THERE are £61million worth of Premium Bond prizes that still haven’t been claimed, including five worth £100,000.
The lottery bond has been running monthly draws since 1956 handing out prizes worth between £25 and £1million – but more than 1.5million of them are yet to be claimed.
1 Overall, there are close to 1.6million unclaimed Premium Bond prizes worth between £1,000 and £1million
National Saving and Investments (NS&I) send Premium Bond prizes worth less than £5,000 in the form of warrants, similar to a cheque, to the address linked to your account.
Winners are notified of prizes worth between £5,000 and £100,000 via a letter that comes with a claims form – jackpot winners get a visit by one of NS&I’s Agent Millions.
At least 180,000 of these cheques have been returned to the sender, often because the account holders have changed addresses.
Other prizes go missing because the owners have forgotten they have an account, for example, because it was set up for them as a child.
How to keep track of Premium Bond prize winsIT sounds simple but the easiest way to make sure you hear about Premium Bond prize wins is to make sure your postal address is updated with NS&I if you have moved since buying your Premium Bonds.
This means that if you are sent prize cheques in the post they should go to the correct address.
You could also switch any prize win payouts so that they’re paid directly into your bank account rather than being issued to you in the post.
To do this you need to register online for NS&I’s online and phone service.
Once done, login to ‘Your profile’ in the top menu and click ‘Paperless options’. Click ‘Change’ for your Premium Bonds then select ‘Paperless’.
Remember to click ‘Save’ when you’ve finished. Or you can ask NS&I to set this up for you over the phone on 08085 007 007.
The amount of cash left unclaimed varies from person to person, depending on how much you’ve won, but the stats have now been broken down by location.
Bond holders in London are missing out on a combined £11.8million among more than 3million winners.
There’s £1.98million worth of winnings to be collected in Manchester and £1.79million in the West Midlands.
In Scotland, 89,567 prizes worth £3.48million still haven’t reached winners, while 59,772 winners are yet to claim more than £2.2million in Wales.
The biggest prize any one person is yet to collect is worth £100,000 and the smallest is for £1,000.
There’s no time limit for when you can claim a prize so it’s worth checking. In fact, figures show that the oldest unclaimed prize is for £25 won back in November 1957.
People share how they would spend a Premium Bond prize if they won
Bond holders can check if they’ve won by downloading the prize checker app and typing in their unique Premium Bond number.
If you don’t know this number, you can use your NS&I number found on any corresponding letters to find it by logging into your account and going to the “account details” page.
Those that don’t have either of these numbers to hand can call NS&I on 08085 007 007 to ask for a replacement bond record to be sent to you which will include your Premium Bond number, or use the NS&I’s tracing service on the website.
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Premium Bonds is a type of savings account that you put money into but instead of earning interest, you’re entered into a monthly prize draw to be in with a chance of winning tax-free cash.
Each bond costs £1 and winners are drawn at random by a unique numbers machine called “Ernie”.
May’s winners have already been announced – and two people scooped the top prize worth £1million.
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