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buying power

Einstein jotted down 3 lines on a piece of paper in 1922. It just sold for $1.56 million.

An auction earlier this week proved you can indeed buy happiness ... for $1.56 million. Well, sort of: Albert Einstein's theory of happiness sold for the hefty sum at auction Tuesday, NPR reports.

At the Tokyo Imperial Hotel in 1922, Einstein tipped a bellboy with two notes written on pieces of hotel stationery. On one note, Einstein described his theory of happiness: "A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness," he wrote in German. On a second note, Einstein wrote, "Where there's a will there's a way." Einstein signed and dated both notes.

The bellhop saved the notes at Einstein's request, The Washington Post reports. Gal Weiner, the CEO of the auction house, told The Associated Press that Einstein told the worker at the time that the notes "will probably be worth more than a regular tip."

The two notes went up for auction in Jerusalem on Tuesday, where an anonymous European bidder paid $1.56 million for Einstein's theory of happiness. Another bidder took home the second note for $240,000. NPR reports that, until now, the notes had remained in that bellhop's family: the grandson of the Japanese bellboy's brother put the notes up for auction.