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. (Read more James Watson stories.)