THOUSANDS of people in the North East are prizewinners, but do not even realise it.
There are 740,000 unclaimed Premium Bond prizes in the UK, totalling more than £40million, according to National Savings & Investments (NS&I).
In Tyne and Wear there are more than 7,000 unclaimed Premium Bond prizes worth more than £407,000.
There is a man from the region who is still due to receive £10,000 after failing to claim his prize in a previous draw.
He has £320 invested in Premium Bonds and the prize was won back in July 2004.
In Durham there are more than 4,000 unclaimed prizes, worth about £219,000.
One man from the county is still due to receive £1,000 after failing to claim his prize in a previous draw.
He has only £2 invested and the prize was won in September 1979.
NS&I 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.”
A prize checker is available online at www.nsandi.com.