Soaring sales result in record €1bn-plus prize bond fund
THE public is continuing to invest in prize bonds at record levels, it was revealed yesterday.
The Prize Bond Company Limited reported that gross sales last year were up 32pc on 2008 at €370m, and that the prize fund is now worth more than €1bn for the first time in its history. Net sales rose by more than 53pc to €269m last year.
Prize Bonds paid out a record €28m in 2009 -- 37pc more than in 2008, and the prize fund now stands at €1.2bn. According to the company, about 6,000 cash prizes are handed out by the company every week.
The firm also said net sales for this year were on course to at least match those of last year, standing at some €130m up to the end of June.
Michael O'Keeffe, chairman of the Prize Bond Company, said he thought the security afforded by prize bonds during the recession was one of the drivers of their success.
Prize bonds have become an integral part of Irish society since 1957. The company is run as a joint venture between An Post and the Kerry-based services company Fexco.
At the end of 2009, there was about €1.5m worth of prizes unclaimed which equates to about 0.3pc of the total value of prizes awarded in its history.