Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What are the odds then ...

I finally sent my old premium bond away to Blackpool to be surrendered and checked against the list of winners.

The story in the family that I have always followed is that I was born just a few months after Premium Bonds were introduced, as indeed I was, and that my dads billiards partner, Old George Hughes, bought me, the new-born first-born of his young protege, one of the first issues of the Bonds for one whole pound as a christening present.

And so all through my boyhood I always checked the monthly list of premium bond winners in the newspaper, I never remembered the whole number, just the first three, "1AK" it started and without fail I always scanned the lists for a "1AK" - never won a penny.

The bond itself was always kept in the envelope that Old George Hughes bought it in and it was always at the back of a sideboard drawer somewhere but over the years it disappeared and when we cleared our dads bungalow out after he'd died we couldn't find it anywhere, end of story.

But not quite.

We sold the bungalow to a really nice old bloke called Fred and in the course of moving in he'd popped up into the loft where he found the Old George Hughes envelope with the premium bond in it, and he popped it through my letterbox one day.

And here is where the mystery starts.

As I've said, Premium Bonds started in July 1956, I was born in September 1956, it makes sense that it would be a present for me.

But the date stamp on the bond is January 1959, my brother Ned was born in August 1958.

I've had to come to terms with the fact that it might not be my bond after all, it could be his.

But how ?

So anyway, I rang the Premium Bond people in Blackpool seven years ago and asked whether it was possible to check whether the bond had ever been a winner and was told that as the bond was actually in our dads name that we'd have to fill in a long government form and send the death certificate off to redeem the bond for one whole pound, during which time they'd check the list to see if it had ever been lucky.

That was seven years ago - I sent the form off last week.

So what do you reckon - 47 years sitting in a prize draw (up to £1million every month don't forget), thats 564 chances to win something, anything would do, surely after 47 years it must have been drawn at least once ?

I wait in suspense.

If it wins with more than five zero's at the end then the beer is on me.

But no-one, no-one tells Ned, ok ?

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