How Premium Bond prizes are calculated – how to check if you won the £1million jackpot

Martin Lewis gives updated advice on premium bonds

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Premium Bonds are a savings account managed by National Savings and Investment (NS&I), which is backed by the UK Government. NS&I split the prizes into three value bands – higher, medium and lower.

Based on the bands, they allocate a percentage share of the monthly prize fund to each one.

The draw reveals two new millionaires each month, and many others win cash prizes of £25 and upwards.

Everyone has an equal chance of winning – although people with more bonds are able to maximise their chances.

Higher value prizes include the following prize values:
£1million £100,000
£50,000 £25,000
£10,000 £5,000

Medium value prizes include:


Lower value prizes include:



The Premium Bonds savings vehicle is unusual as it doesn’t pay interest.

Instead, savers purchase £1 bonds which are entered into a draw on the first of each month.

The different bands are allocated a different percentage of the prize fund, with both the medium and high value prizes receiving five percent while the lower value prizes make up 90 percent.

The number of individual prize amounts given out is then calculated from highest to lowest value, with two £1million being paid out every month and any shortfall or extra being taken into the following band if necessary.

NS&I have noted that if there is a shortfall in the total number of prizes allocated in a given month, an unlikely event, they will likely increase the percentage given to lower value prizes and reduce the number of high and medium prizes given out.

There are around three million prizes every month to lucky Bond holders, whose numbers are generated at random by a random-number generator, ERNIE.

Prizes range from £25 to £1 million and are all tax-free.

ERNIE 5 generates random numbers that are matched against eligible Bond numbers to determine the lucky winners.

Because it’s random, every Bond number, whether it has eight, nine,10 or 11 digits, has a separate and equal chance of winning a prize.

Anyone can see if they have won a prize by using the NS&I online prize checker.

Alternatively people can choose from their mobile or voice apps. Through Alexa, Premium Bonds has a voice.

Alternatively people can choose from their mobile or voice apps.

Through Alexa, Premium Bonds has a voice.

When checking winnings, people need their NS&I number or holder’s number.

Britons can buy more Bonds whenever they like, 24 hours a day.

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