More than £41m of premium bond prizes remain unclaimed

20th November 2014

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Across Britain more than 928,000 Premium Bonds prizes worth over £41m have yet to be claimed.

As a result NS&I are calling for Premium Bonds holders to come forward to claim their prizes, and to sign-up to have their winnings paid directly into their bank accounts to reduce the chances of prizes going unclaimed in future.

Almost a third of the UK population have invested more than £51bn in Premium Bonds.

They were officially launched by Harold Macmillan, Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his 1956 Budget and since the first prize draw in 1957, more than 304m tax-free prizes worth approximately £15.4bn have been paid out.

But according to NS&I, presently there is a woman from London who is still due to receive £100,000 after failing to claim her prize in a previous draw. She has £25 invested in Premium Bonds and the prize was won in February 2007.

In addition there is also a woman in Greater Manchester who is also still to receive £100,000 after she too failed to claim her prize. She has £280 invested in Premium Bonds and her prize was won in September 2010.

London is the place where the most unclaimed prizes still remain, where more than 200,000 prizes worth over £9m have gone unclaimed.

There are a number of other unclaimed prizes due to the residents within the UK, the oldest of these outstanding prizes having been drawn in November 1957 – the year of the very first Premium Bonds prize draw.

Premium Bonds prize warrants can go undelivered and unclaimed as a result of changes in Premium Bonds holders’ addresses, or if Bonds were bought for them as a child and they have subsequently lost track of them. For customers to avoid missing out it’s important for them to keep NS&I up to date of any change in contact details.

Every month almost 2m prizes are distributed, either by warrant (like a cheque) or paid directly into holders bank accounts. The latter service was introduced fairly recently and NS&I are encouraging Premium Bonds holders to reduce the chances of their prizes becoming unclaimed by opting to have any prizes paid directly into their bank. To sign up holders should visit: http://www.nsandi.com/register-our-online-service.

The top five unclaimed prizes in the UK:

Prize Value Location Gender Current Holding Balance Winning Bond Number Month and Year of Draw
£100,000 Greater Manchester Female £280 50PB780494 September 2010
£100,000 London Female £25 8LK522839 February 2007
£50,000 Kent Female £128 3VT019901 November 2007
£50,000 London Male £1,000 29FS902566 January 2013
£50,000 Suffolk Female £207 25LG431321 May 2012

The five oldest unclaimed prizes in the UK:

Prize Value Location Gender Current Holding Balance Winning Bond Number Month and Year of Draw
£100 London Male £7 AK956009 June 1960
£25 Lancashire Unknown £5 1EK846081 January 1959
£25 Lancashire Unknown £26 1AK014211 September 1959
£25 South Yorkshire Male £100 VN199709 November 1957
£25 Staffordshire Male £1 AK864669 July 1960

Jill Waters, NS&I’s assistant director, retail experience, said: “It is likely that the two winners of the unclaimed £100,000 prizes are unaware or have forgotten that they have Premium Bonds – the lucky winners have just £25 and £280 respectively invested.

“Prizes often become unclaimed as a result of people moving house, or forgetting that Bonds have been bought for them as a child, or executors are unaware the Bonds are held when someone dies. By opting to manage your Premium Bonds online you could reduce the risk of missing out on prizes as they can be paid directly into your bank account.”

HOW TO CHECK IF YOU HAVE PRIZE OWING

There is no time limit for claiming prizes. The Premium Bonds prize checker is on the home page of the NS&I website at nsandi.com – customers simply need to enter their Premium Bonds holder’s number into the search facility.

Alternatively people can write to NS&I (Premium Bonds National Savings and Investments Glasgow G58 1SB UK), quoting their name and address, any former names and addresses, date of birth and, if known, their Premium Bonds holder’s number.

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