Premium bond winning numbers for June have been revealed, including the two winners of £1m jackpots.
The prize draw brought good news to Kent and Hertfordshire this month, with two bondholders being made overnight millionaires.
This is the ninth time a person from Kent has won the million-pound jackpot in the past five years, making it the luckiest area in the UK. So, why do some areas win more than others – and how does the random draw work?
We reveal this month’s premium bond prizes and which areas tend to produce the most jackpot winners.
Jackpot winners for June 2019
Each month, NS&I randomly selects two bond numbers to win a £1m prize.
One of this month’s winners resides in Hertfordshire, and bought their winning bond (number 292PB399962) in January 2017. They invested the maximum amount of £50,000.
The other winner, from Kent, invested just £4,210 in premium bonds. They’ve waited a long time for the jackpot though, buying the winning bond in November 2000 (number 045BC552141).
Aside from the jackpot, the NS&I awarded more than 3.31m prizes to lucky bondholders around the country.
Among these were five prizes worth £100,000, 12 worth £50,000 and 22 worth £25,000.
- Find out more: all previous premium bonds winners
Which area wins most premium bonds most often?
Looking at the jackpot winners over the past five years, it’s undeniable that some areas win more often than others.
There have been nine winners from Kent and seven from Essex, making these the luckiest areas for aspiring millionaires.
On three occasions over the past five years, both jackpot winners have come from the same area – two from Outer London in August 2018, from West Sussex in July 2016 and Leicester in January 2016.
That said, it’s misleading to look too closely at a winner’s local area. To protect winners’ identities, NS&I will only reveal their specific location if there are at least 100,000 premium bond holders living there. So, winners in the South East might be identified by their town, while those in Wales might be simply described as being in Wales.
Find out more: what is National Savings & Investments?
Which regions are luckiest?
When we consider winners by their region or country, a few trends become clear.
Premium bond holders in southern England tends to win more often, with the South East, South West and London making up 54% of all jackpot winners in the past five years. You might think that’s because more bondholders live in this area, but the south accounts for just 44% of all bonds held.
In fact, the South West accounts for just 13% of bonds, but the region has claimed 22% of all million-pound winners.
Some regions around the UK have secured more than their share of jackpots. The East Midlands holds just 7% of bonds, but boasts 9% of jackpot winners.
By contrast, the North West has had less luck in recent years. Despite holding 9% of all bonds, people in this region have won just 6% of jackpots.
Of course, the numbers involved are impossible to compare in a meaningful way: there have been only 113 jackpots given out since June 2014, whereas more than 82bn bonds are currently held throughout the UK. The analysis also doesn’t reflect how patterns of ownership may have changed over the past five years.
You can see how many jackpot winners each region or country has claimed in the past five years, as well as how many bonds are held.
Is the draw random?
Examining recent jackpot winners, you might ask yourself if the draw is truly random, when some areas win more than others.
In fact, these results are entirely consistent with a random draw, the same way flipping a coin 10 times might turn up nine heads.
Premium bonds prize draws are conducted by ERNIE, a random-number generator. The system uses no algorithms or software, making it entirely tamper-proof.
Results are certified by the Government Actuary’s Department each month, to ensure a random result has been achieved.
Other factors could also influence why some regions win more than others, including the average number of bonds held per person.
Each bond worth £1 has an equal chance of winning. The maximum investment you can make is £50,000 and the lowest is £25. This means a person with the maximum investment has 2,000 times the chance of winning any prize than someone with the minimum investment.
So, in regions where the average holdings are higher it’s likely that more jackpot winners will be found, compared to areas where holdings are smaller. The South East has the highest average holdings of any region, partly accounting for its apparent luck.
How likely are you to win the jackpot?
The odds of winning one of the two million-pound prizes are vanishingly small. Any given bond has just a 1 in 41bn chance of winning the jackpot in any given draw. Even with the maximum investment, your odds are just 1 in 832,000.
You’ll have better luck if you adjust your expectations. The odds of winning any of the premium bond prizes are 1 in 24,500, so someone with a £50,000 investment has a strong chance of winning something in a prize draw – although it’s likely to be as little as £25, and there are no guarantees.
Bear in mind that if you don’t win a prize the value of your money is decreasing in real terms, due to inflation.
You can find out more about the odds of winning in our guide to premium bonds.
If you’d prefer a guaranteed return on your savings, and the chance to keep up with inflation, read our guide on how to find the best savings account.