Instead, the Nobel Prize winner 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.”
Einstein wrote on one of the notes: “A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest.”
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” he wrote on another sheet.
The notes, which were previously unknown to researchers, were being sold by an anonymous Hamburg resident.
Roni Grosz, an Einstein archivist at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, said: “What we’re doing here is painting the portrait of Einstein – the man, the scientist, his effect on the world – through his writings.
“This is a stone in the mosaic.”