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Revealed: how the Autumn Budget affects premium bonds

New minimum investment and gifting rules to be introduced

The November prize draw for premium bonds was good news for two lucky bondholders in Cheshire and Somerset, who landed £1m each.

This week’s Autumn Budget also brought changes to premium bonds – you can now invest with just £25 and it’s no longer just parents and grandparents who can buy for children.

Which? looks at this month’s jackpot winners and explains the new rule around premium bonds.


Premium bond winners for November 2018

A man from Cheshire and a woman from Somerset became this month’s lucky premium bond millionaires.

The winner from Somerset was rewarded for her patience, having invested in premium bonds at their launch in November 1956 – exactly 63 years ago. She had the maximum of £50,000 invested, and a winning bond number of 340NR182743.

The Cheshire winner had invested a total of £48,350, with a winning number of 314TY075608.

In total, the NS&I awarded 3,158,261 prizes this month, with a value of more than £90.27m.

New minimum premium bond investment

Premium bonds are the nation’s favourite savings products, as one of the few in the market offering the possibility, however remote, of becoming a millionaire overnight .

And from March 2019, you’ll be able to buy bonds with just £25.

The Autumn Budget papers revealed that the minimum initial investment into premium bonds will drop from £100 to £25, the lowest level since 1993.

You’ll also be able to set up a standing order to buy £25 worth on a regular basis, down from the £50 minimum currently in place.

Will I win with a £25 investment?

For each £1 you invest, you hold one bond – and every bond has an equal chance of winning a prize.

This means the more bonds you hold, the better your odds of winning.

If you invest £25 in premium bonds, the odds of winning at least one prize in any given prize draw is 980 to 1.

By contrast, if you invest £1,000, your chances of winning go up to 24.5 to 1. And if you invest £10,000, you have odds of 2.45 to 1 of winning something. The maximum you’re able to invest is £50,000.

Keep in mind that your prize might be just £25, and there’s always a possibility of winning nothing.

That said, some winners have defied the odds to claim a £1m jackpot. There have been four winners in total who have won the top prize with a £25 bond purchase, the NS&I reports.

You can find out more about your chances of winning in our guide to premium bonds.

Editor’s note: a previous version of this article stated the odds of winning with a £25 investment were 980 to 1 over a year, rather than in any given draw.

Buying premium bonds for children

Over 770,000 bonds are held by children, but previously only grandparents or parents were able to purchase them on behalf of under-16s.

In the Autumn Budget papers, National Savings and Investment revealed that other adults would soon be able to buy bonds for children to help them save. The purchaser will need to nominate one of the parents or guardians to look after the bonds until the child turns 16.

At this stage, however, no date has been announced for when this will be introduced.

Which? analysis from last month showed that just five children have won the £1m jackpot in the past 10 years, with the youngest instant-millionaire aged just three years old. Indeed, this month’s jackpot winner from Somerset was given two £1 bonds as a child in the first two months they were on sale.

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