ONE lucky local is sitting on a £1m jackpot after clinching the top prize on the Premium Bonds.
Officials say a man living in Cleveland has scooped the mega-money from a winning bond which was bought in July 1998.
The jackpot winner becomes ERNIE’S 253rd Premium Bond millionaire. But other people living in the area may also be sitting on prizes without realising it.
More than 3,000 prizes worth £190,000 remain unclaimed in the area.
A spokesman for NS&I National Savings and Investments (NS&I) which runs the scheme said: “There are a number of other unclaimed prizes due to the residents of the region, the oldest of these outstanding prizes having been drawn in August 1965. NS&I has tried to trace these winners, but so far without success.
“There is a woman from the region who is still due to receive £5,000 after failing to claim her prize in a previous draw. She has only £31 invested in Premium Bonds and the prize was won in January 2008.”
Two other prizes of £1,000 and six of £500 are also standing unclaimed in the area.
Some of the top unclaimed prizes in the Cleveland region are 4DZ904351, 1KK377848, EW606770, 2AF548602, AN203968, 8FN464699, EL204847, 16VN609107 and 1CK612610.
There is no time limit for claiming prizes. Premium Bonds investors can check to see if they have won by visiting www.nsandi.com and using the Premium Bonds prize checker.
Premium Bonds are an investment where, instead of interest payments, investors have the chance to win tax-free prizes.
They were launched by Harold Macmillan, then the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his 1956 budget.