A Premium Bond holder has claimed winnings from cash invested over 50 years ago, after the Government-run bank behind the scheme appealed for customers to come forward for £41 million of unclaimed prizes.

National Savings and Investments (NS&I) says over 811,000 prizes remain unclaimed, mainly because bond holders don't tell it when they change address.

The good news is there's no time limit on reclaiming forgotten prizes. Provided you have a holder's number, you can check instantly via NS&I's prize checker. Also make sure it has your correct address.

We put out alerts on Facebook and Twitter this week asking for successful backdated claims.

Penny Patterson said on Facebook: "Old bonds do win. I've just won on a bond from 1958." It's unclear how much she got.

On Twitter, moka2640 said: "My address for Premium Bonds was three houses old when I updated. I had £75 waiting for me!"

Meanwhile, colsyr said: "£75 unclaimed! Cheers chaps!”

Every bond has an equal chance of winning, regardless of when you bought it.

Tracing lost bonds

For those who have lost their holder's number, the British Bankers’ Association, Building Societies Association and NS&I have a tracing scheme, mylostaccount.org.uk. Alternatively, you can write to NS&I with your current and previous address, name and date of birth.

You can also trace the cash for deceased bond holders this way.

Savings pay better returns

While this story serves as a call for Premium Bond holders to claim their winnings, Premium Bonds are not the best way to guarantee a decent return.

Holders are placed in a monthly draw for prizes instead of getting interest.

The value of prizes is determined by an interest rate, currently 1.5%. But that doesn't mean you are likely to get 1.5% of your investment in prizes each year.

In fact, the majority will win much less than the interest rate, while the top savings accounts pay over 3% interest.