Japanese TV Recreates U.S. Election Run-Off

A slice of local politics is making it all the way to Japan -- thanks to an obscure Utah rule that allowed deadlocked mayoral candidates to roll the dice to see who wins.

Mark Allen and Robert Garside both finished with 724 votes in this town's Nov. 4 race for mayor.

Under Utah law, tie votes must be decided by drawing lots, which can mean anything from flipping a coin to drawing a name out of a hat, or, in this case, a toss of the dice.

The unusual political gamble caught the attention of Japan's Fuji TV (search), which decided to recreate the contest for an April broadcast of "Fountain of Trivia," a variety show, said Hide Miyauchi, a Fuji TV production manager.

The real dice roll took place Nov. 14. With quick flicks of the wrist, Allen rolled a 4 and a 1 for the top score while Garside rolled a pair of 2's. That gave Allen a third term in office.

Producers didn't want anything to get lost in translation.

Crews asked Allen and Garside to re-enact the dice roll with a 2-foot-wide die. The candidates were asked to glare at each other, then roll the oversized die several times.

"They wanted us to act really serious," Garside said.

Garside rolled a pair of ones, while Allen's rolls included a six and a four.

"I lost again," Garside said, laughing.