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Revealed: £80 million of Premium Bond prizes remain unclaimed – here's how to check if you've won

£80 million of Premium Bond prizes remain unclaimed

More than two million Premium Bond prizes worth a combined £79.4 million remain unclaimed, according to the latest figures from National Savings and Investments (NS&I). If you have or have ever had Premium Bonds, here's how to check if you've won.

The unclaimed prizes include five worth £100,000 and nine worth £50,000. NS&I, which runs Premium Bonds, has also given MoneySavingExpert.com a breakdown of unclaimed prizes by value and region.

Check our map below to see how many unclaimed prizes there are where you live. For more info on how Premium Bonds work – and whether they're worth it – see our Premium Bonds guide. And for further help on how to find lost cash in old accounts and pensions, see our Reclaim forgotten cash guide.

A total of 2,269,198 prizes are unclaimed

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 than this that are also waiting to be claimed.

NS&I says it contacts every winner – this will be by text, email or post depending on the option you've selected – but sometimes prizes go unclaimed for reasons including letters getting lost in the post and contact details not being updated.

As of November 2022, NS&I says there were 2,269,198 unclaimed Premium Bond prizes, worth a total of £79,421,450. The table below details the number and value of unclaimed prizes by value. This is an increase compared with the same time last year, when there were 2,079,568 unclaimed Premium Bond prizes worth £74,452,325.

Unclaimed Premium Bonds prizes by value

Prize value Number unclaimed Total value
£25 1,709,460 £42,736,500
£50 490,399 £24,519,950
£100 62,875 £6,287,500
£250 (1) 14 £3,500
£500 4,770 £2,385,000
£1,000 1,549 £1,549,000
£5,000 69 £345,000
£10,000 37 £370,000
£25,000 11 £275,000
£50,000 9 £450,000
£100,000 5 £500,000
Total 2,269,198 £79,421,450

(1) £250 prizes were issued from June 1957 to July 1974 and can no longer be won.

Full breakdown of unclaimed prizes across the UK

If you live in London or the south east of England, you could be owed one of over 750,000 unclaimed prizes, while in Scotland there are nearly 130,000 unclaimed prizes. See the map below for a full breakdown of unclaimed prizes, based on the last known home address of the bond-holder:

These are the number of unclaimed Premium Bonds prizes in the nations and regions of the UK: 129,867 in Scotland, 90,095 in Wales, and 28,676 in Northern Ireland. In England, there are 202,083 in the North West, 136,577 in the West Midlands, 178,034 in the South West, 55,017 in the North East, 117,212 in Yorkshire and the Humber, 112,874 in the East Midlands, 211,288 in East Anglia, 414,748 in London and 347,870 in the South East.

There are also another 244,857 prizes waiting to be claimed by people who are living overseas or whose locations are unknown due to a lack of NS&I data.

Chris Newlands, news and investigations editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, said: "For those who suspect they might have let their Premium Bonds fall by the wayside, seeing these figures should be a wake-up call. Some of the eye-popping pots available could be potentially life-changing for people – especially right now.

"I hope our findings give people the impetus they need to check their numbers and see if they're due what could be a very significant windfall. The time it takes to do so could be extremely well spent."

If you've not been notified of a win or you want to triple-check – go online, use the prize checker app or contact NS&I

You should have been notified of a prize win by text, email or post, so it's worth checking through old emails, letters and texts just in case you've missed one.

If you can't find any notification but want to triple-check whether you have an unclaimed prize, you can:

  • Log in (or register) for NS&I's websiteYou'll need your NS&I number, surname and account password.

  • Use NS&I's Premium Bonds prize checker tool on desktop. You'll need your Premium Bond-holder's number to do so – this is separate from your NS&I number.

  • Use NS&I's prize checker app. This is available for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play. To access your account, you'll need your Premium Bond-holder's number or your NS&I number.

  • Write to NS&I. You'll need to include your name, address and NS&I number or Premium Bond-holder's number. Send letters to NS&I, Sunderland, SR43 2SB.

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 it as much detail as you can, for example, your full name, address, 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 in info about yourself, including your name, address, an estimate of how many Premium Bonds you hold and how long you've held them.

If you've won an unclaimed prize, here's how to get your hands on it

There's no time limit to claims, so you can go back as far as you like. Here's how to get your hands on any unclaimed prizes:

  • If you're registered for NS&I's online and phone service... you can call 08085 007 007 to start your claim. You cannot claim online.

  • If you're not registered for online and telephone services... you need to write to NS&I at NS&I, Sunderland, SR43 2SB. Give as much information as you can, including:

    - Bond-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.

Claiming on behalf of someone who's died

The process is different if the bond-holder has passed away. Provided you're legally entitled to the deceased person's savings, you can use NS&I's online form to inform it of the death and claim any Premium Bonds prizes or other NS&I savings.

If you're not sure whether they had any NS&I savings or Premium Bonds, you can use the tracing service to check.

How to make sure you don't miss out on future prize wins

If you win a prize worth between £5,000 and £100,000, NS&I will send you a claims form in the post for you to complete and confirm how you would like to be paid. If you win the £1 million jackpot, you'll be visited in person – but always ask to see ID to ensure it's not a scam.

For prize wins of up to £1,000, you can:

  • Choose to be notified by email or text and have prizes paid directly into your bank account. You can set this up in your online account (if you have one) or by using NS&I's prize options tool.

  • Choose to be notified by email or text and have prizes automatically reinvested into more Premium Bonds. If, however, a prize win would take you over the maximum £50,000 Premium Bond limit, this will be paid to you by bank transfer or cheque. You can set this up in your online account (if you have one) or by calling NS&I.

  • Choose to have prize wins sent to you by cheque. Here, you won't be separately notified as the cheque counts as notification. You can call NS&I to set this up.

Found a missing prize after reading this story?

We'd love to know! Please email news@moneysavingexpert.com and tell us how you got on.

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