Show Me the Money

Laureates of the Nobel Prizes are allowed to spend the prize money on whatever they want, sometimes with surprising results…

For example, we know that Albert Einstein was a scientific genius but he also had the brainpower to foresee a future Nobel Prize win. When he was awarded the Prize for Physics in 1921 he had already promised the winnings to first wife, Mileva Maric, in their earlier divorce settlement. In a similar story the winner of the Economics Prize in 1997, Robert E. Lucas, also had to share his prize money with his ex-wife. Her divorce lawyer inserted a clause in the settlement agreement to cover just such a possibility.

Winston Churchill also needed the money. He won the 1953 Literature prize and wrote a relieved letter to his wife, Clementine, after his prize was announced. And in a generous bout of goodwill, Swedish physicist Gustav Dalén, the 1912 Physics Laureate, used part of his prize money to give his factory workers an additional week’s salary.

The featured image is borrowed and edited with thanks from Philip Brewer under a Creative Commons License.