Five savers still haven’t claimed a winning premium bond prize worth £100,000, with some lost winnings stretching back over a decade, new data provided to Which? reveals.
Two lucky women, from Bristol and Leicestershire, are the latest winners to scoop the top £1m prize in the August draw.
Yet National Savings and Investments (NS&I) told Which? that £56m worth prizes are currently going unclaimed. Three women, from Greater Manchester, Outer London and Hereford and Worcester, as well as a man from Lothian, have yet to collect their £100,000 prize. A woman who lives in Australia is also eligible to claim £100,000..
According to NS&I, the number of total unclaimed bond prizes now stands at £56,223,325 – up 5.3% from £53,233,525 last year.
The five biggest unclaimed winners hold remarkably little in bonds. One winner, who snagged a £100,000 prize back in 2007, has a £6 in premium bonds.
|Current holding balance||Winning bond number||Prize value||County/Country||Customer gender||Month and year of draw|
|£14||5FZ109702||£100,000||Hereford and Worcester||Female||Aug-14|
Why aren’t winnings being claimed?
NS&I makes every effort to contact prize winners but says that the most common reasons for prizes going unclaimed include:
- Winners moving house and failing to inform NS&I
- Personal details, such as a surname, being changed
- Contact from NS&I going astray
The good news is that premium bond winnings never expire, as there’s no time limit for claiming your prize.
NS&I told Which? that it was taking action on the rise of unclaimed winnings and will launch a campaign later this year to improve the process of claiming winning bonds.
Currently, you can upload your details online, write to NS&I or enter your details via its app, available on both Apple and Android, to make a claim. Alternatively, you could join the 1.4 million people who have registered to receive prizes via BACS, the clearing service, so your winnings are paid directly into your bank account.
It’s worth remembering that any premium bonds held by someone who has died can remain in prize draws for up to 12 months. If you’re not sure if you’ve got premium bonds, you can use NS&I’s tracing service.
Find out more: read Which?’s guide to premium bonds
August prize draw: have you won?
Two lucky women, from Bristol and Leicestershire, have each scooped £1m in the latest draw, holding £30,925 and £50,000 in bonds, respectively.
These regions have a glut of unclaimed prizes. Some £574,000 is waiting to be claimed from 15,381 prizes in Leicestershire, while £601,200 is waiting to be paid out on 15,611 prizes in Bristol.
There were also three winners of the £100,000 prize, five £50,000 winners, while 10 people scooped £25,000.