A BOOKMAKER is on the hunt for the winner of a new car who is yet to claim their prize.
William Hill’s online bingo competition saw a Durham City man, known only as Raymond, become the lucky winner of a £6,600 Fiat Panda, but until now he has steered clear of his prize.
Bosses at www.williamhillbingo.com had to cancel their delivery, having failed to trace the winner among the city’s population of 30,000.
Tony Kenny, from William Hill, said: “We had the vehicle ready on the low-loader from Stockport for the trip to Durham a fortnight ago. But then we failed to locate the winner, a chap called Raymond, who has the somewhat unusual internet nickname of Rayamok.
“We’re on the ground literally searching Durham for Ray – who is clearly more elusive than the Scarlet Pimpernel – and we are that desperate to find him that we’re putting wanted posters out in our shops.”
William Hill staff have even taken to the streets with a megaphone in their own noisy bid to find Raymond.
District manager Keith Inkster said: “In all my years in the business, I’ve never had such a big winner fail to turn up.
“Never in my entire career have we had to do anything like this.
“We’ve been searching Durham and district to no avail, so now the search will spread further.
“But it’s a bit embarrassing for members of staff as literally nobody knows this particular Ray.
“We were supposed to be presenting the prize a fortnight ago if not before, but the winner has gone awol.
“Fortunately, the car never came up from Stockport as we literally had nobody to give it to.
“He’s bound to turn up as it’s become the talk of Durham’s bookies in the last week or so.
“We’re leaving no stone unturned in our search, but we are getting some very funny looks from people.”
The winner was selected on October 26, but four weeks later has still not claimed the prize.
Last week it was revealed that 4,000 unclaimed Premium Bond prizes, worth £219,000, are also unclaimed in Durham.