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Record for Prize Bonds

THE Prize Bonds scheme expanded by 9pc to a record €1.45bn last year as more people pumped money into the State-run savings programme.

Prizes awarded to bond holders also reached a record high of €42m last year -- a significant increase of 17pc on 2010 and the highest value of prizes awarded in any year to date.

A total of 385,078 in cash prizes was awarded during the year.