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Here's What Happens When You Sleep Through Your Nobel Call

Robert Wilson, who won economics prize, crossed the street in PJs to alert fellow winner Paul Milgrom
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2020 6:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – No one wants to hear their doorbell ring in the middle of the night, but Paul Milgrom will probably give Bob Wilson a pass. That's because Wilson, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics on Monday, was forced to trudge out in his pajamas to alert his Stanford colleague, who'd won the prize with him, after the Nobel Committee couldn't reach Milgrom by phone (he'd set it to silent mode), the Guardian reports. Video taken from Milgrom's Nest camera shows Wilson and his wife, who live across the street, show up at his front door, ringing the doorbell several times before Milgrom is apparently roused from sleep. "Paul? It's Bob Wilson," Wilson says. "You've won the Nobel." Most of what Milgrom says in the video is inaudible, except for a one-word reaction: "Wow."

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"I think that might be a first, that one laureate comes knocking at the other laureate's door," Adam Smith, the chief scientific officer of Nobel Media, said to Milgrom in a telephone interview shortly after the latter had been informed. NBC News notes that Milgrom's wife, who's in Stockholm right now, got a ping on her own phone when Wilson rang her doorbell halfway across the world, so she was able to catch the whole scene live. Stanford University also shared the video online. After the dust had settled, Smith asked Milgrom how he and Wilson were able to collaborate so effectively together to bring home the coveted prize. "I think we're both a little bit ... we're both nerds in, you know, in a certain way," Milgrom replied, per a release. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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