Two British expats are sitting on a £150,000 premium bond windfall but do not know they are winners.
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One of the unclaimed prizes belongs to a woman living in Australia.
Her £6 investment in premium bonds in 1967 won a £100,000 prize in 2007 that is sitting in the vaults at National Savings & Investments in London waiting for here to come forward.
Another £50,000 belongs to a winner whose last known address was in Japan. The winning bond was bought in 1993 and the prize remains unclaimed since 2011.
Hundreds of other expats are also due smaller prizes.
NS&I says they are holding on to £47 million for winners both in Britain and overseas.
Plea for information
The agency, which manages the premium bond service for the government, has a special team to track down winners.
Unlike the National Lottery, which gives winners 180 days to claim their winnings, premium bond prizes are held by NS&I without any expiry date.
Expats can hold the bonds providing they have a UK bank account and no tax is due on prizes.
“Prizes are not claimed for lots of reasons,” said a NS&I spokesman.
“The main problem we have is bond holders do not tell us about any changes of address. This happens a lot when the bonds are bought for babies who may not know they hold them or they have lost track of relatives.
“We would urge anyone who holds a bond or thinks they may have been bought bonds to get in touch and update their contact details with us.”
Anyone can check if they have missed collecting a premium bond prize by visiting the NS&I web site.
Tracing lost cash
Expats who have lost track of British bank accounts or pensions can also find out if they have any lost money through several free and paid-for services.
Financial companies reckon around £15 billion of forgotten cash is languishing in suspended accounts.
Lost bank or savings accounts can be reclaimed through a free online service mylostaccount.org, run by the British Bankers’ Association, the Building Societies Association and NS&I.
Expats can access the service and prove their identity from overseas.
The pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk will trace mislaid workplace pensions, while searching for investments is a service offered by the Investment Management Association or the Association of Investment Companies
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