You wouldn’t imagine that people would ignore a win on the lottery, would you? Having bought a ticket, you’d want to know if you numbers had come up – and if they had, especially if it was a large win, you’d be very quick to make your claim.
But some people never claim their winnings. There are often prizes in the hundreds of thousands just sitting around the offices of the National Lottery, and in some instances prizes of over a million go unclaimed.
It happens. If you think you might have an unclaimed lottery prize, be it small or large, you need to act quickly, because, unlike other unclaimed funds, there’s a strict time limit about filing a claim. It has to be done within 160 days – that’s six months – of the numbers being drawn.
Why Prizes Go Unclaimed
The main reason people fail to claim their prizes from the lottery is lost tickets. We’ve all done it – bought a ticket, then hunted for it just prior to the number draw, only to discover we can no longer find it. Since in many cases the numbers are picked by the machine, we don’t even know what the numbers are (which, in an odd way, could be a blessing. To know you’d lost the ticket but had the winning numbers would be a kind of torture).
Of course, there are always a few people who do have their tickets but haven’t checked the winning numbers. Sometimes they won’t check for weeks, although it’s to be hoped that they remember to check within the six months allowed for claims.
Claiming a Prize
How you claim a prize depends largely on its size. As long as it falls within the six-month period, these are the methods you’ll need to follow. If the prize is less than £200, you can present your winning ticket and claim your winnings at any Lottery retailer.
With prizes of £75-200, if your ticket’s been validated, you can only claim the prize at the retailer, which might mean a couple of trips if they don’t have the cash on your first visit. If it hasn’t been validated, however, you can go to a different retailer or a Post Office.
The next level is £200-500, and although some retailers will pay that amount, you’ll usually have to take your winning ticket to the Post Office instead to claim your money.
You’d also use the Post Office for prizes up to £50,000, although they’re obviously not going to pay all that out in cash (the maximum cash payout they’ll make is £500, in fact). You’ll need to fill in a claim form before receiving a cheque for the amount, show your ticket (naturally) and proof of identification.
You can also claim prizes between £500 and £50,000 by post directly from the National Lottery, but you’ll need to fill out the claim form and send your winning ticket (make absolutely sure it’s recorded delivery!).
The Big Prizes
Once you’re over £50,000 you’re getting into big money, and that’s reflected in the way it can be claimed. For these you have to go to one of the National Lottery’s Regional Centres and make your claim in person, proving your identity, of course, and filling out the claim form before being paid in cash.
Remember, though, that time is always of the essence with Lottery claims – you only have six months.
I have premium bonds to the value of £11 dated 1964 which I have just found.
I have checked the numbers and it says they are invalid.
What can I do please? Thank you Tony
Tony - 29-Jun-16 @ 4:23 PM
None - Your Question:
I have old bonds from late 50's til 60's (13 in total). Still in maiden name and now live in America. I have my Bond Holder's card. How do I check these to see if any winnings are out there. Would appreciate any help. Thanks. Jacqueline Rebec (née Snook).
Please see link here for more advice on checking your old premium bonds.
UnclaimedFinances - 3-May-16 @ 3:00 PM
I have old bonds from late 50's til 60's (13 in total).Still in maiden name and nowlive in America.I have my Bond Holder's card. How do I check these to see if any winnings are out there. Would appreciate any help. Thanks.Jacqueline Rebec (née Snook).
None - 1-May-16 @ 10:40 PM
Betty - Your Question:
My son received a premium bond as a gift at his Christening on 14th January 1990, unfortunate I can not find the bond. We moved from the address we were living on 1990.Please, can you tell me how can I find out about my son bond?
Please see link herewhich tells you how you can go about this.
UnclaimedFinances - 13-Jan-16 @ 2:48 PM
My son received a premium bond as a gift at his Christening on 14th January 1990, unfortunate I can not find the bond. We moved from the address we were living on 1990.
Please, can you tell me how can I find out about my son bond?
Betty - 13-Jan-16 @ 12:34 PM
hugs - Your Question:
I have a 10 pounds premium bond holder number 457 501 11E 23KS 239371 23KS 239380 I WAS BORN IN GLASGOW 1949 purchased date 1989 my address 1can you cheak the number see if there is anything outstanding ty.
You would have to contact NSandI yourself via the link here. I hope this helps.
UnclaimedFinances - 3-Dec-15 @ 10:48 AM
I have a 10 pounds premium bond holder number 457 501 11E 23KS 239371 23KS 239380 I WAS BORN IN GLASGOW 1949 purchased date 1989 my address can you cheak the number see if there is anything outstanding ty.
hugs - 2-Dec-15 @ 2:30 PM
@Aggie, please be careful about giving your personal details online as it can lead to identity theft ( I have removed them from our site). We can not check whether you have won or not, as we are not the official site. You need to go via the link here. I hope this helps.
UnclaimedFinances - 3-Feb-15 @ 2:42 PM
I have found a premium savings bond amongst my deceased mums things ,it's in my name which is Carole Agnew and when bought I would be either end living at7glebe crescent,auchencairn ,castle Douglas ,kits hire Scotland or 26 Main Street,ache cairn
My dob is 2nd June 1957
The bond number at the top right hand corner is422006
Don't know if it will ever have won anything
Aggie - 2-Feb-15 @ 1:11 PM
@baggiebird - you can check you numbers via the website here. Good luck.
UnclaimedFinances - 22-Jan-15 @ 3:02 PM
I have just found my sons premium bonds he was bought as a baby. Nearly 16 years ago. Could you please check the number 485 805 52r. Thankyou,
baggiebird - 22-Jan-15 @ 12:15 PM
Just checking to see if I have any unclaimed money sitting there
Black sheep - 29-Nov-14 @ 12:56 PM
Wondering if there were any unclaimed Premium Bond Prizes from 'years ago', the member number is 21222332359? last number faded.
The Premium Bond holder is me, Andrew Griffin d.o.b. 8/01/48, address on the bond holders card is 57 Walton Road, Romford Essex later changed to 30 Neave Crescent Romford, Essex RM3 8HN, on 10-07-83.
While I realise the chance of still finding anything is quite remote you're never going to know until you ask and I don't want to die wondering.
I now reside in Mackay, Qld Australia.
Dru - 30-Sep-14 @ 6:23 AM
Could you please check my sons bond holders initial HMcF 17KP292520 thanks
Susannah - 1-Sep-14 @ 5:08 PM
I would like to know how do I find out if the bonds I have are worth anything what is the web site to find out as I have a few bonds, thanks
Lady Jane! - 1-Nov-13 @ 5:15 PM
I have had premium bonds in the name above but have lost them all re moving etc. the previous address are 62 Thornfileld House
Poplar London E14. 2 Shelly Drive Welling Kent,
there could also be some in the names of Sarah Browne, John Browne, Emily Browne, As I said I have no numbers but definately have bonds maybe from over 40 years or so ago
Dianne Browne (nee Buckley)
None - 21-Oct-13 @ 3:22 PM
I have A bond belonging to my deceased mother could you check it for me
The holders number is 367 355 OOY
The bond number is 1bp 616011
thank you james
lumie - 11-Oct-13 @ 3:17 PM
could you please check if the following premium bond holder's number has any monies against it not claimed 317 599 77w
susie - 6-Oct-13 @ 2:35 PM
I sent my son his form to renew his change of address by royal mail on his premium bonds. The post office lost them and just sent him an empty envelope. Can I get these re-instated for him. I have the holders no..only. It was in his name Mark C. Albery
strawberry - 20-Sep-13 @ 2:23 PM
I have a Premium Bond AS 687327 but no record of the Holder's number can it be checked?
Also have one for my son Nigel John Wilson 2AT 566619
No - 20-Aug-13 @ 1:31 AM
I was born in 1962 with the surname of Nisbet, I have two lots of premium bonds but not the new holders numbers,and only 1old holders number which is:
287 637 06R -bond numbers 23KP 368221 to 23KP 368230 - January 1989-£10
3EP 363496 to 3EP 363500 - July 1962 no holders number-£5
my new address is: 2, Burton Mill Cottage. Burton Park Road, Petworth
West Sussex. GU28 0JR
Please could you check the numbers to see if there is anything outstanding.
Yvee - 19-Aug-13 @ 10:16 PM
Could you please check my premium bond as I don't know how to do it myself.