Albert Einstein's scribbled secrets for happiness fetch $1.5m at auction

Albert Einstein is believed to have written the note that sold for £1.18million at auction today in 1922 when he had no small change to offer his driver

The note was written during Einstein's 1922 visit to Japan after he was informed that he would be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Instead, the Nobel Prize victor handed the man two handwritten notes, telling him: "Maybe if you're lucky those notes will become much more valuable than just a regular tip".

That's when the messenger arrived with a delivery and Einstein found himself without any money for a tip. Wiener would not reveal the names of the seller or buyer of the note.

The words written on the note can be translated to, "A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness".

Sources say that the note, on the stationary of the Imperial Hotel Tokyo, was written in 1922 by the German-born physicist who was famous for his theory of relativity, when he was on a lecture tour in Japan.

Reports also state the bellboy either "refused to accept a tip, in line with local practice, or Einstein had no small change available".

While he was impressed, he also felt embarrassed by the publicity and wrote down his thoughts from his hotel room at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.

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Today's bidding began at $2,900 (NZD) and quickly escalated.

The note eventually fetched $1.56 million. The letter had originally been estimated to sell for between $5,000 and $8,000, according to the Winner's Auctions and Exhibitions' website.

The seller was reportedly the bellboy's nephew, the BBC reported.

"It was an all-time record for an auction of a document in Israel", said Winner's spokesman Meni Chadad, adding that the buyer was a European who wished to remain anonymous.

Einstein served as a non-resident governor of Jerusalem's Hebrew University.

He had just heard that he had won the coveted Nobel prize for physics and told the messenger that, if he was lucky, the notes would become valuable.

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