MORE than £100,000 is available to Northumberland residents who have yet to collect their winnings under a Government scheme.
National Savings and Investments (NS&I) is launching a nationwide search to track down the winners of more than 740,000 unclaimed Premium Bond prizes across the UK, worth over £40 million in total.
In Northumberland there are more than 2,000 unclaimed prizes worth £109,450.
There are two males from the region who are still due to receive £1,000 after failing to claim their money from draws in July 1998 and May 2000.
A number of other residents have £500 awaiting them.
There is no time limit for claiming prizes and each unclaimed one is held until the winner can be tracked down.
The oldest unclaimed prize in Northumberland dates back to March 1967 for the sum of £50.
NS&I’s Operations Manager Jill Waters said: “It is likely that many of the winners are unaware or have forgotten that they have Premium Bonds.
“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.”
Previously, winners of the 1.7 million prizes distributed each month would hear of their win when they received their prize warrant through the post.
But now they can elect to have their prizes paid directly into their bank account, with notification of the win by e-mail.
To register, holders will need to sign up to manage their Bonds online at www.nsandi.com/register-our-online-service
People can also check if they have an unclaimed prize by writing to Premium Bonds, National Savings and Investments, Blackpool, FY3 9YP, quoting their name and address, any former names and addresses, date of birth and, if known, their Premium Bond holder’s number.