Thanks, Einstein!

November 6, 2017
BIG TIPPER Albert Einstein gave these notes as tips at a hotel in 1922. They just sold for nearly $2 million.

A handwritten note from Albert Einstein sold for more than $1.5 million at auction. Einstein was a famous scientist. He gave the note to a worker at a hotel in Japan in 1922. Einstein was not carrying money when the worker came to his room. He was unable to give a cash tip, as a guest normally would. Instead, he gave a tip on how to live life.

“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness,” Einstein wrote. The note is written in German.

Albert Einstein was a scientist. He was awarded a Nobel Prize for his work.


Gal Wiener is head of the auction house in Jerusalem, Israel, where the note was sold. He said Einstein told the hotel worker to keep the note since it “will probably be worth more than a regular tip.” Just before arriving in Japan, Einstein learned that he had won a Nobel Prize.

Bidding on the note began at $2,000. It was expected to sell for no more than $8,000. But 25 minutes later, the auction house made the major sale.

A second Einstein note was also sold at the auction. It went for more than $200,000. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” the note says.

The identity of the person or group that sold the notes has not been made public. Nor has that of the buyer or buyers.