NS&I’s Premium Bonds offer savers the chance to win extra cash, tax-free, every month through randomly generated prize draws. For March’s draw, NS&I has boosted the prize fund rate by 3.3 percent, meaning £15million more in prizes is there to be won, and it’s important people check as millions more are currently going unclaimed.
There are approximately just over 2.6 million Premium Bonds prizes worth more than £88.8million collectively yet to be claimed, an NS&I spokesperson has said.
Winners are usually notified when they win a Premium Bonds prize, however, some people may move or change their contact details without updating NS&I, which can lead to unclaimed prizes. This is especially the case for those who opt to receive prizes via cheque.
Taking February’s million-pound winners’ locations, there are currently 12,244 unclaimed prizes worth £431,375 from Bondholders in Sheffield.
According to NS&I, the largest unclaimed prize is £5,000 and is from the October 2011 prize draw. The oldest unclaimed prize in Sheffield is from July 1968 with a value of £25.
In Sefton, where the second million-pound winner in February 2023 is based, there are 9,473 unclaimed prizes with a total value of £320,600 in this area alone.
The largest unclaimed prize in the area is £1,000 and there are three of these that have not been claimed between September 1994 and October 2020. The oldest unclaimed prize is from January 1967 and is worth £25.
Premium Bond prize checker
The easiest way Premium Bonds holders can check if they’ve won a prize is by using NS&I’s official prize-checking tool, or their Alexa-enabled device.
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Savers will need their Premium Bonds holder’s number to use the website and their NS&I number or holder’s number to check using the prize checker app. At the same time, they can also check for any unclaimed prizes owed to them.
The best way to ensure prizes are claimed is for savers to opt to have them paid directly into their bank account or automatically reinvested into more Premium Bonds, according to NS&I.
The NS&I spokesperson said: “Customers can choose to have their prizes paid directly to their bank account, which reduces the number of prizes that go unclaimed and means they can benefit from their wins more quickly.
“More than nine in 10 prizes are now paid directly to customers’ bank accounts or automatically reinvested into more Bonds.”
READ MORE: Premium Bonds 2023 draw dates in full
Savers can find out how to change the way they receive their prizes by visiting the NS&I webpage, here.
How do Premium Bond prizes work?
To win prizes, savers must buy Premium Bonds and each investment must be at least £25, after which winners are chosen at random through a prize draw at the start of every month.
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 afford people the chance to win between £1,000 and £500, and £100 and £25, respectively.
The prize fund rate will rise from 3.15 percent to 3.3 percent in March, adding an extra £15million to the prize pot and more chances to win.
The odds have remained fixed at 24,000 to one, with the changes meaning that customers simply have more opportunities to win high-value prizes between £50 and £100,000 each month.
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