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Premium Bond prizes worth £81 million STILL unclaimed – here's how to check if you've won

More than two million Premium Bond prizes worth a combined £81 million remain unclaimed, according to the latest figures. Most bondholders now get prizes paid automatically, though this may not be the case if you have older bonds. Plus, prizes paid by cheque may be unclaimed if you haven't kept your address up to date or simply forgot to cash them in. See what's unclaimed, plus how to check if you've missed a win.

Unclaimed prizes include six worth £100,000 and nine worth £50,000. National Savings and Investments (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 2,324,683 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.

The option to have your prizes paid directly into your bank account was introduced in 2011, so you're more likely to have unclaimed prizes if you hold bonds from before this date – though it's still worth checking even if you've newer bonds.

As of November 2023, NS&I says there were 2,324,683 unclaimed Premium Bond prizes, worth a total of £81,025,600. The table below details the number and total value of unclaimed prizes. The total number of unclaimed prizes has increased compared with the same time last year, when there were 2,269,198 unclaimed Premium Bond prizes worth £79,421,450.

Unclaimed Premium Bond prizes by value

Prize value  Number unclaimed Total value 
£100,000 6 £600,000
£50,000 9 £450,000
£25,000 14 £350,000
£10,000 39 £390,000
£5,000 86 £430,000
£1,000 1,583 £1,583,000
£500 4,801 £2,400,500
£250 (i) 14 £3,500
£100 62,898 £6,289,800
£50 485,919 £24,295,950
£25 1,769,314 £44,232,850
Total 2,324,683 £81,025,600

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

Unclaimed prizes across the UK

If you live in London or the south east of England, you could be owed one of over half a million unclaimed prizes, while in Scotland there are over 100,000 prizes waiting to be claimed. See the map below for a full regional breakdown, based on the last known home address of the bondholder:

There are also another 669,445 prizes waiting to be claimed by people who are living overseas or whose locations are unknown due to a lack of data.

  • Unclaimed Premium Bond prizes by region and value

      £25 £50 £100 £250 £500 £1,000 £5,000 £10,000 £25,000 £50,000 £100,000 Total
    Northern Ireland 21,242 2,224 462 0 25 15 0 0 0 0 0 23,968
    Scotland 95,081 10,127 1,957 0 148 50 1 1 1 0 1 107,367
    Wales 68,992 6,993 1,332 0 114 33 1 1 1 0 0 77,467
    East Anglia 158,909 14,597 2,969 0 233 93 4 3 2 0 0 176,810
    East Midlands 84,488 8,269 1,597 0 120 40 1 2 1 0 0 94,518
    London 257,507 29,485 5,477 0 469 141 16 8 0 1 1 293,105
    North East 40,735 4,255 803 0 65 17 2 3 0 0 0 45,880
    North West 145,955 15,318 3,112 0 247 75 1 2 1 1 2 164,714
    South East 269,120 26,235 5,075 0 437 138 12 4 1 4 0 301,026
    South West 141,450 13,441 2,752 0 223 97 7 1 4 0 0 157,975
    West Midlands 102,867 10,976 1,985 0 160 63 5 3 0 0 1 116,060
    Yorkshire and the Humber 85,705 8,731 1,712 0 143 50 5 1 0 1 0 96,348
    Overseas or unknown 297,263 335,268 33,665 14 2,417 771 31 10 3 2 1 669,445
    Total 1,769,314 485,919 62,898 14 4,801 1,583 86 39 14 9 6 2,324,683

Helen Knapman, news and investigations editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, said: "Moved home over the years and not let NS&I know? Bought Premium Bonds prior to 2011 and not linked them to your bank account? These are just some of the reasons why you should check now if you're due any missing Premium Bond prize wins. 

"There are currently over 2 million prizes worth a combined £81 million that haven't been claimed for at least 18 months. That includes six prizes worth £100,000 – an astonishing amount for someone to be missing out on.

"If you've got Premium Bonds, you should also consider changing your settings to ensure any prize wins are always paid directly into your bank account or reinvested to ensure you don't lose out in future." 

If you've not been notified of a win or you want to check you've not missed out – 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 check whether you have an unclaimed prize owing, 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 Bond prize checker tool on desktop. You'll need your Premium Bondholder'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 Store. To access your account, you'll need your Premium Bondholder'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 Bondholder'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 the online and phone service... you need to write to NS&I at NS&I, Sunderland, SR43 2SB. Give as much information as you can, including:

    - Bondholder'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.

Found a missing prize after reading this story?

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

Plus, share and celebrate your wins (or commiserate your tough luck) with other bondholders in our Premium Bonds winner? MSE Forum thread.

Claiming on behalf of someone who's died

The process is different if the bondholder 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 Bond 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 may 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 and including £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.

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