Premium Bonds are an investment product created by National Savings and Investment (NS&I) – in which savers are entered into a monthly draw. Prizes range from £25 to £1 million, tax-free, and winners are announced on the first of every month.
To invest in Premium Bonds you need at least £25, which is broken down into unique bond numbers for every £1 invested.
Of these unique bond numbers, each has a 34,500/1 chance of winning from December 2020.
Each month, two Premium Bond holders win £1 million and, with the next prize denomination of £100,000 awarded to six bondholders.
The prize fund in November was more than £113 million, and the total number of prizes in June topped 3.9million.
Winners are chosen using the famous ERNIE machine – the Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment.
Now in its fifth incarnation, is powered by quantum technology, which uses light.
This new technology allows ERNIE to produce enough random numbers for a monthly prize draw in just 12 minutes – 42.5 times faster than its thermal predecessor at the end of its number-generating career.
According to NS&I: “Using light, ERNIE 5 generates random numbers that are matched against eligible Bond numbers to determine the lucky winners.
You will then be able to transfer the cash into your nominated account.
According to NS&I, it takes up to eight working days for the money to reach your account, unless you have elected to cash in after the next draw.
If you don’t have a login and password because you didn’t order your premium bonds online or by phone, then you will have to fill out the form on the NS&I website.
For this option, you’ll need to select the amount you would like to cash in, and the specific serial numbers of the bonds you would like to cash in.
If you don’t mind which bonds you cash in, you can tick ‘no’ on this question and NS&I will cash in your oldest premium bonds first.
The form gives you two options of how to cash in your premium bonds:
- To a nominated account – You will have the option of selecting a current account to have the bonds paid directly into.
- By warrant – This option means that you will get the amount of cash by cheque in the post.
NS&I usually takes around eight days to process a ‘cash in’ form, and so it will take eight days plus the amount of time it takes to clear or get to you through the post.
If you have filled out the form but have not received anything from NS&I in this time call them at 08085 007 007. You can also tweet them at @nsandihelp.