MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – By the time most Minnesotans wake up Friday morning, the world will know who won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Though the nominations are secret, some of the potential names have leaked out.  Pope Francis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are considered the favorites.

So, what does it take to win a Nobel Prize? Good Question.

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According to V.V. Chari, professor of Economics at the University of Minnesota, who worked with 2004 Economics Nobel Prize winner Edward Prescott, it takes research that provides an extraordinary amount of influence.

“He was the greatest economist I’ve ever had the opportunity to talk with,” Chari said.

The prizes began in 1901 after Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, left behind $31 million Swedish Krona ($265 million in today’s dollars). He wrote in his will they should be given to people who’ve made the most important discoveries, done the most outstanding work and offered the greatest benefit to mankind that year.

Five prizes – for Medicine, Chemistry, Physics, Literature and Peace – were first awarded. Economics was added in 1968.

Earlier this week, the 2015 prizes for Medicine, Chemistry, Physics and Literature awards were given out. The Peace award will be announced at 4 a.m. Friday and the Nobel Prize for Economics will be awarded at 6 a.m. Monday.

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Little Falls, Minnesota, native and University of Minnesota-Duluth alum Dr. Brian Kobilka shared the Chemistry Prize in 2012. Now a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, he studies how cells in our body sense their environment. His research is used to develop better drugs.

He found out he won the prize in a 2:30 a.m. phone call from Sweden. At first, he didn’t answer because he thought it was a wrong number.

“It was a complete shock,” he said.

Getting nominated isn’t the hard part. Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini have all been up for the Peace Prize at one point. None of them won.

To be nominated, you have to be living, you can’t nominate yourself and the person who nominated you has to be from a small group of people that include former Nobel winners, Nobel board members, government officials or university professors.

Most winners are chosen by Swedish scholars, but the Peace Prize is decided by a committee of five Norwegians. That committee is chosen by the Norwegian Parliament.

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Each recipient wins a medal and diploma and a cash award. This year’s award is valued at $970,000.

Heather Brown