Clean the blackboard!!

The integers 1, 2, …, 40 are written on a blackboard. The following operation is then repeated 39 times: In each repetition, any two numbers, say a and b, currently on the blackboard are erased and a new number a + b – 1 is written. What will be the number left on the board at the end?

Taken from CAT (Common admission test) paper.

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