Premium Bonds – £68million worth of prizes remain unclaimed

Martin Lewis discusses Premium Bonds

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In October NS&I boosted its prize fund rate by 2.2 percent, meaning nearly double the amount of savers are in with a chance of winning a cash prize. November’s draw saw a total of 4,976,066 prizes worth £218,946,775 paid out.

Prizes are split into three value bands – higher, medium, and lower – and each band receives a percentage share of the monthly prize fund.

Prizes in the higher band range from £1million (only two of these can be won) to £5,000, while the medium and lower bands award people the chance to win between £1,000 and £500, and £100 and £25, respectively.

But while the jackpot winners have all been accounted for over the years, a huge £68million in prizes dating back as far as 1957 are still unclaimed – including three in England for £100,000.

Not having the correct contact information is one of the main reasons people never receive their money, explains NS&I’s retail director Jill Waters.

She said: “Sometimes the winner has forgotten they have bonds and in some cases, such as those gifted to babies and children, they might not even know they had them in the first place.

“But most commonly, customers will move house. Letting NS&I know [your change of address] is probably not top of the list but it’s the major reason for customers not receiving prizes.

“And it’s just one of those things that you have to know it’s there to claim it.”

The prize fund rate on Premium Bonds from one percent to 1.4 percent in June. The odds at that time changed from 34,500 to one to 24,500 to one.

The results of the latest Premium Bonds draw are usually accessible from the second day of the month, although this is pushed back if the month starts with a weekend or bank holiday.

The next results are available on December 2, NS&I wrote on their website.

To claim a prize, or check if someone is owed any cash, they can log in to view their prize history, or use the prize checker to see if they have any prizes they don’t know about yet.

The prize checker app can be accessed from the mobile or voice apps.

Those with an Amazon Alexa can check the Premium Bonds winners via the device.

A person’s NS&I number was sent to them when they registered for either the online or phone service and they can find it in any letter they have received since they registered.

Alternatively, people can write to NS&I asking for their prize history.

Britons will need to include their name, address and NS&I number (or Premium Bonds holder’s number).

The good news is that if people don’t come forward, the prizes will always remain available should they one day realise – whether they find their holder’s number tucked into a long-forgotten notebook or not.

Ms Waters continued: “If you’ve got something with numbers on, just go on the NS&I website or app and punch it in and it will tell you. But if you’ve got nothing at all, use the online tracing service.

“The more information we have [the better] because we’re looking at old historic systems and some of them are even on microfiche [photographic film with small-scale reproductions of prints].

“But we will search the archives and find out what you’ve got, then we’ll write to you and let you know. Prizes stay there forever and are always available for customers to get, there isn’t a time limit to claim.”

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