Two lucky winners have each received the £1m jackpot in NS&I’s final premium bonds prize draw of the year.
The millionaires are from Manchester and South Gloucestershire, while four other winners secured the next-best prize of £100,000.
Here, Which? reveals the winning bond numbers, while also taking a look back at all of the 2020 winners to see who has been the luckiest this year.
December 2020 premium bond winners
This month, the two £1m premium bonds jackpot prize winners were from Manchester and South Gloucestershire.
The winner from Manchester is a woman with a total premium bonds holding of £30,010 – her winning bond (398MV229074) was purchased in June 2020.
The South Gloucestershire winner was also a woman, who bought her winning bond (263SP726460) in January 2016. In total, she has £50,000 invested in premium bonds.
- Find out more: premium bonds – are they worth it?
How many winners were drawn in December?
There were 2,868,182 prizes given out in the December prize draw, worth a total of £82,460,250. Of these, 2,861,430 were worth £100 or less.
There were 1,110,104 fewer prizes this month than last month, reflecting the NS&I’s decision to reduce the overall premium bonds prize fund.
The table below shows the full breakdown of prizes.
|Value of prize||Number of prizes|
Luckiest areas in 2020
The map below shows the regions where this year’s millionaire winners are located.
The south-east has been the luckiest with five wins this year, while the east of England has been home to four jackpot winners. This is often the case, as these areas are home to the highest number of people who hold premium bonds.
Unfortunately, no one in Northern Ireland won a £1m jackpot prize in 2020, and only one millionaire was made in both Scotland and Wales.
Luckiest areas for all premium bonds prizes
The map below shows the spread of all premium bonds prizes received between January and November 2020.
In a similar trend to this year’s jackpot winners, most premium bonds prizes have been received by savers in east and south-east regions of England.
But while nearly 8.4m prizes were won in south-east England, equal to 21% of all prizes, just 1% were bagged by savers in Northern Ireland – totalling almost 380,000. That’s even less than the 653,000 prizes won by those whose location is unknown or overseas.
Luckiest gender in 2020
This year seems to have been slightly luckier for women than men, as more women have won the £1million jackpot in 2020 – 13 compared with nine men.
This is a big change compared to 2019, when 17 men pocketed the jackpot prize compared with just seven women.
The gender of two jackpot winners in 2020 is unknown.
What’s more, between January and November of this year, women received 20.7m premium bond prizes – 51% of all prizes given out. Men received just over 19m prizes and account for 47% of the winnings. The gender for 2% of this year’s prize recipients is unknown, equal to just over 700,000 prizes.
Luckiest age group
According to NS&I data covering January to November 2020, the luckiest age group is 60 to 69-year-olds, closely followed by 70 to 79-year-olds. This is probably because premium bonds are most popular with this age group, who are also more likely to have larger holdings.
Together, these two age groups received 20m premium bonds prizes during this time, accounting for 49% of all prizes given out, and worth a total of over half a billion pounds.
Those aged 16-20 are seemingly most unlikely to win premium bonds prizes; this age group received less than 1% of prizes between January and November – just over 330,000. In total, these prizes were worth almost £9.3m.
The chart below shows the proportion of prizes won by each age group in the first 11 prize draws of this year.
Luckiest year for buying premium bonds
Some people may think that newer premium bonds are luckier, as they seem to win more often.
Taking into account all of the premium bonds that have won a jackpot prize since the start of 2015, the graph below shows the years all of these bonds were invested in.
As you can see, there have been significantly more jackpot wins for those who made their investment in the last five years.
However, this doesn’t mean newer bonds are luckier – all premium bonds have an equal chance of being picked in the prize draw. It’s just that premium bonds have become increasingly popular in the past few years – particularly since NS&I reintroduced giving away two £1m prizes in 2014, which had previously been reduced to just one since 2009.
As NS&I has seen ‘extremely high demand’ this year, it wouldn’t be surprising to see 2020 billed as one of the luckiest years in future – even if it doesn’t feel very lucky right now.
Where are the most unclaimed premium bonds prizes?
As of November 2020, there are almost 2m unclaimed premium bonds prizes waiting to be reunited with their owners – worth a total of almost £69m.
Could you be a millionaire without knowing it? Well, you’re more likely to be missing a prize if you live in London, where there are more than 350,000 unclaimed prize winners.
There’s almost 285,000 unclaimed prizes from savers in south-east England, and another 165,000 prizes waiting to be claimed from those in the east of England.
But the real question mark is where the winners of almost 200,500 prizes are, as their whereabouts are currently unknown or overseas.
What are your chances of winning?
Due to the reduction in the number of premium bonds prizes, your chance of winning any prize – be that £25 or £1m – is 34,500 to 1, down from 24,500 to 1.
This has put the overall prize fund rate at 1% – this isn’t an interest rate, as premium bonds don’t earn interest. Instead, it’s the overall rate all premium bonds holdings will grow by over the course of a year, which had previously been 1.4%.
While 1% is a better rate than any instant-access accounts are offering at the moment, it’s not guaranteed – while one person might find their money grows by £1m, thousands more won’t win any prizes at all.
- Find out more: what is National Savings & Investments?
The Which? Money podcast: are premium bonds worth it?
Last July, our experts on the Which? Money podcast debated whether premium bonds were really worth investing in.