Page last updated at 09:10 GMT, Tuesday, 17 February 2009

30m Premium Bond wins unclaimed

The unclaimed Premium Bond prize fund is at a record level.

Premium Bonds holders are being urged to check whether they are among the 550,000 people who have left a record 30m of prizes unclaimed.

National Savings and Investments (NS&I) said unclaimed wins ranged from 25 to one prize of 100,000.

Winners are sent cheques to the address held on file by NS&I, and prizes often go unclaimed because people move house and do not update their details.

People can check if they have won via the NS&I website or by writing to them.

'Check with us'

Some are unaware they even own Premium Bonds, having had them bought for them as a child.

And executors of people's estates are often unaware that the person who died held Premium Bonds, NS&I said.

"We urge anyone who believes they could have unclaimed prizes to check with us," said Sally Swait, Premium Bond manager at NS&I.

The highest unclaimed prize of 100,000 belonged to a woman who had previously lived in outer London, and who held just 25 worth of Premium Bonds.

Of the two people who have failed to claim 25,000 - both are male, one of whom lives in Essex and has 25,080 of Premium Bonds. The other, from inner London, held just 50 worth.

Another ten people have failed to claim 10,000 worth of prizes - including a woman who used to live in Derbyshire and who has just 1 worth of bonds.

The oldest unclaimed prize dates back to November 1957 and is for 25.

NS&I said there was no time limit for claiming prizes, with each unclaimed prize held until the winner can be tracked down.

Dramatic cuts in the Bank of England base rate have seen the Premium Bond prize fund fall dramatically in recent months.

* Use the link on the right to access the NS&I website, or write to Premium Bonds, National Savings and Investments, Blackpool, FY3 9YP.

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Guardian Unlimited Hunt is on to find premium bond winners - 21 hrs ago
Western Morning News Hunt for Premium Bond winners - 28 hrs ago
Telegraph Premium Bonds: How to claim forgotten prizes - 36 hrs ago
Channel 4 News Bid to trace 30m unclaimed prizes - 56 hrs ago
Luton News Unclaimed Premium Bond prizes worth 270,000 - 58 hrs ago

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