Value of unclaimed Premium Bonds prizes tops £80m: How to check if you’re a winner
More than two million winning Premium Bonds prizes worth £80.2m are yet to be claimed. Here’s how to check if you’ve won anytime since 1957.
There are around 22 million Premium Bonds holders and while everyone dreams of winning the £1m jackpot each month, savers are more likely to bag an amount between £25 and £100,000.
But if you’ve moved address and haven’t updated NS&I with your details, then any win notifications may go unread, leading to cash prizes going unclaimed.
According to the latest figures from NS&I, there are 2,300,822 unclaimed prizes worth £80,254,250. This is an increase from the £79.4m recorded in November 2022.
Currently, there are still five £100,000 prize winners who were living in outer London, Lothian, Hereford and Worcester, Greater Manchester and overseas. One lucky winner managed to scoop the £100,000 with just a £6 holding from February 2007.
There are also nine winners of £50,000 who lived in both inner and outer London, Berkshire, Surrey, Greater Manchester, Kent, North Yorkshire as well as overseas. The smallest holding was £30 for the big win, while the oldest unclaimed prize in this category dates back to November 2007.
But before you get your hopes up that you’ve won big, the majority of prizes are worth £50 or less. NS&I revealed there are 1.7 million unclaimed prizes worth £25 each – combined £43m, while 487,367 prizes worth £50 are available, totalling £24.3m.
And one £25 win dates all the way back to 1957 – when Premium Bonds first launched. This holder from Yorkshire saved £100 in Premium Bonds and won £25 in November 1957.
What to to if unclaimed Premium Bonds holder passed away
With this win more than six decades ago, it could unfortunately mean some Premium Bonds holders may have passed away before claiming their prize.
NS&I said if a winner of an unclaimed prize has died, their beneficiaries are entitled to it, providing the win was within 12 months of the date of the death. This is because an executor of an estate can choose to leave bonds in the draw for 12 months after the date of death, at which point it will repay the holding and any prizes won.
If an NS&I customer dies, the person responsible for their estate should fill out a bereavement claims form. Alternatively, you can call 08085 007 007 where NS&I can post this out to you.
How to check and claim
If customers think they have Premium Bonds, but don’t have the holder’s number, use the NS&I tracing service.
You can also call or write to NS&I to get the search process started. To help, have details of the Premium Bonds holder’s number, current or previous names as well as current or previous addresses.
Prizes are then sent to a home address as a warrant (cheque) as NS&I doesn’t send unclaimed prizes directly to personal bank accounts.
How to avoid missing out on potential prizes
The best way to ensure prizes don’t go unclaimed in the first place is to opt to have them paid directly into bank accounts or automatically reinvested into more Premium Bonds.
Getting prizes paid directly is also quicker and more secure, according to NS&I as it revealed more than nine in ten prizes are now paid out in this way.