More than £63million Premium Bond prizes unclaimed – how to find out if you're a winner
PREMIUM Bond prizes worth over £63MILLION are yet to be claimed by winners across the UK – and you could be one of the lucky ones.
There are still five prizes worth £100,000 each where no winner has come forward, as well as lots of other smaller amounts awaiting collection.
NS&I, which runs Premium Bonds, says it contacts every winner, but sometimes prizes go unclaimed when letters get lost in the post or contact details are not up to date.
As of this month, NS&I says there were more than 1.6 million unclaimed prizes, worth a total of £63 million.
An unclaimed prize is defined as one that hasn't been claimed within 18 months of being won.
These missing prizes could have been won at any point over the past 62 years since the scheme began back in June 1957.
How to check if you've won
If you think you might have an unclaimed prize, the best way to check depends on what info you have about your Premium Bond account – you'll have been given both a Premium Bond holder's number and an NS&I number.
- If you know your Premium Bond holder's number, you can go to the NS&I website or download its prize checker app. Enter your holder's number and it'll tell you if you've any unclaimed prizes
- If you don't know your holder's number, but have your NS&I number, you can use that number – which you'll find on any letters from NS&I – as well as your surname and password to log in to NS&I online and find your holder's number on the 'account details' page. NS&I's prize checker app also accepts your NS&I number
- If you don't know your holder's number or account number, you can phone NS&I on 08085 007 007 or write to it and ask for a replacement bond record to be sent to you. You should give as much detail as you can, for example your full name, address details, when and where you bought your Premium Bonds and how much they're worth
- Alternatively, you can use NS&I's tracing service or the My Lost Account website, both of which can track down your Premium Bond details. They ask you to fill out info about yourself including your name, address, an estimate of how many Premium Bonds you hold and how long you've held them
- If you find you do have an unclaimed prize, you'll need to write to NS&I at: NS&I, Glasgow, G58 1SB. Give as much information as you can, including your name and any information about your premium bonds
- Prizes will then be sent to your home address as a warrant, which is like a cheque. Unfortunately, you can't have unclaimed prizes paid directly into your bank account
- The process is slightly different if the bond holder has died – you'd first need to inform NS&I of the death and then follow the steps above. Any prize money will be paid to whoever inherits the bond holder's estate
If you live in London or the south east of England, you could be owed one of almost 559,000 unclaimed prizes, while in Scotland there are more than 92,000 unclaimed.
There are also another 201,914 prizes waiting to be claimed by people who are either living overseas or whose locations are unknown due to a lack of NS&I data.
There's no time limit to claims, so you can go back as far as you like.
People have used Premium Bonds as a sort of savings account – although unlike a traditional savings account they do not earn interest.
Instead, the bonds you invest in are entered into a monthly prize draw where you can win anything between £25 and £1million.
Earlier this month, NS&I announced that two people – a man from Hertfordshire and a woman from Cheshire West and Chester – had won the top prize of £1million.
In the last six months, 70,000 new savers under 16 have signed up for the scheme.
If you're after other ways to save yourself, here are four alternatives to Premium Bonds – we reveal how to win big on your savings.
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