£74million left unclaimed in NS&I Premium Bonds – are you missing out on £100,000?

Martin Lewis outlines how Premium Bonds work

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These unclaimed prizes which total £74million include five worth £100,000 and nine worth £50,000, according to data that MoneySavingExpert has seen from Government-backed savings provider NS&I.

Out of the 2,079,568 prizes that have been left unclaimed, London and the South East have over 700,000 unclaimed prizes, while in Scotland there are more than 120,000.

Helen Saxon, banking editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “The headline figure of £74million is eye-catching, and hopefully it will serve as a kick up the backside for those who haven’t checked in a while whether they’ve won.

“Many people find the months leading up to Christmas play havoc with their finances, so it’s an ideal time of year to see if you’re due a windfall.

“For some due larger prizes, these really are life-changing amounts of money. So check now and remember (with apologies to the lottery) it could be you!”

Some of the unclaimed prizes date back to when the scheme first started in 1957.

Anyone who has bought Premium Bonds in the past should check the NS&I website or download the free app.

If people have won, they could be anywhere between £25 and £100,000 better off.

The Government backed savings provider says that every £1 Bond number has an equal chance of winning no matter when or where it was bought.

However, it would seem some areas are luckier than others.

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Just this month both people who won the £1million top monthly prize came from Bristol.

Not only that, but they are the third and fourth jackpot winners from the area this year.

This is more than any other UK region so far in 2021.

More than a quarter of a million (277,000) people own Premium Bonds in Bristol, worth more than £1.2billion between them.

Despite their luck, they are just as forgetful as the rest of the population, 23,000 prizes worth more than £800,000 are still unclaimed by Bristolians.

Jill Waters, NS&I Retail Director, said: “2021 has been a lucky year for Premium Bonds holders in Bristol, with the fourth jackpot win recorded in the area so far this year.

“With one draw left in 2021, I’m sure that the millions of other Premium Bonds holders will be crossing their fingers that they’ll be next in line for a windfall from ERNIE – and make it a Christmas to remember.”

November also marks 65 years since the first Premium Bonds went on sale.

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Premium Bonds are one option for savers but of course there’s no guarantee of winning.

Britons might get a better interest rate elsewhere and should weigh up their options.

However, the Government backed savings accounts are easy access so if something goes wrong people can get their hands on their money relatively easily.

The chances of winning are 34,500 to one for each £1 bond held but as the minimum investment is £25 the odds are even higher than that.

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