Page last updated at 23:00 GMT, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 00:00 UK

Bond prizes worth 35m unclaimed

Comedy characters Steptoe and Son ponder Albert's Premium Bond win
Bonds have an equal chance of winning regardless of age

Some 599,000 Premium Bond prizes remain unclaimed with a total value of more than £35m, according to National Savings and Investments (NS&I).

The number - which has risen by 50,000 in six months - includes two prizes of £100,000, the savings group said.

London residents hold the biggest proportion of the unclaimed tax-free prizes, which start at £25.

Winners are sent cheques to the address held on file by NS&I, and prizes often go unclaimed because people move house.

Others who fail to update details are members of the family of Premium Bond holders who have died.

Prize fund

There is no time limit for claiming prizes, and details of winning numbers are available on the NS&I website or by writing to the organisers.

Nearly £7m of prizes are unclaimed among London Bond holders, with another £4.7m unclaimed in the South East of England, and £2.9m in the North West of England. Just £817,175 has been unclaimed in the North East of England.

At the end of June, more than 23 million people had a total of more than £40bn invested in Premium Bonds.

Prizes each month range from £25 to a single £1m prize. There were two of these top awards until the low level of the Bank of England Bank rate led NS&I to cut one of the £1m prizes in April.

The group, which sees its profits go to the Treasury, said people living in the South West of England won the biggest Premium Bond prizes on average.

* 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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