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1 Jul 2020

Premium bond winners in July: how many children have won the jackpot?

Find out what happens when under-16s become millionaires

Two lucky winners have just pocketed £1m in NS&I's July premium bonds prize draw.

The two jackpot prizes went to savers in Surrey and Tyne and Wear, while seven other winners received £100,000.

There are currently 800,000 under-16s with premium bonds investments worth £1.3bn, according to NS&I's latest annual report - but are any of them winning big prizes?

Here, Which? reveals the winning bond numbers, how many children have won the jackpot and what happens to their winnings.

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July 2020 premium bond winners

This month, the two £1m jackpot prizes were won by premium bondholders living in Surrey and Tyne and Wear.

A man from Tyne and Wear bought his winning bond (392SK696449) in May 2020; as bonds are only entered once they've been held for one full calendar month, this would have been the first prize draw it had been a part of. The bond was part of the man's overall holding of £35,000.

The Surrey winner was a woman who holds the maximum £50,000 in premium bonds. Her lucky number (297WB837011) was purchased in March 2017.

How many winners were drawn in July?

There were 3,710,908 prizes given out in July, worth £106,070,125. Of these, 3,702,181 were worth £100 or less.

The table below shows the full breakdown of prizes.

Value of prizeNumber of prizes

How many children have won the premium bonds jackpot?

In the past five years, three children have won the £1m premium bonds jackpot, and a further 152 children have won high-value prizes worth between £5,000 and £100,000.

One child won £5,000 before they'd even reached their first birthday, while one 2-year-old received one of the £25,000 prizes. One 10-year-old could have celebrated reaching double figures with their six-figure prize, bagging £100,000.

It seems the 'luckiest' age for child winners is 14; there have been 19 winners over the past five years at this age.

What happens if your child wins a premium bonds prize?

While it's possible to invest in premium bonds under a child's name, the child themselves can't manage them until they reach 16.

At this point, they'll have to register online for themselves. To do this, you'll need your NS&I number, or your account number/holder's number, which should be on NS&I correspondence about your premium bonds.

NS&I will then check your identity by asking about other bank and building society accounts you hold, and you may also have to submit a registration form in the post - in some cases, signed by an appropriate witness.

Before then, the management of a child's premium bonds is down to their nominated parent or guardian. So, if your child wins the jackpot and they're under 16, you'll have to decide what to do with the money.

As each person can only invest up to £50,000 in premium bonds, you'll need to move most of it elsewhere.

How many unclaimed prizes are owned by children?

There's millions of pounds worth of premium bonds prizes that have been left unclaimed, and a lot of these prizes are owned by those who were under the age of 16 when they won.

NS&I told us there are currently more than 150,000 unclaimed prizes of this kind, worth more than £5m. The highest value prize is £10,000.

Prizes are classed as being unclaimed once they've been left for 18 months or more.

To see if you've got a prize from the last 18 months you can check using NS&I's prize checker tool, or there's a tracing service for those who have lost the details of their investment.

Should you buy premium bonds for children?

In August 2019 premium bonds became available to buy as a gift, shortly after the minimum buy-in amount was reduced from £100 to a gift-friendly £25. This may be why an increased number of under-16s now have premium bonds in their name.

But buying premium bonds for children comes with a few pros and cons to consider.

On one hand, it's an easy way to give money directly to a child, and it won't be immediately spent as they won't be able to access the cash until they're 16. Plus, you never know, you could inadvertently end up giving them £1m. But, if not, checking for any winnings each month can be a fun thing to do, and it could kick-start them into the habit of saving.

However, money held in premium bonds doesn't earn any interest. So, if the child doesn't win any prizes, the value of the money that's saved will lose value in real terms over time due to inflation price rises.

And the chances of winning a prize depend on how much money is saved; for a 99.9% chance of winning a prize over the course of a year, you need to have at least £10,000 invested.

For those who want to provide their child with a growing nest egg, a Junior Isa or children's savings account could be a better option.

Editor's note: this article was updated on 1 July 2020; the premium bond number for the jackpot winner in Surrey was originally stated as 297WB832194, but should have been 297WB837011. NS&I has confirmed that both premium bond numbers are held by the same person.