Plea over 'forgotten' Premium Bonds

Premium BondBritons are being urged to check their forgotten Premium Bonds as £44 million worth of prizes are still unclaimed.

The two largest prizes where no-one has come forward are both worth £100,000 and belong to female bond holders in London and Manchester, said Treasury-backed provider NS&I (National Savings and Investments).
More than a third of the UK population collectively has more than £45 billion invested in Premium Bonds across the UK. Every eligible bond is entered into a monthly prize draw and investors forgo interest in order to have the chance to win tax-free prizes.

However, NS&I is giving prize winners an extra nudge to come forward as many people have lost track of their bonds, perhaps because they have had them since childhood or have moved house without updating their contact details.

Bond holders can make themselves easier to trace by signing up online at They can opt to have any cash paid directly into their bank account and be notified of their win by email. Across the country, there are in excess of 898,000 unclaimed bonds, with a total value of more than £44 million.

There is no time limit for claiming prizes and each one is held until the winner comes forward. The oldest unclaimed prize is worth £25 and was bought by a man from South Yorkshire in 1957.

Jill Waters, NS&I's operations manager, said: "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. By opting to manage your Premium Bonds online you could reduce the risk of missing out on prizes as they can be paid directly into your bank account."

The five biggest unclaimed Premium Bond prizes in the UK, including the winning bond number, the prize value, the gender of the bond holder, the last known location, the present bond holding and when the draw took place, are: 1: 8LK522839, £100,000, Female, London, £25, February, 2007; 2: 50PB780494, £100,000, Female, Greater Manchester, £280, September 2010; 3: 3VT019901, £50,000, Female, Kent, £128, November 2007; 4: 1JK051177, £25,000, Male, London, £50, October 1991; 5: 38HZ060777, £25,000, Male, West Midlands, £2,000, March 2003.

The richest self-made Brits
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Plea over 'forgotten' Premium Bonds

The Monaco-based billionaire is said to be worth more than £4.2bn, with Topshop and Topman among the country's most successful brands. His first job, aged 12, was working for a shoe importer. He set up his first business at 15 with a £20,000 loan, on-selling imported jeans from the Far East to London-based retailers.

Branson's first successful business venture came in 1976 when he set up Student magazine aged just 16. In 1970, he founded a mail-order record retailer and within a year had opened his first shop on London's Oxford Street – Virgin Records. His fortune is estimated at £3.085 billion, according to the Sunday Times rich list.

The inventor gave his name to the household vacuum cleaner that would make him a fortune of £1.45 billion. James Dyson first reinvented the vacuum cleaner with the launch of his dual cyclone bagless 'G-Force' cleaner in 1983, followed more recently by the hand dryer and the fan. In 1997, Dyson was awarded the Prince Phillip Designers Prize, and elected a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering in 2005.

Founder of Specsavers, Bristol-born Dame Mary Perkins is Britain's first female self-made billionaire, reportedly worth £1.15 billion. The 67-year-old and her husband Douglas, 68, founded the eye-care company in 1984 and they can now boast more than 900 stores across Britain. Perkins was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2007 as recognition for her work.

Recently retired Beckham is the highest earner in British sport, according to the Sunday Times Sport Rich List. 'Brand Beckham' that has seen the 38-year-old amass a fortune of £165 million from endorsement deals and salary payments from his company, Footwork Productions, over the last decade. But Beckham is still some way off the richest sportsman in the world - golfer Tiger Woods, who is worth a staggering £570m.

Yorkshire Tory peer Lord Kirkham entered the billionaire league in 2010 when he sold his furniture company, DFS, for a reported £500m. In 41 years, Kirkham grew the brand, which started on the outskirts of Doncaster, to 79 stores, three factories and more than 2,600 staff. He received a Knighthood in 1995, a Peerage in 1999 and a CVO in 2005. He now owns a large share in Iceland supermarkets and is worth a reported £1.1billion.

The former Beatle takes the top spot in the Sunday Times Rich List of musical millionaires, sharing a £680 million fortune with his wife Nancy Shevell. McCartney has topped the list of wealthy musicians every year since it was formed 1989 when his fortune was estimated at £80 million.

The chairman of Carphone Warehouse and Talk Talk, Essex-born Dunstone, 46, started his retail empire selling mobile phones from his west London flat in 1989. His fortune rose by £396 million to £1 billion in a year, after the demerger of Carphone Warehouse and Talk Talk. Carphone Warehouse is Europe's largest independent mobile phone retailer and Dunstone was awarded a Knighthood in 2012 for services to the mobile communications industry.

Author of the hugely successful Harry Potter series, Joanne Kathleen Rowling, has a net worth of £560 million – making her the world's richest author. Rowling wrote the first Potter books on a manual typewriter while a single mother living on benefits. The manuscript for the first Harry Potter novel was rejected by 12 publishers and when finally accepted, Rowling received an advance of just £1,500. Harry Potter is the highest-grossing film series of all-time and the brand has been estimated to be worth as much as £10 billion.

East-ender Lord Sugar, best known for his no-nonsense judging on BBC1s The Apprentice, started his career at 16, selling car aerials and electrical goods out of a van he had bought with savings of £50. In 1968 at the age of 21, Sugar started home electronics company, Amstrad (short for Alan Michael Sugar Trading). By the age of 40 he was worth about £600m. Sir Alan sold Amstrad in 2007, and is now worth a reported £770m, with much of his wealth coming from his extensive property empire.


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