The State-backed Prize Bond fund reached a record value of €4.4bn, marking an all-time high in the history of the scheme, which was first established in 1957. The fund increased by 8.3% from its 2020 value of €4.1bn.
Sales of Prize Bonds remained strong last year as the fund continued to see steady gross sales of €660.5m during 2021.
The value of Prize Bonds repaid during the year increased by 15.8% to €327.7m, in comparison to 2020, which saw repayments amount to €283.1m.
More than 228,000 prizes were awarded last year with a total value of €15.6m, down from €19.2m in 2020.
The scheme currently issues over 4,000 prizes, and a €250,000 prize draw occurs four times a year, in March, June, September, and December.
The record value of the fund highlights its popularity as an investment choice for customers, who each week have the opportunity to win a variety of prizes while retaining the value of their investment.
Over the past year, the Prize Bond Company has worked to make new and repeat purchases of bonds easier for customers. Approximately 18.1% of all Prize Bond sales in 2021 were carried out online, compared to 16.7% in 2020. However, the post office remains the primary point of sale, with over 54.6% of Prize Bonds purchased via the network in 2021.
Prize Bond Company chairwoman Debbie Byrne said: "I am pleased to report a strong performance for 2021, reflecting continued customer confidence in Prize Bonds as a unique retail investment product.
The Prize Bond Company is a joint venture operated between An Post and Fexco, which operate the State-backed scheme on behalf of the National Treasury Management Agency.