Three quarters of Premium Bond holders have won NOTHING in 14 years

Are you feeling short-changed? 15.9m Premium Bonds holders have won NOTHING in 14 years despite holding as much as £80bn in the accounts

  • A total of 21.4m Britons held Premium Bonds as of April this year
  • They pay prizes of up to £1m each month, but there is no guarantee of winning 
  • Figures revealed by FOI found nearly 75% had won nothing since records began in 2007 – despite holding a combined total of more than £80bn in the accounts

Nearly three-quarters of Premium Bond holders have failed to win a prize in 14 years despite saving up to £80billion in their accounts. 

Despite NS&I paying out close to £1.17billion in tax-free Premium Bonds prizes to investors between April 2019 and March 2020, 15.9million savers have not won anything since records began in 2007. 

The Treasury-backed bank revealed the information in a Freedom of Information request made by The Sunday Telegraph.

There were 21.4million holders of Premium Bonds in April this year, making them Britain’s best-loved savings product. 

Up to £50,000 can be saved into the bonds, which do not pay interest but offer a monthly prize draw.

Short-changed: Close to 75% of all Premium Bond holders have won nothing in 14 years

Eligible bonds are entered into the draw and can win up to £1million each month, with prizes starting from just £25. 

Record numbers of tax-free bonds have been bought since Britain’s first coronavirus lockdown last March, as low savings rates elsewhere made them increasingly attractive.

The amount of money held in Premium Bonds rose from just under £88.5billion last March to nearly £107.8billion this month, an increase of more than a fifth. 

This was despite the fact prizes were slashed last December, with payouts falling by more than £31million.

Some 1.1million fewer prizes were handed out in December compared to the month before, with the annual ‘prize fund rate’, the bonds’ equivalent to interest, falling from 1.4 per cent to 1 per cent.

That is still double the best interest rate available on an easy-access savings account, even if it no longer matches the current rate of inflation.

But returns are not guaranteed, and each £1 bond has a 34,500 to one chance of winning any prize.

If 74 per cent of total Premium Bond holdings were held by the 15.9million customers who had never won anything since 2007, that would equate to £79.74billion of savings that had never generated any winnings.

Premium Bonds Winners

Prize Area Value of bond
£1,000,000 Surrey £10,000
£1,000,000 Wiltshire £30,000
£100,000 Surrey £50,000
£100,000 York £40,000
£100,000 Devon £5,000
£100,000 Cambridgeshire £500
£100,000 Staffordshire £10,000
£50,000 Somerset £15,000

More May 2021 winners

View list of May 2021 winners

However, given some hold the maximum £50,000 and others as little as £25, this is unlikely to correlate. 

Unsurprisingly, those who hold more money in Premium Bonds have a better chance of winning.

In this month’s draw, 73 of the 185 bonds which won prizes of £5,000 or more formed part of holdings of the maximum £50,000, or two in five of all winners.

But this is no guarantee of success, given there were winners with holdings of as little as £425.

There were 3.1million winners in this month’s draw, with prizes totalling nearly £89.8million handed out.

The continued popularity of Premium Bonds, coupled with NS&I’s vastly reduced funding target of £6billion for 2021-22, has led several savings experts to suggest they could be in line for a further chop this year. 

In the meantime, savers can check to see if their number is up using This is Money’s prize checker.

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