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How to win big money without spending any!

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On 29 February 2012


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Halifax has upped the number of £100,000 prizes in its monthly draw from three to 10 for its May and June draws, giving even more savers the chance to win big. But it's not the only way you can win big money without spending any.


The Halifax Savers Prize Draw has been going since December last year and each month hands over three £100,000 prizes, 100 prizes of £1,000, and 1,000 prizes of £100. That's £500,000 in total, to savers picked out of a virtual hat.

The draw is one of a number of ways savers and shoppers can win large sums of cash with little or no outlay.

We’ve taken a closer look at this – and other ways you can get lucky.

Lucky savers

The Halifax Savers Prize Draw is open to savers with £5,000 or more in a qualifying Halifax savings account and who have registered to enter the draw.

In a bid to encourage people to use their ISA allowance – and plough more money into their Halifax ISAs – Halifax is upping the number of £100,000 prizes from three to 10 for two months.

Halifax is keeping quiet about how many savers it has with more than £5,000 in their accounts, but if just a million savers registered for the draw, the odds of winning one of the 10 £100,000 prizes in May or June is just 0.001%.

On the plus side, savers don’t have to risk anything to take part. Their savings are protected and earning interest and, account terms allowing, can be accessed at any time.

The only potential downside is that savers may be missing out on higher interest rates available elsewhere by sticking with Halifax as although it offers some decent savings rates, there are higher paying accounts elsewhere.

Premium Bonds

Another way to win big bucks without risking your capital is Premium Bonds which are part of the National Savings & Investments range of savings products. A Premium Bond costs £1 and you can hold between 100 and 30,000 Premium Bonds.

Each month every Premium Bond is entered into a prize draw where bond-holders can win between £25 and £1 million tax-free.

Bonds can be bought online at NS&I's website, in Post Offices, over the phone or through a regular monthly payment by standing order. You can cash the bonds in whenever you like and it takes about a week to have the money returned to you.

However, the odds of winning the big prize aren’t that great. Around £42 billion is held in Premium Bonds so in a typical draw each bond's chance of winning £1million is over 42 billion to 1. Each month there are also about 1.6 million £25 prizes, 30,000 £50 or £100 prizes, and about 5,000 prizes of £500 upwards (including one £1 million prize).

The main downside of Premium Bonds is that your money doesn’t earn interest. So if you don’t ever win, the real value of your money will be eaten away by inflation.

Get free national lottery tickets

There are a couple of sites which offer free Lotto tickets if you shop at retailers via the site, or use it as a search engine.

Freenationallotterytickets.co.uk works in a similar way to cashback sites. It has more than 2,500 online retailers which pay commission if you buy stuff from them after clicking through from the site. The site shares this commission with shoppers by crediting their account with lottery points which can then be converted into lottery tickets for Lotto or EuroMillions draws.

For example, if you click through from Freenationallotterytickets.co.uk to online clothes retailer Very you’ll get 24 points for every £1 you spend on your first purchase. So spend £100 and you’ll get 2,400 points.

10 lottery points is enough for a share of a syndicated lottery ticket for Lotto with a maximum 100 players. There are other syndicated options but you’ll need 1,000 lottery points (about a £42 spend at Very) to buy your own Lotto ticket where any prize is yours alone.

Search Lotto works in a similar way but you earn points for internet searches, not shopping. You’ll need to do quite a few searches to make it worthwhile though; 25 searches will earn you one free entry into a Lotto syndicate containing 10 people or a EuroMillions syndicate containing 20 people.

More: How to cut the cost of your cinema tickets |The 38 savings accounts that beat inflation

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