Business

Hunt is on for 900,000 owed premium bond payouts

girl with cash
Image caption Hundreds of thousands could be in the money

A record number of people in the UK have failed to claim premium bond prizes.

Officials at National Savings and Investments (NS&I) are now trying to track down 898,000 bond holders who are owed cash.

In total, £44m is waiting to be claimed, from prizes dating back to 1957.

The biggest unclaimed prizes are two for £100,000, owed to a woman from London, and another from Manchester.

However, the average payout is just under £50.

The cash usually goes unclaimed when bond holders fail to keep NS&I informed about address changes.

"Prizes often become unclaimed as a result of people moving house, or forgetting that bonds have been bought for them as a child, or executors are unaware the bonds are held when someone dies," said Jill Walters, NS&I's operations manager.

The oldest unclaimed prize is owed to a man from South Yorkshire.

He won £25 in November 1957, the year after premium bonds were introduced by the then Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan.

If he is still alive, he will find his prize money considerably eroded by inflation. But he has no time limit on claiming, as there is no deadline for prizes.

NS&I advise anyone wanting to see if they have won to contact them via the website www.nsandi.com. Customers will need to enter their premium bond number into the search engine.

Otherwise bond holders can write to:

Premium Bonds

National Savings and Investments

Glasgow

G58 1SB

They will need to quote their name and address, former names and addresses, date of birth, and the bond numbers if known.

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