won either.

Another offbeat actor from Kentucky is Lexington’s Michael Shannon, who’s portrayed a number of notable characters on TV and in the movies. Shannon was nominated in 2017 for “Nocturnal Animals” and 2009 for “Revolutionary Road.” Shannon gives Kentucky an oh-fer in the win category.

Kentucky sports betting is currently prohibited, so there are no sports betting apps in Kentucky legally offering odds on the Academy Awards. 

States With Most Oscar Best Actor Nominees Since 2000

Location Percentage of Nominees Odds of State To Produce A Nominee
California 18.9% +429
New York 11.7% +755
Pennsylvania 6.3% +1487
Kentucky 5.4% +1752
Texas 3.6% +2678
Illinois 3.6% +2678
Massachusetts 2.7% +3604
New Jersey 2.7% +2604
Oklahoma 1.8% +5456
Tennessee .90% +11011
Missouri .90% +11011
South Carolina .90% +11011
Wisconsin .90% +11011
International 39.6% +153

Jennifer Lawrence Was a Winner

If you want an Acting winner from Kentucky, Louisville’s Jennifer Lawrence took home the prize in 2013 for “Silver Linings Playbook.” She also was nominated in 2016 for “Joy,” 2014 for “American Hustle,” and 2011 for her breakthrough performance in “Winter’s Bone.”

Any one of these Kentuckians could find themselves nominated again as all work steadily. And as long as they’re working, +1752 are good odds for another nominee.

On the movie title side, Kentucky has also been popular, starting with the 1925 John Ford directed horse drama, “Kentucky Pride,” Will Rogers in the 1935 horse drama “In Old Kentucky,” the 1938 drama, “Kentucky,” a romance/family feud story set against the Kentucky Derby, Burt Lancaster in 1955’s “The Kentuckian,” and of, course, 1977’s “Kentucky Fried Movie.”

Remember, if and when Kentucky does legalize gambling, BetKentucky will be the way to find the best KY betting apps for shows like the Academy Awards.


Methodology: utilized to gather all actors that were nominated for the award “Best Actor” at the Oscars since 2000. Since 2000, there have been 110 nominations and we found the percentage and odds of each state that is likely to produce a nomination. Actors with multiple nominations during this time period are counted each time.

What’s next for Kentucky sports betting? BetKentucky is your home for all the latest news that may help you wager on the Academy Awards down the line.


Howard Gensler

Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist who’s worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a founding editor of

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