Man won Premium Bond prizes 124 times - without realising

Ooh there’s nothing like a nice heartwarming story on Christmas Eve. Penniless pensioner Gerald Sargent was an avid Premium Bond fan, but while all his cronies were picking up cash prizes, poor Gerald hadn’t won for about 10 years.

premium bonds

So he decided to contact National Savings and Investments and idly enquire about his uncanny bad luck. That’s when it turned out he’d actually won 124 times, but THEY’D NOT BOTHERED TO TELL HIM.

Now the 80 year old is all set to receive a Christmas bonus of £5325 - plus a nice, healthy cheque for £2094.94 for the interest it accrued during the time they DIDN’T TELL HIM HE’D WON.

‘I rang to ask if they had lost me in the system,’ he explained. ‘They initially found I had won 10 times this year but I hadn’t received any winnings. Two hours later I got a call from the manager saying I had won more than 120 times. When I took the cheques to the bank the cashier couldn’t believe it. He nearly blew up the machine trying to process them.’

NS&I say they are ‘investigating’ the mistake, and have apologized for the rather long 10 year delay in getting his winnings.

Gerald, however, who is probably scoffing Eat Me dates while wearing a crown and smoking a stogie, has a message for his fellow Premium Bonders.

‘I just want to urge people – particularly those like me who have endured a long, dry spell – to check and see if they have won as it could be a nice Christmas.’


  • Mark W.
    I think to average one prize per month you'd have to invest the absolute maximum allowable, whatever that is. Average prize in this case being £42. I cannot work out if that is a good return or not.
  • Mark W.
    In fact the maximum one person can invest is £30000. Which makes one far from 'penniless'.
  • Rasta P.
    I suspect he'd moved house and failed to notify NS&I......they send cheques to the address that they have for you. I imagine that once the first couple of "not known at this address" letters got returned, NS&I just stopped sending them. (The NS&I website says that as of June 2013 there are 898,000 unclaimed prizes).

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