Albert Einstein was one of the greatest and most famous physicists of all time. He developed one of the foundations of modern physics—the theory of relativity. Einstein is a Nobel Laureate and his mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc2 is considered the world’s most famous equation.
Based on his biography, Einstein was very busy travelling and delivering scientific lectures between 1921 and 1922 in London, the United States, and different countries in the Far East including Japan.
During his trip to Japan to deliver a series of lectures in October 1922, Einstein received a telegram indicating that he will be awarded the Nobel Prize of 1921 for his services to theoretical physics and especially for his discovery of the law of photoelectric effect.” Instead of going back to Europe to attend the awarding ceremony in Stockholm, Einstein continued his original plan in Japan.
The news about Einstein winning the Nobel Prize spread like a fire. He was welcomed by thousands of people in Japan. They were very eager to see the world’s most famous scientist.
During his visit in the country, Einstein stayed at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo where he scribbled in German his theory about happiness on stationery. A bellboy came to his room to give him something. At the time, Einstein did not have cash to tip so he decided to give the bellboy two of his notes. He told the bellboy to keep those writings as their future value may be more than a regular tip.
One of Einstein’s notes reads: “Stilles bescheidenes Leben gibt mehr Glueck als erfolgreiches Streben, verbunden mit bestaendiger Unruhe.”
Translation: “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”
His second writing reads: “Wo ein Wille ist, da ist auch ein Weg.”
Translation: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Einstein was right. Those writings were sold for a significant amount of money during a recent auction in Jerusalem, Israel.
According to the Winner’s Auctions & Exhibitions, Einstein’s theory about happiness was sold for a whopping $1.56 million to an anonymous European buyer. The auction house opened the bidding for $2,000 and expected to sell the note for about $5,000 to $8,000.
The auction house opened the bidding for Einstein’s second note for $1,000 and it was sold for $240,000.
Meni Chadad, the spokesperson for the auction house told the New York Times,
“It was an all-time record for an auction of a document in Israel, and it was just wow, wow, wow. I think the value can be explained by the fact that the story behind the tip is so uplifting and inspiring, and because Einstein continues to be a global rock star long after his death.”