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3 Feb 2020

NS&I premium bonds winners February 2020: how many bonds do you need to win a million?

£1 million jackpot winners have an average holding of more than £30,000

Two lucky savers have each scooped a £1m jackpot in NS&I's latest prize draw.

The two big prizes went to savers in the Midlands and the South East, while six other winners bagged a cool £100,000.

Here, we reveal the winning bonds for February and crunch the numbers on how much the biggest winners have squirreled away.

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February 2020 premium bond winners

This month, the two £1m jackpot prizes were won by savers in Nottingham and Surrey.

The Nottingham winner had investments worth £37,575 and she bought the winning bond (350ZA848545) as recently as January 2019.

The saver in Surrey, meanwhile, bought his winning bond (050RE855967) in October 2002. In total, he had £4,014 in premium bonds.

How many winners were drawn in February?

This month, more than £3.48m prizes ranging between £25 and £1m were awarded.

The table below shows the breakdown of the biggest prizes.

Value of prizeNumber of prizes

How many bonds do you need to win a million?

There are around 84m premium bonds out there, so it stands to reason that the more bonds you have, the more likely you are to win.

We've looked at the results of prize draws over the past five years, and found that the average jackpot winner held £30,101 in bonds.

Of the 122 winners, just six had holdings of £5,000 or less, with one lucky saver winning a million off just £400 of bonds back in January 2015.

Around one in five winners held bonds to the maximum value of £50,000, while three quarters had savings of more than £20,000.

Most commonly, winners held between £20,001 and £30,000 in bonds, as shown in the chart below.

What are your chances of winning?

The likelihood of an individual bond winning a prize between £25 and £1m in any given month is 24,500 to 1.

If you have £10,000 invested in premium bonds, you're 99.9% likely to win a prize at least once a year.

Bear in mind, though, that the vast majority of prizes aren't life-changing.

Our analysis of prize draws in 2019 show that more than 98% of the 39.8m winning bonds last year made just £25 for their owners.

Are newer bonds more likely to win?

There have long been rumours that newer bonds tend to win prizes, and there's some truth in it.

The reason for this is a huge upsurge in bond purchases between 2010 and 2019, which has resulted in three quarters of bonds being bought in the last decade.

This is in part due to the maximum holding increasing to £30,000 in 2014 and then £50,000 a year later.

Low interest on savings accounts may also be a factor in investors increasingly looking to take a gamble on premium bonds.

If you hold an older bond, but don't worry you've still got a chance of winning.

In July last year, a saver hit the jackpot with a bond purchased way back in November 1956.

The basics: what are premium bonds?

Premium bonds are provided by National Savings & Investments (NS&I).

Each £1 you invest is given a unique bond number, and all the numbers are put into a draw each month to win cash prizes.

For the chance to win a prize - all of which are tax-free and worth £25 to £1m - you forfeit an interest rate.

So, while your cash won't be growing while it's invested, you are in with a chance of winning up to £1m.

NS&I is backed by the Treasury, so 100% of your money is safe.

The Which? Money podcast: are premium bonds worth it?

Last July, the Which? Money podcast debated whether premium bonds were really worth investing in.

You can listen below or check out the episode on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.