Premium Bonds are a form of investment offered by National Savings and Investment (NS&I), a savings bank owned by the UK Government.
Instead of earning interest on their investments, holders of the bonds are entered into a random draw at the start of every month, with tax-free prizes worth between £25 and £1 million.
While the overall annual prize fund currently operates at an interest rate of 1.00%, the prize draw format means there is no guarantee that you will earn this from your savings.
The odds of any £1 Bond winning are 34,500 to 1, so while it can be a fun way to save, it’s unlikely to offer you a regular income. Here’s how to check if your holdings have won a prize each month.
February 2022 Premium Bonds winners
A total of 3,363,088 prizes were paid out in the February draw, with a combined value of £96,688,825, out of 116,026,566,248 eligible numbers.
Two Premium Bonds holders from Leeds and Essex received a welcome windfall by winning the £1 million jackpot.
Additionally, there were six winners of £100,000, 11 of £50,000, 22 of £25,000, 57 worth £10,000 and 113 valued at £5,000.
The total paid out by National Savings and Investments (NS&I) since the very first draw in June 1957 now stands at £22.6 billion, from 552 million prizes.
How to check if you have won the Premium Bonds
If you hold Premium Bonds and want to check if you’ve won a prize in the latest monthly draw, you can use the NS&I online prize checker here.
Alternatively, you can download the free app from iOS or Android, while Amazon Alexa devices can also check for you, “remembering” back across the past six prize draws.
To check on your Bonds, you will need your unique holder’s number, which can be found on your bond record or by logging into your account on the NS&I website. It will have either nine of ten digits, or be an eight digit number with a letter at the end.
The results are usually accessible from the second day of the month, although this can be pushed back if the month starts with a weekend or bank holiday. Last month, for example, the results were available from Wednesday 5th.
Prizes don’t carry a time limit, so you can claim as far back as the original 1957 draw.
However, according to MoneySavingExpert, as of November 2021 there were more than two million unclaimed Premium Bonds prizes, with a total value of almost £75 million.
To reduce the potential for leaving prizes unclaimed, Premium Bonds holders can opt to have them paid directly in their bank account or automatically reinvested into more Bonds.
NS&I says that almost nine in ten prizes are now paid this way, and you can find out more details here.
How to buy Premium Bonds
You can buy Premium Bonds for yourself or for a child under 16 online here, or you can call NS&I free on 08085 007 007, from 7.00am to 10.00pm every day. You’ll need to have your debit card details ready.
Alternatively, you can apply by post at NS&I, Sunderland SR43 2SB, using an application form that you can find and print here.
Each Bond is £1, but you need to pay in a minimum of £25 for each investment. The maximum amount you can hold in Premium Bonds is £50,000.
If you think there is a chance that you could have Premium Bonds, but you are not sure, there is a tracking service on the NS&I website.
To check if you have any bonds you need to fill out a form with your personal details and send it off. If you do have Premium Bonds, then you will be contacted.