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1.5 million Premium Bond prizes unclaimed – check if you've won

More than 1.5 million Premium Bond prizes, including five worth £100,000, remain unclaimed according to new figures – check now to see if you've won some cash you didn't know about.

In total, the unclaimed Premium Bond prizes are worth more than £60 million. The oldest unclaimed prize dates back to the sixth-ever Premium Bonds draw in November 1957 – it's worth £25.

NS&I, which runs Premium Bonds and has released the latest figures, has also given MoneySavingExpert.com a breakdown of unclaimed prizes by value and region. Check our map below to see how many there are where you live.

For more on how Premium Bonds work – and whether they're worth it – see our Premium Bonds guide.

How many prizes are unclaimed?

As of September 2018, NS&I says there were a total of 1,527,932 unclaimed Premium Bond prizes.

An unclaimed prize is defined as one that hasn't been claimed within 18 months of being won – so there will be other prizes won more recently that are also waiting to be claimed.

Unclaimed Premium Bond prizes by value

Prize value Number unclaimed Value
£25 955,152 £23,878,800
£50 506,383 £25,319,150
£100 61,030 £6,103,000
£250 (1) 14 £3,500
£500 3,980 £1,990,000
£1,000 1,273 £1,273,000
£5,000 56 £280,000
£10,000 25 £250,000
£25,000 7 £175,000
£50,000 7 £350,000
£100,000 5 £500,000
  1,527,932 £60,122,450

(1) £250 prizes can no longer be won, but were available for a short time in the 1960s and 70s

Full breakdown of unclaimed prizes by region

If you live in London or the south east of England, you could be owed one of almost 526,000 prizes, while in Scotland there are more than 87,000 unclaimed. See the map below for a full breakdown of unclaimed prizes by region, based on the last known home address of the bond holder:

There are also 86,645 prizes waiting to be claimed by people living overseas, and another 87,589 with 'unknown' locations due to a lack of data on the owner.

How do I check if I've an unclaimed prize?

There's no time limit to claims, so you can go back as far as you like.

If you think you might have an unclaimed prize, the best way to check depends on what info you have about your Premium Bond account – confusingly, you'll have been given both a Premium Bond holder's number AND an NS&I number:

  • If you know your Premium Bond holder's number. You can go to the NS&I website or download its prize checker app. Enter your holder's number and it'll tell you if you've any unclaimed prizes.

  • If you don't know your holder's number, but have your NS&I number. You can use that number – which you'll find on any letters from NS&I – as well as your surname and password to log in to NS&I online and find your holder's number on the 'account details' page. NS&I's prize checker app also accepts your NS&I number. 

  • If you don't know your holder's number or account number. You can phone NS&I on 08085 007 007 or write to it and ask for a replacement bond record to be sent to you. You should give as much detail as you can, for example your full name, address details, when and where you bought your Premium Bonds and how much they're worth.

    Alternatively, you can use NS&I's tracing service or the My Lost Account website, both of which can track down your Premium Bond details. They ask you to fill out info about yourself including your name, address, an estimate of how many Premium Bonds you hold and how long you've held them.

How to claim your prize if you've won

If you find you do have an unclaimed prize, you'll need to write to NS&I to tell it at: NS&I, Glasgow, G58 1SB. Give as much information as you can, including:

  • Holder's number.
  • Current name.
  • Any previous names.
  • Current address.
  • Any previous addresses where bonds may have been registered.
  • Signature.

Prizes will then be sent to your home address as a warrant, which is like a cheque.

How to claim on behalf of someone who's died

The process is slightly different if the bond holder has passed away – you'd first need to inform NS&I of the death and then follow the steps above.

Any prize money will be paid to whoever inherits the bond holder's estate.

What are Premium Bonds?

Premium Bonds are effectively a savings account you can put money into, where instead of savers earning interest, tax-free prizes are awarded in a monthly prize draw – meaning there's no guarantee you'll get any return on your money.

Prizes range from £25 to £1 million. In September 2018, there were 3,117,186 prizes won, with a total value of £89,099,575.

It's worth bearing in mind that the nearest thing Premium Bonds have to an interest rate is their annual prize rate, which means 'on average' the annual return is 1.4% – but in reality, this is just a vague benchmark and there's no guarantee you'll win anything at all. See our Premium Bonds guide for full info.