Russian mathematics genius Grigory Perelman won The Fields Medal (the "Nobel prize of math" as Alfred Nobel failed to include a math category, complete with $1 million award) for solving one of the hardest math problems ever: the Poincare conjecture [wiki].
But the Russian recluse - who still lives with his mother - said thanks, but no thanks, and declined the award!
John Ball, retiring president of the International Mathematical Union, said he had travelled to St Petersburg to meet Perelman in person to try to understand his reasons for declining the award.
Professor Ball said he had spoken to Perelman of personal experiences with the mathematical community during his career that had caused him to remain at a distance.
"However, I am unable to disclose these comments in public," he said, adding: "He has a different psychological make up, which makes him see life differently."
Manuel de Leon, chairman of the ICM said: "The reason Perelman gave me is that he feels isolated from the mathematical community and therefore has no wish to appear as one of its leaders."