The winners have been working independently of each other. On the phone at the announcement in Stockholm early on Wednesday morning, Negishi says he was sleeping when the Nobel committee called him, at 5 am, to let him know he had been awarded the prize.

“People had been mumbling about me receiving the prize, but I wasn’t really sure. I was extremely happy, as this means a lot. I’d be telling a lie if I wasn’t thinking about it. I began dreaming about the prize when I first came to America half a century ago and I encountered Nobel laureates that came to the university. I realized then it could happen to anybody, including me. Since then it’s been a dream I’ve been pursuing.”

Negishi, who is a professor at Purdue University, further said he was going to use the prize money to keep propelling his work. When asked if he was planning on coming to Stockholm for the ceremony, Negishi said: “With pleasure!” Negishi holds no patents for his invention in order for more people to make use of it.