James Watson's DNA Nobel Sells for $4.1M

$4.8M if you count the premium paid to Christie's
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2014 6:04 PM CST
James Watson's DNA Nobel Sells for $4.1M
This image provided by Christie's auction house shows the 1962 Nobel Prize medal James Watson won.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

James Watson will collect $4.1 million for the Nobel medal he received in 1962 for unraveling the structure of DNA. The anonymous buyer will actually have to shell out $4.8 million counting the premium that goes to Christie's auction house, reports the New York Times. The newspaper says the 86-year-old Watson watched the bidding "open-mouthed from the back of the room" as the price went up and up and up. Christie's had estimated the medal would go for between $2.5 million and $3.5 million.

“I’m very pleased," said Watson afterward. "It’s more money than I expected to give to charity.” The price is a record for a Nobel medal and the first sold by a living recipient. Watson has said he hopes the sale and subsequent donations to charity will help him "reenter public life," notes CBS News. He's been largely ostracized since suggesting in a 2007 interview that white people were smarter than black people. (More James Watson stories.)

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