Premium bonds are a savings product that has been popular with millions across the country since its launch in the 1950s by National Savings and Investment (NS&I). At the beginning of each month, NS&I announces the names of the lucky Premium Bond winners for that period. Next month, the winners of the latest Premium Bond £1million jackpot will be announced on February 1, 2022, which is a Tuesday.
Since NS&I is a government-backed institution, all deposits made with premium bonds are 100% protected against potential harm or fraud, which explains its long-term success with savers.
Bondholders can withdraw and deposit money whenever they want under this specific savings account, but interest is determined by a monthly lottery.
Some of the largest amounts someone can earn from premium bonds are £1million, £100,000, £50,000 or £25,000.
As it stands, the premium bond rate is 1%, but it is floating, meaning it could be changed by NS&I.
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For the month of December 2021, there have been two lucky winners of the financial body’s £1million prize: one being a West Sussex man who invested £46,000 in the draw for the savings price. His winning bond was valued at £30,000 and was bought just a few years ago in July 2017.
The other winner was a Lancashire man, who invested £14,725 in premium bonds, far less than his fellow jackpot winner. His bond was valued at £5,000 and was only bought in the last year in February 2021.
Many people are looking to follow in the footsteps of these two gentlemen and are looking for ways to improve their chances of getting that million pounds into their bank account.
On the NS&I website, investors and bondholders can get advice on how to increase their chances of winning the grand prize with advice from the Frequently Asked Questions page.
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In response to this question, the NS&I replied: “Each £1 bond issue has an equal chance of winning, regardless of when and where it was purchased.
“Over 95% of eligible premium bonds have been purchased since 2000.
“So even though premium bonds have been on sale for over 60 years, that’s why new bonds seem to be winning more frequently.
“When ERNIE generates random winners, it does not store any numbers, so it is impossible to omit obligations.
“In 2004, the £1m jackpot was won by a customer with just £17, who bought them in 1959.”
Despite the potential gains that come from buying premium bonds, many experts believe that the savings option is no longer as attractive as it once was.
Jason Hollands, managing director of online investment service Bestinvest, explained: “Premium bonds used to be a popular option for friends and family to give to young people.
“But with other savings accounts, returns on those have declined to negligible amounts — and after negative inflation —.”
Consistent with this line of thinking, Laura Suter, personal finance manager at AJ Bell, noted the decline in popularity of the NS&I product.
Ms Suter explained: “Premium bonds, once a more common gift (especially from grandparents), have lost popularity as the interest paid on them has also fallen.
“People are now as likely to gift premium bonds this Christmas as buying Bitcoin from someone – with just 2% of those gifting cash planning to do either.
“Obviously, the process of buying premium bonds is slightly smoother than transferring crypto, but both are unlikely to make it into most homes.”