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Genius Chose the Life of a Hermit Instead of $1 Million

Grigori Perelman

The mysterious persona of one of the most famous modern-day geniuses has been provoking the interest of scientists for years now. The fact that the prominent Russian mathematician Grigori Perelman, who was the first to prove the Poincaré conjecture, prefers to live in seclusion and misery has not given peace of mind to numerous media outlets.

The Russian Grigori Perelman became popular after his refusal to accept his well-deserved awards. Some time ago, the mathematician was given a tempting offer, which he turned down without a second thought. An American institute intended to award the Russian man $1 million for his ability to prove Poincaré's theorem, known as one of the greatest problems of the millennium. Perelman announced that he has everything he needs and wants nothing more.

In fact, the eccentric man prefers to live like a true hermit. He almost never leaves his residence, which he shares with his mother. Further, he lives an exceptionally humble life, one might even consider him poor.

Grigori Yakovlevich Perelman was born on June 13, 1966 in what is now called Saint Petersburg to a European family. Starting in the 5th grade he began attending Sergei Rukshin's mathematicians' training program.

In 1982, as a member of the Soviet team of students, he won a gold medal at the International Mathematical Olympiad in Budapest. Without even taking any tests, he was accepted into the then-called Leningrad State University. He achieved remarkable successes in faculty, civic and student-union-based mathematics Olympiads.

Lone Wolf

In December 2005, he gave up his job as a leading contributor at the laboratory of mathematical physics at the Steklov Institute and put an end to his social life. Perelman avoids contact with people to the point where if journalists show up at his home, he prefers to speak to them hidden behind the front door.

"I know how to control the Universe. Why would I run to get a million, tell me? " responded the genius in an interview after he announced that he did not wish to receive a cash prize for proving Poincaré's conjecture. With those words, he proclaimed his intention to live as a hermit, away from all the noise, fame and luxury.