I just read that Mary Beard won the Wolfson History Prize, which is not only prestigious, but is, what she says, "very handsome in financial terms"--ie, I think it's thousands of dollars, which is quite incredible considering intellectual pursuits don't seem to be the most profitable on the planet.
I met Mary last year when she was lecturing at the University of Chicago, then saw her again briefly this year when she was lecturing at the Art Institute of Chicago, and will hopefully see her again when she returns to the University of Chicago this fall. She's not only a very successful writer and academic but is also a very nice person who's been encouraging to me and even agreed to write the Foreword to the anthology that I put together. And what's impressive is that she writes for an established newspaper and teaches at a prestigious university, but is very open to online writing and baby blogs such as mine :D
Isaac Wolfson, who set up the prize and foundation that gives financial rewards to various institutions and achievements, had an interesting life as well and was quite generous.