The Prize Bond Company has reported gross sales of €574m, the second highest year on record after sales of €567m in 2017 and €670m in 2016.

The Prize Bond Company, which administers prize bonds on behalf of the National Treasury Management Agency, published its annual report today.

The report shows that the value of the prize bonds fund at the end of 2018 exceeded €3.4 billion, an increase of almost 8% on 2017 and the highest in the scheme's history.

Meanwhile, the number of cash prizes won by customers stood at at 224,474 last year, down from  302,064 prizes in 2017.

The value of prizes amounted to €16.4m last year. 

More than 4,600 prizes are issued every week and €1m prize draw takes place twice a year, in June and December. 

The company said that by the end of 2018, unclaimed prizes accumulated since the launch of the product in 1957 amounted to €2.74m.

Unclaimed prizes are held indefinitely until claimed by a bond holder and every prize winner is contacted at the address last registered with the Prize Bond Company. 

Full details of all prizes are included in a database listed on for customers to check.

John Daly, Chairman of the Prize Bond Company, said that customers are investing with confidence in the "unique" State Savings product.

Mr Daly said the Prize Bonds' new website has made repeat purchases online convenient for customers who are increasingly looking for digital platforms to view and manage their investments with State Savings, the brand name used by the NTMA for the range of savings products offered by it to personal savers. 

"Being able to service Prize Bonds customers' needs across a variety of channels, including the Post Office network, remains a key focus for the company in the year ahead," he added.