45. An­drew Beal


Beal dropped out of col­lege twice. He was ap­par­ently too busy build­ing his first for­tune in real es­tate, flip­ping apart­ment build­ings. Later on, the Texas banker made a tidy sum dur­ing the Great Re­ces­sion pur­chas­ing dis­tressed as­sets. A math­e­mat­ics en­thu­si­ast, Beal de­vel­oped a hy­poth­e­sis re­lat­ing to a 300-year-old math prob­lem, later dubbed the Beal Con­jec­ture. He has since of­fered $1 mil­lion to any­one who could prove or dis­prove it. Nearly 25 years later, no­body has.

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