An 18-year-old London A-level student has found £1,000 in a Government fund he never knew he had.
Rory Windon is part of a scheme that has gone under the radar leaving more than £550 million unclaimed and available for teenagers in England.
Child Trust Funds were given to children born between September 1, 2002 and January 2, 2011.
The tax-free savings accounts were created so children had an amount of money they could rely on when they became adults.
Kids got free cash vouchers from the state of up to £250, or £500 if you were on a low income, to be added to the funds.
The money can be accessed at 16 and moved or spent at 18.
Five million Child Trust Funds worth an average of £1,500 have been ignored or forgotten by families, according to The Sun.
The most recent figures estimate that £554million remains left in 305,000 unclaimed accounts.
Rory told My London: “I didn’t have a clue about the money available until my mum told me. I thought she was joking but apparently she had known about it since I was born.
“As soon as I found out I told all my mates and checked how much money I had available – it turns out I actually had a thousand pounds.
“I’m planning on going to university next year and this is going to be a massive help. My siblings were jealous as when they turned 18 they didn’t have this money given to them.
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“It is strange. You would have thought this sort of stuff would have been advertised more but they weren’t. It’s weird to think this money was just sitting there all along and I didn’t know.
“I would say just go and check. If you didn’t know about it and have turned 18 this year its likely you’ve got a fat sum of money just waiting for you. You can spend it on anything and we didn’t even do anything for it.”
Teenagers eligible to claim the money turned 18 last year.
The amount of money you can claim is based on how well it was invested on your behalf.
Since 2002, around 6.3 million child trust fund accounts have been set up across the UK, roughly 4.5 million by parents or guardians and a further 1.8 million set up by HMRC where parents or guardians did not open an account.
More than 700,000 accounts become available for 18 year olds to access a year.
The accounts are not held by HMRC, but by a number of child trust fund providers who are financial services firms.
All you need to track down an account is your National Insurance Number which you should have received on your 16th birthday.
Child trust fund providers will be sending out statements just before their account holders turn 18, showing how much the fund is worth and what to do next.
If you haven’t received a statement, you should check who currently holds the money as the provider may not have your latest address.
HMRC has an online tracker to help people who don’t know who currently holds their money.
To find your account or your child’s, you can go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/child-trust-fund