The winners of April’s NS&I Premium Bond prize draw will soon be announced, which could see an eye-watering total of £330million paid out to savers in light of the new prize fund rate. NS&I increased its fund rate to 3.3 percent from March’s draw, reflecting its fifth increase in less than a year.
NS&I Premium Bonds work as a savings account that offers account holders the chance to win extra cash, tax-free, at the start of every month through randomly generated prize draws.
Prizes are split into three value bands – higher, medium, and lower – and each band receives a percentage share of the monthly prize fund.
Prizes in the higher band range from £1million (only two of these can be won) to £5,000, while the medium and lower bands award people the chance to win between £1,000 and £500, and £100 and £25, respectively.
But after bumping the rate of the fund for the fifth time in one year, hundreds of thousands more premium bond savers are in with an opportunity of snapping up a prize.
The odds of winning, however, sit at 24,500 to one for every £1 bond, but savers can increase their chances by topping up and buying more bonds. The more bonds a person has, the more times they’re entered to win – and each bond number has an equal chance of winning.
Following the announcement of March’s million-pound winners, Jill Waters, NS&I retail director, said: “Could you be a jackpot winner next month? Make sure all your contact details are up to date, including your address – you never know, one of our Agents Million might be knocking on your door sometime soon to deliver the life-changing news.”
How to check if you’ve won a Premium Bond prize
People can check if they’ve won a prize through the NS&I’s official prize-checking tool, which can be accessed here. All the person needs is their bond number to see the results.
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People can also download the NS&I Premium Bonds prize checker app, available at the Apple Store or Google Play, where the same information will be readily available.
Not only will it show this month’s prizes, but it’ll also show the bondholder if they’ve won in any of the previous six draws, as well as any older prizes that haven’t been claimed.
Currently, it’s thought that around £88.8million worth of bond winnings are going unclaimed. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as missing current address details, or if an account holder had bonds bought as a child but has since forgotten about them.
However, according to NS&I, the best way to ensure prizes are claimed is for savers to opt to have them paid directly into their bank account or automatically reinvested into more Premium Bonds. Savers can find out how to do this here.
How are the prizes paid?
Winners can choose to receive the prize in three ways, and these include being paid straight into a nominated bank account, reinvested into more bonds, or via a cheque in the post.
Opting to have the winnings paid directly into a bank account is quick and easy, and the lucky bondholder will be alerted of the news by text, after which they should see the prize money by the seventh working day of the month.
Reinvesting the prize into more bonds can help those who have less than the maximum invested (£50,000) boost their chances of winning more.
Opting to receive the winnings via cheque takes slightly longer and if this is the person’s chosen option, it’s vital to ensure addresses are up to date.
The first Premium Bonds prize draw took place on June 1, 1957, and a total of 23,142 prizes were up for grabs, compared to 5,007,989 today, and the top prize was £1,000.
As of this March, ERNIE (Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment) has now paid out a total of £25.1billion in prizes since that first draw in 1957.
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