Two premium bond holders have become overnight millionaires today, as National Savings and Investments (NS&I) announces its prize-draw winners for February.
Each month, NS&I awards millions of prizes to premium bond holders, including two £1m jackpots.
As a rule of thumb, the more bonds you hold, the more likely you are to win – but one lucky bond holder who invested just £4 walked away with a £25,000 prize this month.
Using data provided by the NS&I, Which? looks at this month’s winners, as well as who the biggest winners with the smallest pots have been.
February 2018 million-pound winners
This month’s £1m jackpots went to savers in County Durham and Bristol.
The winner from County Durham had maxed out their premium bond contributions with a holding of £50,000. They bought their winning bond (no: 297XK491568) just 11 months ago, in March 2017.
The Bristol bond-holder, meanwhile, held a comparatively modest £10,000 in premium bonds and bought the winner (no: 40YG716639) in March 2003.
The odds of winning any prize are 24,500 to 1. Each bond holds an equal chance of winning – so the more you buy, the more opportunities you have to win in any given month. But this isn’t always the case, and some winners have invested relatively small amounts in return for huge prizes.
- Find out more: Premium bonds – everything you need to know
Largest jackpot wins on smallest investment
The £1m jackpot is the prize many premium bond holders dream about. And some have won it with a surprisingly small investment.
The jackpot was first introduced in 1994, and since then four people have won with less than £500 invested.
Find out the jackpot winners who held the smallest amount in premium bonds:
Biggest high-value prizes for smallest bond holdings
While the million-pound jackpots tend to grab attention, each month the NS&I hands out millions of other prizes.
This month, one lucky Glaswegian took home £25,000 after investing just £4 in premium bonds – a return of more than 6,000%. The winning bond was bought in 1964, putting it among the oldest holdings to win a high-value prize.
For 2017, the largest winnings made on the smallest holdings include:
Should I buy more bonds to win more?
The NS&I offers a prize fund rate of 1.4%, meaning a person with average luck is likely to win prizes equal to a 1.4% return on their investment. But there are no guarantees, and you may end the year with far less, or far more.
Generally speaking, a person who holds £100 in bonds has around a 5% chance of winning a prize of any size over the course of a year. By contrast, someone who holds £10,000 of more has a near 99.99% chance.
But these odds are much slimmer for the million pound jackpot. In each month, the odds of a bond winning the jackpot are just 1 in 34bn – a tiny possibility, and far smaller than the odds of being struck by lightning (which The British Medical Journal puts at 1 in 10m).
- Find out more: NS&I hikes prize fund rate