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1 Oct 2020

Premium bond winners in October: should you try an alternative prize draw?

The new Nationwide Mutual Reward Bond offers better odds than NS&I's premium bonds

Two lucky premium bond holders have each won the £1m jackpot prize in NS&I's latest October draw.

The millionaire savers are from Kent and Humberside, while seven other winners received the next-best prize of £100,000.

Here, Which? reveals the winning premium bond numbers and looks at whether you'd have more chance of winning a prize with alternative prize draws including the newly launched Nationwide Mutal Reward Bond.

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October 2020 premium bond winners

The first winner of October's prize draw is a man from Kent, who won with the bond number 298BE137181. He purchased the winning number in March 2017 and has £50,000 in premium bonds.

The second winner is a woman from Humberside, who secured £1m with the bond number 222AT412192. The winning bond was purchased in June 2014 and forms part of a £50,000 total pot.

How many winners were drawn in October?

There were 3,921,323prizes given out in the October draw, worth a total of £112,084,475. Of these, 3,912,091prizes were worth £100 or less.

The table below shows the full breakdown of prizes:

Value of prizeNumber of prizes

What are the alternative prize draws to premium bonds?

We recently wrote about NS&I's plans to cut almost £30million-worth of premium bonds prizes from this year's December draw onwards. The move is partly due to the incredibly high demand that's been seen for the bonds as other savings rates have nosedived during the coronavirus crisis.

The cuts mean you'll be much less likely to win a prize in each draw. Currently, any £1 premium bond has a 24,500 to 1 chance of being picked for a prize. From December 2020 onwards, your chances will be 34,500 to 1.

However, premium bonds do still have some advantages; you can save up to £50,000, and your money is 100% backed by the Treasury, you can withdraw your cash at any time, and all prizes are tax-free.

But if you don't like the sound of those odds, here are some alternatives you could consider:

Nationwide's Mutual Reward Bond

What is it? Launched on 29 September, this is an 18-month bond that pays 0.5% AER on balances up to £10,000. Eligible savers will be entered into a prize draw on 2 February 2021.

How do you enter? You need to save at least £100, as savers get one entry for each £100 saved.

How much can you win? £10,000.

What are the odds? This depends on how much everyone with the account saves, as the prize fund is equivalent to 0.5% of qualifying balances. So, if 50,000 savers pay in the maximum £10,000, the prize fund could give 250 people £10,000 prizes. Nationwide says that someone with the maximum £10,000 saved will have at least a one-in-200 chance of winning.

Other terms? If you make withdrawals before the 18-month term is up, you'll lose 180 days' interest.

Family Building Society's Windfall Bond

What is it? This savings account pays 0.1% AER and enters you into a monthly prize draw.

How do you enter? You must hold at least £10,000 in the account to be entered into the draw. Bonds are entered in the second month after being opened - so, an account opened on 2 October would be entered into the draw in December.

How much can you win? Prizes range from £1,000 to £50,000; 21 prizes are given away each month.

What are the odds? 1 in 714.

Other terms? Minimum initial deposit is £10,000. Any interest is paid away annually to a nominated account. No withdrawals are permitted; to access your money you must close the account, which requires 35 days' notice.

Nationwide's Start to Save account

What is it? Launched in February, this is an instant-access regular saver that pays 1% AER, aimed at those who have fallen out of the savings habit.

How do you enter? You need to save between £50 and £100 a month for the three calendar months leading up to the quarterly prize draw.

How much can you win? £100.

What are the odds? These vary between draws, as prizes are calculated at 1% of the total balance increases of all Start to Save accounts since the previous draw. So, if 50,000 savers pay in £50 for three months (£150 each in total), there would be a prize draw fund of £75,000, meaning 750 prizes of £100.

Other terms? Account has a 24-month term. Savers must live in England, Scotland or Wales.

Halifax and Bank of Scotland's Savers Prize Draw

What is it? Every month, £550,000 of prizes are handed out to those who maintain a total savings balance of at least £5,000.

How do you enter? Hold at least £5,000 of savings in any qualifying Halifax or Bank of Scotland account for a full calendar month. Entry is free, and you don't lose any money if you don't win. Your savings will continue to earn whatever AER interest is offered on your account.

How much can you win? Prizes are £100, £1,000 and £100,000.

What are the odds? They change depending on how many entries are received and qualify. On average, 1,603 prizes are handed out every month.

Other terms? You can register even if you don't have £5,000 saved - you'll be automatically added to the prize draw once your savings reach the required amount. Entrants must be aged 18 or over, and live in England, Scotland or Wales.

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.

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