ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - Who doesn't want to be a millionaire? Maybe an unemployed bachelor who lives with his elderly mother in Russia and won $1 million for solving a problem that has stumped mathematicians for a century.
Grigory Perelman, 43, can't decide if he wants the money.
"He said he would need to think about it," said James Carlson, who phoned Perelman to tell him he had won the Millennium Prize awarded by the Clay Mathematics Institute of Cambridge, Mass.
Carlson said he wasn't too surprised by the apparent lack of interest from Perelman, a reclusive genius who has a history of refusing big prizes. In 2006, he stayed away from a ceremony in Madrid where he was supposed to get a Fields Medal, often called the Nobel prize of mathematics.
Perelman was honored for proving the Poincaré conjecture, which deals with shapes that exist in four or more dimensions, rather than the familiar three dimensions. The conjecture proposes a test for determining whether a shape in such space, no matter how distorted, is a three-dimensional sphere. - AP