£40 million premium bonds prize money unclaimed - are you missing out?
Over £40 million in premium bond prizes remains unclaimed, according to National Savings & Investments (NS&I).
Three quarters of a million premium bond holders have failed to claim their cash prizes, including one prize of £100,000, another worth £50,000 and four prizes worth £25,000.
The unclaimed £100,000 belongs to a woman from London who won it in February 2007 with just a £25 holding. Meanwhile, a woman from Kent is unaware she's sitting on £50,000, won with a £128 holding in November 2007.
NS&I is launching a nationwide search to track down the unaware winners – some of which have left their prizes unclaimed for over 50 years.
The oldest winner yet to claim is a man from South Yorkshire who won £25 in 1957. A number of 1960s winners are also yet to come forward.
Winners can choose to either receive their prizes by cheque or be paid directly into their bank accounts.
Gill Stephens, spokesperson for NS&I, says: "What often happens is a lot of holders have premium bonds bought for them when they are younger and they forget about them. They then move address and the winnings are posted to an old address, then returned to us."
Top 10 unclaimed prizes in the UK
|Winning bond number||Prize value||Gender||Last known location||Present premium bond holding||Month and year of draw|
How to claim
To find out if you are sitting on a missing fortune, use NS&I's premium bond checker nsandi.com/savings-premium-bonds. All you have to do is enter your holder number.
If you lost, or you don't know, your holder number you can write to NS&I at Premiums Bonds, National Savings and Investments, Blackpool, FY3 9YP. You can also call its hotline on 0500 007 007.
Ranging in value between £25 and £1 million, approximately 1.7 million prizes are handed out each month.
Holders can invest as little as £50 a month and up to £30,000.
Premium bond holders have a one in 427 million chance of winning the £1 million top premium bond prize in the November draw, based on a £100 investment, according to NS&I.
The odds of winning any prize are 24,000 to one per £1 unit.
A form of National Savings Certificate, premium bonds are effectively gilt-edged securities: you loan your money to the government and, in return, it pays you for the privilege with a guarantee it will return your capital at a specified date. Where premium bonds differ is that the interest payments (currently 1.5%) are pooled and paid out as prize money and you can get your cash back within a fortnight, with no risk. Launched by Chancellor of the Exchequer Harold Macmillan in his 1956 Budget, every single £1 unit has the same chance of winning and in May 2011, 1,772,482 winners (from a total draw of 42,539,589,993 eligible bond numbers) shared £53,174,500. The odds of winning are 24,000 to 1 and the maximum holding is £30,000 per person but it remains the only punt in which you can perpetually recycle your stake money.
This is used to compare interest rates for borrowing. It is the total (or “gross”) interest you’ll pay over the life of a loan, including charges and fees. For credit cards where interest is charged at more frequent intervals, the APR includes a “compounding” effect (paying interest on interest). So for a credit card charging 2% interest a month (equating to 24% a year), the APR would actually be 26.82%.