ERNIE, the Premium Bonds winning numbers generator, has just awarded his 250 millionth Premium Bonds prize.
With a national treasure in charge of one of the nation’s best-loved savings products it’s no surprise that myths have developed around ERNIE, but to set the record straight...
Myth 1: You have to have £30,000 invested to win the jackpot
Jackpot winners have had different amounts invested over the years – one winner of the £1 million jackpot only had £17 in Premium Bonds! It is true though, that the more Bonds you hold, the better your chances of winning.
Myth 2: Only new Bonds win prizes
Each £1 Bond has an equal chance of winning, regardless of when or where it was bought. Several winners in June’s jackpot draw were bought in the early years that Premium Bonds were on sale. Bonds bought more recently may seem to win more often because there are more new Bonds than old.
Myth 3: Old Bonds are left out of the draw
Winning numbers are generated randomly and then matched against eligible Bond numbers afterwards – numbers aren’t entered into or stored in ERNIE so there’s no way that any Bonds can be left out of the draw. Even Bonds bought as far back as 1956 may still be eligible for the draw.
Myth 4: Only Bonds from the South East win prizes
If it seems that more prizes are won by holders in the South East, that’s because there are more Bonds held there compared with the rest of the UK.
Myth 5: The more people that buy Bonds, the more my chances of winning are reduced
No. The prize fund for each draw is a month’s interest on all eligible Bonds in the draw, so the more Bonds sold, the bigger the prize fund.
People may be missing out on prizes because of mislaying their bonds or not informing NS&I if they have changed address.
You can safeguard yourself by signing-up to manage your Premium Bonds online at nsandi.com, and have any Premium Bonds prize wins paid directly into your bank account. It’s quick and easy and allows you to control your Bonds more effectively.