A LUCKY pensioner has been given a Christmas to remember after discovering he has won on the premium bonds – 124 times.
Gerald Sargent, 80, of Coppice Side, Swadlincote, hadn’t received a penny in winnings from his premium bond investments for a decade, so queried why, and has now found out he has scooped thousands.
Now he is urging other premium bond holders to make the same checks and possibly enjoy a prosperous New Year like him.
National Savings and Investments (NS&I), which runs the premium bonds, has not only apologised to the pensioner for the 10-year delay in getting his winnings to him, but has given him an extra £2,000 to cover the loss of interest accrued on his cash.
He said: “After having my leg pulled by my family about not winning for so long, I rang NS&I and asked if they had lost me in the system and if so, had I won anything. They checked and 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.
“I cannot get back the last 10 years of my life. I am now 80 and have had to shut down most of my hobbies.
“I am a member of Swadlincote Rifle Club and they paid me to do odd jobs like the maintenance so I could pay my fee but I like doing that so I will probably continue.
“For ages, I had an RS Turbo car which I was hoping to do up and get out. I needed £2,000 for the MoT but couldn’t afford to get it done.
“I also have a motorbike in my house which I was doing up as well.
“I just want to urge people to check with these people and see if they have won as it could be a nice Christmas”
A spokesman for NS&I said: “We’re sorry for the delay in getting Mr Sargent’s money to him, but want to assure him that we are doing our very best to get this matter resolved as quickly as possible.
“We have arranged for a payment of £2,094.94 to be sent to Mr Sargent to cover loss of interest on the prizes he has won.”