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Premium Bonds: common myths busted

Premium Bonds: common myths busted

Here are five common misconceptions about NS&I's Premium Bonds.

lovemoney staff

Savings and ISAs

lovemoney staff
Updated on 11 September 2023

NS&I's Premium Bonds are hugely popular with UK savers/punters, but there are plenty of myths surrounding who wins.

Here are the facts behind some of the most popular conspiracies.

1. Older bonds are excluded from the draw

Some people think that old bonds are excluded from the draw as those people are unlikely to sell their bonds, whereas new holders are more likely to cash out. This is not true.

If you keep a close eye on the winning bonds it can seem like newer bonds have a greater chance of winning, but this is a result of the majority of bonds having been bought since 2000.

Each £1 bond has the same chance of winning a prize regardless of when or where it was purchased.

Put a note in your calendar: here's when Premium Bond numbers are announced each month

2. Your bonds will be put in the first draw after buying

One common misconception when buying Premium Bonds is that you will automatically be entered into the very next draw. 

In reality, you need to hold your bonds for a full month before they are eligible - so if you bought your bonds now (November), they would only be eligible from the 1 January 2023 draw onwards. 

The only exception to this is if you already hold bonds and ask for any prize money you win to be automatically reinvested. These funds will go straight into the next monthly draw.

Read: the easiest way to buy Premium Bonds

3. You only win if you have £1,000s invested

The more bonds you own the better your chance of winning as you will have more chances of matching the numbers, but you don’t have to hold loads of bonds to win.

Looking at last month's draw, a punter holding just £300 worth of bonds bagged a £100,000 prize, and indeed most months there is someone who bags at least a £5,000 prize despite holding only a few hundred quid.

4. The more people own bonds the less the chance of winning

Many people think that if lots of people hold Premium Bonds that will dilute your chances of winning as you’ll be competing against all those people.

The opposite is actually true. The prize fund for each draw is a month’s interest on all eligible Bonds in the draw.

So, in fact, the more Bonds that are sold, the bigger the prize fund will be.

Unclaimed Premium Bonds: have you won a prize already?

5. You’ve more chance of winning if you live in the South East

Close watchers of the prize notifications may spot that lots of people in the South East of England win.

This isn’t down to some geographic preference on the part of ERNIE, the machine that generates the winning numbers, it is simply a result of more people in the South East owning Bonds than elsewhere in the country.

Woman celebrating (Image: lovemoney - Shutterstock)

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