Prize Bonds may have long been associated with grannies and First Communion presents, but it seems they've gained a new lease of life online.
According to new figures released on Thursday, internet sales of Prize Bonds rose by a whopping 90 percent to EUR11.6 million in 2006.
Founded in 1957, Prize Bonds is reputed to be Ireland's longest running prize draw. However, in recent years it has faced stiff competition from the likes of the Lotto and EuroMillions draws.
The Prize Bond Company has fought back though by focusing on using its online channel, a move that has proven so successful that internet sales now represent almost 9 percent of all Prize Bonds sales.
While the National Lottery has yet to offer an online playing option, the Prize Bonds Company said on Thursday that the internet has become a key sales outlet for the firm.
"Online sales of Prize Bonds enjoyed a particularly strong year, with a large increase in the number of both new and existing Prize Bonds holders using the prizebonds.ie site to buy Bonds and check their results," said Michael O'Keeffe, chairman of The Prize Bond Company
"This demonstrates the continued relevance and enduring appeal of Prize Bonds as a tax-free, risk-free investment for Irish people both young and old. I am confident that this will continue through 2007, our 50th anniversary year, and that Prize Bonds will continue both to deliver value for holders and represent an attractive investment proposition to potential Prize Bond holders in 2007."
In total, 206,012 purchases of Prize Bonds were made in 2006, which represented an increase of 4.7 percent on 2005.
Those who have yet to buy a bond may also be interested to know that Prize Bond pay-outs also rose last year by 9.4 percent to EUR13.9 million.