WATCH: Nobel Laureate Robert Wilson knocks on fellow recipient's door late at night to share news

When the Nobel Committee was unable reach Paul Milgrom to announce the good news - he had won the Nobel Prize in economics - fellow winner Robert Wilson decided to take the matter into his own hands

FP Staff October 13, 2020 11:05:11 IST
WATCH: Nobel Laureate Robert Wilson knocks on fellow recipient's door late at night to share news

Wilson, who is also Milgrom's neighbour, walked over to his house to share the news in the middle of the night.(Twitter/@Stanford)

When the Nobel Committee was unable reach Paul Milgrom to announce the good news — he had won the Nobel Prize in economics — fellow winner Robert Wilson decided to take the matter into his own hands and shared the news in the middle of the night.

At 2.15 am in California, Wilson, who is also Milgrom's neighbour, walked over to his house. In a security camera video recording, Wilson can be seen ringing Milgrom's doorbell at 2.15 am and knocking for several seconds.

Finally when Milgrom responded, Wilson can be heard saying: "Paul, it's Bob Wilson. You've won the Nobel Prize. And so they're trying to reach you, but they cannot. They don't seem to have a number for you."

"We gave them your cell phone number," Wilson's wife, Mary, said.

After a brief silence, Milgrom responded in surprise: "Yeah, I have? Wow."

"Will you answer your phone?" asked Wilson's wife with a laugh.

The committee calls the winners before announcing the names to the world each year. It's always a decent hour in Stockholm - the middle of the day - but that means it is the middle of the night on the US West Coast.

Milgrom's wife, who was in Stockholm, also heard the good news at the same time after receiving a security-camera notification on her phone.

Because she received a notification from the doorbell security camera back home, she got to watch as Wilson relayed the good news, according to a tweet from Stanford University.

Milgrom and Wilson, both professors at Stanford University, received the Nobel Prize 2020 in Economic Sciences "for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats."

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a press release, "This year’s Laureates, Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, have studied how auctions work. They have also used their insights to design new auction formats for goods and services that are difficult to sell in a traditional way, such as radio frequencies."

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