According to the auction house Winner’s Auctions and Exhibitions, Einstein was staying at a hotel in Tokyo, Japan, when he found that he had no cash to tip the bellhop who made a delivery to his room.
The acclaimed physicist, who had heard that he would be awarded the 1921 Nobel prize in physics, wrote his take on life in a note and handed it to the attendant, telling him that some day the value of the note would surpass the value of a standard tip.
On the note, which he signed, Einstein wrote down (in German) what has been called his formula for happiness:
“A calm and humble life will bring more happiness than the pursuit of success and the constant restlessness that comes with it.”
Ninety-five years later, the physicist was proved right. The bellhop’s nephew contacted the auction house to put it up for sale, where it fetched a cool $1.3-million.
The auction house declined to reveal the identity of the buyer.