Leanne Macardle

Leanne Macardle

Editor
Published: 01/04/2019

Every month, two lucky Premium Bond holders scoop a £1 million jackpot from NS&I, and thousands of others win smaller amounts ranging from £25 to £100,000. Are you one of them? Find out now!

April's Premium Bond prize winners

The first of April's jackpot winners comes from Warwickshire (with the winning bond number 201SW331874), while the second comes from Kent (bond number 108RY588717), both of whom have had a fantastic start to the month and become the 407th and 408th Premium Bond millionaires.

The Warwickshire winner has the near-maximum of £41,600 invested in Premium Bonds and the Kent winner has £30,000 invested, but it isn't all about the big prizes – and you don't even need to have the full amount invested to win a substantial sum.

For example, this month also saw a £6,476 bond-holder scoop one of the £50,000 prizes, while someone with just £3,000 will find themselves £25,000 richer. However, arguably one of the most surprised recipients – and someone with one of the best returns on investment – has held just £5 in Premium Bonds since 1978 and will now find an extra £5,000 in their account, showing that everyone's got a chance to win big.

This month, the total prize fund stood at £93,423,325, with 3,268,457 prizes awarded to lucky bond-holders. Go here to see if you're one of them!

Want a guaranteed return? Check out the best savings rates instead

 

Million-pound milestone

This month's prize draw coincides with a particularly impressive milestone, with it now being 25 years since the first £1 million prize first was introduced. Since then, 408 people have now become Premium Bond millionaires, with the money sure to make a huge difference to their finances.

"After the recent launch of ERNIE 5 and the Alexa prize checking skill, Premium Bonds has hit another important milestone in its long and rich history," said Jill Waters, NS&I retail director.

"Making 408 millionaires to date is no mean feat and our Agents Million have been there every step of the way, surprising, delighting and reassuring all of our customers who have been lucky enough to join this exclusive jackpot winning group.

"I'm sure that this month's winners would have been happy to forgo an extra hour in bed with news on their fabulous win and that many memories can be created as a result of them saving in Premium Bonds."

Have you lost your bonds?

You may be reading this and wondering whether or not you've got some Premium Bonds squirrelled away somewhere. Perhaps you've got a vague recollection of being given some as a child, or are pretty sure you invested at some stage but have no idea where the details are. Well, fear not – there are ways to track them down!

The key thing you need to do is contact NS&I, who have a tracing service designed for this very purpose. Go here to download a tracing form. Hopefully, by giving enough information, they'll be able to track down your bonds and reunite you with them, and you may even have been lucky enough to win big in the interim!

Find out more about how to find lost Premium Bonds

If, on the other hand, you know exactly where your bonds are but your details have changed, you need to contact NS&I to update them. There'd be nothing worse than moving home or changing email address and realising you can't be contacted, and with so many prizes remaining unclaimed, you wouldn't want to miss out.

According to NS&I, there are over 1.5 million unclaimed Premium Bonds prizes worth £61 million, all waiting to be reunited with their rightful owners. There's no time limit on unclaimed funds so you needn't worry about losing your prizes – just get in touch with NS&I and keep them informed.

What are the alternatives to Premium Bonds?

Premium Bonds may give you the chance to win big, but there's no guarantee. The odds of winning for each £1 bond number are currently 24,500 to 1, and although the annual prize fund interest rate is 1.40% – which means someone with average luck could expect to win prizes equating to interest of 1.40% each year – the reality is often far different.

As such, you may want to look elsewhere to ensure you'll generate a return. This is where savings accounts come in, all of which guarantee you'll earn some form of interest on your investment.

Premium Bonds vs. savings accounts

  • Easy access accounts could be your first choice, as they're the most flexible type of account and in many cases pay interest rates comparable to or over Premium Bonds' annual prize fund rate of 1.40%. This includes RCI Bank's deal paying 1.42%, and the market-leading return of 1.55% on offer from ICICI Bank UK.
  • Fixed rate bonds are arguably similar to Premium Bonds in that they're designed for longer-term saving to stand the best chance of winning a prize(though you can cash them in at any time). Here, some of the top rates available include expected returns of 2.75% on offer from Gatehouse Bank and BLME, though you'll need to tie up your funds for at least five years. Or, for shorter-term deals you may want to look to Al Rayan Bank (with an 18-month deal paying an expected profit rate of 2.32%) or BLME again with a 12-month deal paying 2.20%.
  • High interest current accounts could be the best of the bunch for a small savings pot, with rates of up to 5% on offer, such as with the FlexDirect account from Nationwide. Just bear in mind that you'll normally only be able to earn the headline rate on relatively low balances (in the case of Nationwide it's on balances of up to £2,500 for the first 12 months), but for the best cash savings rates available, they could be worth considering.

 

Of course, a good compromise could be to split your savings between several different pots – you may want a high interest current account for the highest interest rates, an easy access deal for flexibility, a fixed rate bond for a more substantial savings pot, and Premium Bonds for money you don't mind investing in more of a lottery-style product. That way, you can get the best of all worlds – and you never know, you could be a winner!

Disclaimer

Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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