The numbers may be up for bond holders

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PREMIUM Bond holders in Northumberland have been urged to check their numbers as there is more than £130,000 of unclaimed prize money in the county.

National Savings and Investments (NS&I) is conducting a nationwide search for the winners of more than 898,000 unclaimed prizes, amounting to some £44million.

In Northumberland alone there are 2,700 unclaimed prizes, including one of £5,000 due to a man who has £30,000 invested in Premium Bonds.

There is no time limit for claiming prizes, which are held until the rightful winners are tracked down.

The oldest outstanding prize in the county dates back to March 1967 when a woman won £50.

NS&I Operations Manager Jill Waters said: “It is likely that the winner of the £5,000 prize is unaware or he has forgotten that he has Premium Bonds – the lucky winner has £30,000 invested.

“Prizes often become unclaimed as a result of people moving house, or forgetting that bonds have been bought for them as a child, or executors are unaware the bonds are held when someone dies.

“By opting to manage your Premium Bonds online you could reduce the risk of missing out on prizes as they can be paid directly into your bank account.”

The highest unclaimed prizes in Northumberland are bond number 137FH571056, which won £5,000 in July 2011; 7EN768635, which won £1,000 in July 1998; and 24LA530423, which also won £1,000 in March 2011.

The oldest unclaimed prizes in the county are number 3AK461542, which won £50 in March 1967; PL397347, which won £25 in April 1972; and 1BW587813, which won £25 in June 1972.

More than a third of the UK population has invested more than £45billion in Premium Bonds and every eligible one is entered into a monthly prize draw.

Unclaimed prizes are often due to NS&I not being notified of changes in circumstances or contact details, or people losing track of their bonds or forgetting about them.

Bond holders are advised to manage their bonds online, or opt to have any prizes paid directly into their bank accounts, with a notification by email, to reduce the chances of missing out.

For more information visit www.nsandi.com

A prize-checking facility is also available online.