Nobel prize winner thought it was a 'crank call'

Americans Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice and British-born scientist Michael Houghton won the Nobel Prize for medicine on Monday for their discovery of the hepatitis C virus. Rice said his win took him completely by surprise. (Oct. 5)

Video Transcript

CHARLES RICE: I got the news by our sort of landline sort of in the living room sort of ringing at 4:30 AM, which you know, it does not usually do. So I figured that you know, this was probably a crank phone call. I let the phone just sort of ring and die. And then I thought, oh, OK, well it must have just been a fluke. And so I started to head back into the bedroom, and then the bloody thing starts ringing again.

Suddenly, there's a voice on the other side of the line with a Swedish accent sort of telling me that I had been sort of selected for the sort of Nobel Prize. So I thought it was pretty much, it must be a crank phone call, except that you know, it sounded pretty official and at least mention of Harvey Alter and Mike Houghton suggested that yes, it had maybe something to do with, with sort of hepatitis C. So I haven't thought about it, but I'll probably give it away to some deserving entity. But yeah, I wouldn't, I actually wouldn't feel comfortable using it for any kind of personal use.