On March 18, 2010, the Clay Mathematics Institute announced the first Millennium Prize. This $1,000,000 award went to Russian mathematician Dr. Grigory Perelman for his solution to the Poincaré Conjecture, a century-old topology problem. Exactly two months ago, I wrote a post on Perfect Rigor [WordPress], a biography of Perelman written by Masha Gessen, published in 2009, when it was still not known whether or not Perelman would receive the prize. He is now a richer man—or is he? (See this article [Huffington Post].)
Four years ago, Perelman was awarded the Fields medal (considered an equivalent to the Nobel in mathematics); he declined it. (See this article [BBC News].)
But this time, he declined a much bigger prize. Since 2000, only one of the seven Millennium Problems has been solved—right now Perelman is the only person who has solved such a problem. On one hand, his refusal of the prize is disappointing, but on the other, it is respectable.