Premium Bond August winners revealed with two new millionaires
TWO new Premium Bonds holders have scooped the top prize of £1million in this month's prize draw.
One of the winners is a woman from Cumbria, who has a total of £5,900 in Premium Bonds, and bought the winning bond – 174SW095381 – back in November 2010.
The second person to win the top prize was a man from outer London, who purchased the winning bond back in June 2018.
He holds £20,300 in Premium Bonds and the victorious bond number is 332BQ973008.
In the August prize draw, a total of 3,782,170 prizes worth £108,107,000 were paid out.
In total, there were 92,663,149,308 eligible bonds for the draw.
Premium Bonds are drawn at random by a machine dubbed ERNIE, which has picked the 491million prizes worth a total of £20.9billion since the lottery scheme launched back in June 1957.
Savers have suffered falling rates recently due to coronavirus, with the Bank of England cutting the base interest rate twice in two weeks.
Many have turned to the government scheme to try and make the most of their money, with a record £1.5billion-worth of bonds bought in April this year, according to MoneySavingExpert.
Unlike a traditional bank account, Premium Bond holders are entered into a monthly draw where they can win cash prizes rather than earn interest on their savings.
The prizes range from £25 up to £1million and are picked at random, but it also means that you run the risk of earning nothing on your nest egg.
How to check if you've won
IF you think you might have an unclaimed prize, the best way to check depends on what info you have about your Premium Bond account.
You'll have been given both a Premium Bond holder's number and an NS&I number.
- If you know your Premium Bond holder's number, you can go to the NS&I website or download its prize checker app. Enter your holder's number and it'll tell you if you've any unclaimed prizes.
- If you don't know your holder's number, but have your NS&I number, you can use that number – which you'll find on any letters from NS&I – as well as your surname and password to log in to NS&I online and find your holder's number on the "account details" page. NS&I's prize checker app also accepts your NS&I number.
- If you don't know your holder's number or account number, you can phone NS&I on 08085 007 007 or write to it and ask for a replacement bond record to be sent to you. You should give as much detail as you can, for example your full name, address details, when and where you bought your Premium Bonds and how much they're worth.
- Alternatively, you can use NS&I's tracing service or the My Lost Account website, both of which can track down your Premium Bond details. They ask you to fill out info about yourself including your name, address, an estimate of how many Premium Bonds you hold and how long you've held them.
- If you find you do have an unclaimed prize, you'll need to write to NS&I at: NS&I, Glasgow, G58 1SB. Give as much information as you can, including your name and any information about your Premium Bonds.
- Prizes will then be sent to your home address as a warrant, which is like a cheque. Unfortunately, you can't have unclaimed prizes paid directly into your bank account.
- The process is slightly different if the Bond holder has died – you'd first need to inform NS&I of the death and then follow the steps above. Any prize money will be paid to whoever inherits the Bond holder's estate.
Plus, the more people that pay in reduces the chances of you winning as long as the number of prizes on offer stays the same.
Each bond is bought with £1 although there's a minimum investment of £25, which has recently been lowered from £50.
HM Treasury has recently hiked the amount it wants National Savings and Investments (NS&I) to raise this financial year from £6billion to £35billion.
It hopes that the funds will help pay for the huge government spending to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus, such as the furlough scheme and the Eat Out to Help Out incentive.
It's potentially good news for savers as NS&I will be looking for ways to attract investors, which could see a boost in the number of prizes up for grabs every month.
Alternatively, it could see the minimum buy-in drop.
It would be a massive u-turn on plans to cut interest rates and Premium Bond prizes outlined in February this year.
In April, it said it would scrap the drop in rates and prizes to help savers through the pandemic crisis.
If you haven't already, it's worth checking your NS&I account to see if you've won money that you don't know about.
Last year, it warned that more than £63million Premium Bond prizes had been left unclaimed.
To see if you're a winner, use the prize checker on NS&I.com, the prize check app or Amazon's Alexa.
There's no time limit to claim, so you can go back to the first Bond you purchased.
Most prizes that have gone unclaimed is usually down to winners not keeping personal information, such as a change of address, up to date on the NS&I record.
To avoid missing out on winnings, you can choose to have any future prizes paid directly to your bank account.
In order to do this, register your Premium Bonds and NS&I accounts online.
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