A rare German Enigma machine, used by the Nazis to send encrypted messages in World War II, was sold by auctioneers in London for $232,000, more than double the price it was expected to fetch.
The machine was built in 1943 and was expected to sell for between £50,000 and £70,000 at Sotheby's in London, but two unnamed parties pushed the selling price to £149,000 ($232,878), reported NBC News. Another Enigma machine went for $269,000 in April.
An estimated 100,000 Enigmas were made before the Third Reich fell, but because Germans were instructed to destroy the machines as they retreated, only a handful remain.
Originally patented in 1919, the machines had the capacity for 159,000,000,000,000,000,000 combinations and were used by the German military for decades, who considered them uncrackable.
A British team led by Alan Turing was finally able to crack the code in 1939 using one of the earliest computers, the Bombe, which was capable of cracking two Enigma messages per minute, or 84,000 a month, according to BBC. The invention gave Allied forces a considerable advantage over the Nazis and shortened the war by several years, saving up to 22 million lives, according to the Daily Mail.
Turing's involvement paved the way for encryption devices used today and inspired the release of the Oscar-winning film, "The Imitation Game."
In 1952, Turing was prosecuted for homosexual acts and chose to be chemically castrated as an alternative to prison.
Two years later at the age of 41, Turing died from cyanide poisoning. His death was ruled to be a suicide, though suspicions remain as to the true cause of death.