‘Popular myth’ about Premium Bonds dispelled as prize draw looms

Martin Lewis discusses Premium Bonds

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Millions of people hold Premium Bonds offered by NS&I, as this savings option provides the chance to win high value prizes each month. The next prize draw results will be available on February 2, 2023, leaving just days until new high value prize winners are made.

People will be able to check if they have won a prize then, by entering their holder’s number into the NS&I tool available online.

Prize winners can also expect to be contacted by the savings company to inform them of their winnings.

But ahead of the February draw, NS&I has explained a “popular myth” which has frequently arisen amongst savers, regarding who can win and how.

The savings company has addressed the belief many people hold that having Premium Bonds in a sequence can improve an individual’s chance of winning.

However, NS&I has said this “simply isn’t true”, due to a specific reason.

The company uses a machine to generate the number for each prize draw, commonly known as ERNIE, standing for Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment.

This machine generates numbers completely at random in order to keep the process as fair as possible.

The numbers are then matched to the Premium Bonds database of eligible holders to determine the winners for that month.

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As a result, no Bonds are actually entered into ERNIE itself, and the machine does not “know” anything about the Bonds themselves.

There is no understanding the Bond number is part of a sequence or not, so this does not factor in deciding the winners each month.

NS&I added: “The only thing that can increase your chances of winning is holding more Premium Bonds.

“But holding them in sequence won’t make any difference.”

In a similar sense, many people think having the maximum holding of £50,000 is their only chance at securing the top win.

However, this is also a myth, according to NS&I, with the company explaining jackpot winners have a varied amount invested.

One winner of the £1million jackpot, for instance, only had £17 in Premium Bonds when they clinched the top prize years ago.

But Britons should be aware the more Bonds they hold, the better their chances of winning. 

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Two lucky people were able to kickstart their 2023 with a £1million win in January, as NS&I announced the results of its first draw of the year.

The first millionaire was from Wiltshire, and had the winning Bond number of 399PD449641, which was purchased in June 2020.

The second millionaire was announced as someone from South Yorkshire, who purchased their winning bond – worth only £125 – in July 2021.

Their winning number was confirmed as 461RN328709.

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