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1 Apr 2022

Premium bond winners in April 2022: how many prizes do you need to win to beat inflation?

CPI inflation reached 6.2% in February - the highest rate in 30 years

Two lucky premium bond holders have become millionaires after winning the jackpot prizes in NS&I's April draw.

The £1m winners are from Hereford & Worcester and West Sussex. Meanwhile, six other winners were picked for the next-best prize of £100,000.

Here, Which? reveals the winning bond numbers, and looks at how much you'd have to win to beat the current 6.2% rate of CPI inflation.

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April 2022 premium bond prize winners

This month, the two £1m jackpot prizes went to premium bond holders in Hereford & Worcester and West Sussex.

The winner from Hereford & Worcester bought their winning bond (117XT770430) in October 2006, as part of an overall holding of £50,000.

The second winner from West Sussex has an overall holding of £49,995. Their winning bond (112WT615892) was purchased in July 2006.

How many winners were drawn in April?

There were 3,396,079 premium bond prizes in the April draw, worth a total of £97,637,200. Of these, 3,388,052 were worth £100 or less.

The table below sets out how many winners received each prize.

Prize valueNumber of prizes

Source: NS&I

Could you beat inflation with premium bond prizes?

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation rose to 6.2% in February, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is the highest rate for 30 years - and it's set to get even higher later this year. In last week's Spring Statement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicted inflation would average 7.4% this year.

As no traditional savings accounts offer anything close to this rate, people are still turning to premium bonds in the hopes of growing their savings through winning prizes. While this can be successful, it all depends on your luck as prizes are never guaranteed. And, if you don't win, cash held in premium bonds won't receive any interest at all.

We've taken four investment amounts to see how many premium bond prizes you'd need to win in order to keep up with the current 6.2% rate of inflation.

If you have £100 saved

If you wanted to increase your £100 savings by 6.2% over the course of a year, it would need to accrue £6.20.

To do this via premium bonds prizes, you'd only need to win one £25 prize - this is the smallest prize available, and would see your cash grow by 25%.

However, with just 100 £1 bond numbers in the running, the chances of getting picked for a prize over the course of a year are pretty slim. According to premiumbondscalculator.com, you'd have a 96.6% chance of winning nothing.

But, if you have above-average luck, you could still win a prize. In 2015, someone won the £1m jackpot with just £400 saved, so winning £25 or more certainly isn't impossible.

If you have £1,000 saved

Savings of £1,000 would need to grow by £62 to keep up with inflation. To cover this, you'd need wins of at least three £25 prizes, or one £50 prize and one £25 prize.

However, you'd need above-average luck to achieve this. The calculator says you'd only have a 1.01% chance of winning £75 in a year; and a 70.6% chance of winning nothing at all.

But, again, small holdings can still be picked for jackpot prizes. In August 2021, a premium bonds holder from Devon won £1m, despite only having £1,001 saved.

If you have £10,000 saved

You'll need quite a lot of luck to secure the £620-worth of prizes needed for a £10,000 sum to keep up with inflation.

Based on average luck, you could expect to win roughly £75 in prizes over the course of a year (though you might get less). There's a 1 in 122 chance of winning £500, and 1 in 438 chance of winning £750.

If you were to put your money in a top-rate one-year fixed-term savings account instead, at a rate of 1.71%, you'd earn £171 in interest - not enough to keep up with inflation, but much more than a premium bond holder with average luck.

If you have £50,000 saved

This is the maximum amount each individual can hold in premium bonds.

While the £1m winners are most often those with £50,000 holdings, the chances of you winning the jackpot are still just 1 in 95,933.

To keep up with inflation, your savings would need to grow by at least £3,100 - the equivalent of 124 £25 prizes. To get that kind of return over 12 months would mean you'd need to win between 10 and 11 £25 prizes every month.

The premium bonds calculator says it's more likely you'd win £450 in prizes over a year; your chance of getting at least £2,500 is 1 in 898, while your chances of winning £5,000 are 1 in 914.

While you'd have zero chance of making thousands of pounds with a one-year savings account, you would be guaranteed around £855 interest.

How does inflation affect your savings?

CPI inflation tracks the prices of an imaginary basket of more than 700 popular goods and services.

Each month, the inflation rate figure describes how prices for these have collectively changed in comparison to the same month of the previous year.

This can affect the value of your savings, if the money is left in an account that doesn't pay interest at a rate that equals or exceeds the rate of inflation.

For instance, your savings pot may have been able to buy 50 of these goods and services when you first deposited the money into your savings account.

But if everything increases in price over the next year while your savings aren't earning much interest, you'll no longer be able to pay for them at all.