Andy Beal Ups Math Prize to $1 Million

Unless you’re a serious math dork, there’s no reason you’d have ever heard of the Beal Conjecture. The number theory problem looks like this:

If Ax + By = Cz where A, B, C, x, y and z are positive integers and x, y and z are all greater than 2, then A, B and C must have a common prime factor.

Years ago, Andy Beal offered $5,000 to anyone who could prove or offer a counterexample to the equation. Now, Andy Beal you might have heard of. Forbes says the Dallas banker is worth $8.5 billion. He’s also something of a poker nut. We published this profile of him in 2004. Beal is media shy, but our writer just happened to run into Beal at a card table.

Well. Now comes news that Beal has upped the Beal Prize to $1 million. College students, adjust your majors accordingly.