Christine Hills is satisfied that until she logs into her Premium Bonds account on-line, she will not win a prize.
The 62-year-old purchased £24,000 value of bonds in late 2020. By Could 2021, she hadn’t received a penny.
She determined to log into her Nationwide Financial savings & Investments (NS&I) account to see if she was mistaken. Within the subsequent draw, she received £25.
Funding: Round 22.4million individuals have Premium Bonds value almost £120bn. The bonds are tax-free and, not like ‘lottery’ type attracts, you by no means lose your unique stake
The following month she forgot to log in earlier than the draw. She did not win a prize. So the next month she logged in earlier than the draw — and, as soon as once more, she received.
The native authorities employee from Leicester is satisfied that it’s a sample. NS&I insists it’s only a coincidence.
Welcome to the world of Premium Bonds conspiracy theories.
Round 22.4 million individuals have Premium Bonds value almost £120 billion. The bonds are tax-free and, not like lottery-style attracts, you by no means lose your unique stake.
There are two high prizes of £1 million every month. In February 2023, NS&I’ll award its five hundredth £1 million prize.
When the £1 million jackpot was launched in April 1994, the primary winner was a person from Surrey with £10,000 of holdings.
Different high prizes within the month-to-month draw presently embody 18 value £100,000 and 36 value £50,000. The smallest, and commonest, prize on supply is £25.
Run by Treasury-backed NS&I, the annual prize fund price is 2.2 per cent for the time being. It means the chances of profitable a prize with a £1 bond is 24,000 to 1 (up from one in 24,500 in September).
Ernie, the machine chargeable for selecting Premium Bonds winners, first sprang into motion in June 1957.
NS&I says Ernie (Digital Random Quantity Indicator Gear) generates numbers in a random and uncontrollable manner.
Forward of the primary draw 65 years in the past, 49 million Premium Bonds had been bought, value a minimal of £1 as much as £500. At the moment, the bottom quantity of bonds that may be bought is £25, and the utmost is £50,000.
Regardless that NS&I has at all times insisted Premium Bonds prizes are completely random — any £1 bond has precisely the identical likelihood of profitable as every other £1 bond — not each bondholder is so certain.
Dozens of Cash Mail readers have informed us they’re satisfied that they’ve noticed unusual patterns that may’t simply be random.
Right here, we take a look at the claims — and NS&I’s response…
Numbers cannot triumph twice
Myra Tucker believes every Premium Bond by no means wins a prize greater than as soon as.
The 83-year-old from Bristol has been shopping for bonds for many years and presently holds £40,000. She has stored monitor of her a whole lot of wins through the years.
She says: ‘In 40 years, not one has ever appeared twice. It is as if when a bond wins it’s taken off the grid.
‘I do know it sounds unattainable however I felt sure that simply one in all my profitable bonds might need received on a couple of event.’
A variety of Cash Mail readers wrote in with the identical concept.
NS&I says each bond is included within the draw every month. It says that previously eight years, because it began recording the information, 376,535 bonds have received greater than as soon as. One in every of these bonds has received 4 occasions.
Random: The previous Ernie (Digital Random Quantity Indicator Gear) machine from the Nineteen Seventies. We at the moment are on Era 5
Money-in warning equals victory
Geoff Maly reckons that should you write to NS&I threatening to money in your bonds, you are extra prone to win within the subsequent draw.
Geoff’s father purchased him 4 £1 bonds in 1957. In 1983, having not received something, he determined to redeem his bonds and people of his two younger sons.
He wrote into the bond workplace in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, asking the best way to proceed, however heard nothing. A month later he acquired a cheque for £25 from NS&I. Within the following months, his eldest son received £50 and £25.
Geoff says: ‘Ever since then I’ve believed that, though all bonds go into the draw, the random side could possibly be one way or the other manipulated.’
An NS&I spokesman says: ‘We all know that there are various myths about the best way to win Premium Bonds, however the easy reality is that each eligible £1 bond has an equal likelihood of profitable.
‘No matter should you purchased your bond on-line, by telephone or by publish; should you had been purchased it as a toddler; or when you have had it one month or for 65 years — so long as you have not cashed in your bond you would win.’
NS&I says every month, the Government Actuary’s Division carries out unbiased checks to verify Ernie’s output is random.
Ghost homeowners are ‘unfairly’ profitable
Anthony Barker, from Rhos-on-Sea, North Wales, believes there are literally thousands of ghost bonds entered into the month-to-month draw which shouldn’t be there.
The 67-year-old factors out that when a bondholder dies, their holdings stay reside for a 12 months till their property is sorted — at which level the bonds must be cashed in.
However he fears that if NS&I is not made conscious that somebody has died, these ghost bonds could possibly be entered each month alongside respectable ones — and will win large.
NS&I says that if somebody dies, the particular person legally entitled to their financial savings has to make a declare and notify it, which might be executed on-line.
A deceased particular person’s bonds can keep within the draw for as much as a 12 months after their demise, as a substitute of being repaid instantly. Any prizes are then paid to the particular person’s beneficiary as soon as the declare has been accomplished.
Letter-starting bonds are duds
One Cash Mail reader, from Staffordshire, reckons bond numbers with letters firstly are handed over by Ernie.
He has a bond that was purchased for him within the Nineteen Fifties, which begins with the letters ‘AK’.
It has by no means received a prize, however he has had different bonds through the years which have provide you with £25 each every now and then.
NS&I says early bond identification codes began with two letters adopted by six numbers. In 1973, these had been transformed to begin with ‘000’ to match the format used for newer bond numbers.
NS&I needed to change the format as a result of it was set to expire of distinctive bonds because of their recognition.
Once more, NS&I insists that each single £1 bond has the identical likelihood of profitable as every other. Whether or not a bond initially had letters firstly has no bearing on Ernie’s choices.
Bonds beginning 000 make up simply 0.05 per cent of the draw.
Odds: NS&I has at all times insisted Premium Bond prizes are completely random – any £1 bond has precisely the identical likelihood of profitable as every other £1 bond
Bigger blocks are advantageous
John Macaulay, 75, is bound that enormous blocks of holdings usually tend to win. The daddy-of-two from Chelmsford, Essex, has held the utmost in Premium Bonds — presently £50,000 — since he retired 17 years in the past.
His holding is made up of some bigger blocks of bonds and far smaller purchases courting again to his childhood.
John is so satisfied of his concept that he is contemplating cashing in his smaller holdings and transferring them into one giant one.
He says: ‘The massive blocks of holdings are by far probably the most profitable, however I nonetheless get an occasional prize from my childhood bonds.
‘My newer bonds are greater holdings and appear to win extra.’ To date, £1,000 is the very best quantity he has received, however he usually wins three or 4 units of £25 a month.
NS&I says it makes no distinction if bonds are purchased in a single block or in a number of blocks.
Newer bonds win extra continuously
A variety of readers say they’re certain that bonds purchased extra not too long ago usually tend to win prizes.
Jeanette Norman has 5 £1 bonds from 1957 which have by no means received, however she says that when she buys new ones she wins.
She provides: ‘My dad used to withdraw them and reinvest them and at all times win, which is what I’ll strive.’
Of all winners in November, 30 per cent had been bonds purchased up to now two years.
Solely 16 per cent of winners purchased bonds greater than ten years in the past. NS&I says bonds purchased extra not too long ago might seem to win extra actually because there are extra new bonds than previous.
Round 45 per cent of bonds had been purchased up to now two years resulting from a pandemic-driven growth, whereas solely 6 per cent had been bought earlier than 2004.
Every £1 bond is simply as prone to win, no matter when or the place it was purchased — it’s merely the luck of the draw.
In truth, the oldest bond to ever scoop the £1 million jackpot was purchased in 1959 — and was picked out as a winner by Ernie 45 years later in 2004. The winner had solely a £17 holding.
Jill Waters, NS&I’s retail director, says: ‘At the least as soon as per week somebody will say to me that solely probably the most not too long ago bought bonds win prizes.
‘It’s very unfaithful. Each bond has an equal likelihood of being drawn by Ernie.’
It is true that the extra bonds you maintain, the higher your likelihood of profitable large prizes. However this doesn’t imply it is unattainable to bag an even bigger prize should you do not maintain the utmost quantity.
Since 1994, there have been 12 individuals holding £1,000 and beneath who’ve scooped the £1 million prize.
And in August 2020, a lady from Cumbria received the jackpot with £5,900 invested.
In line with Cash Saving Professional’s calculator, the typical annual winnings of somebody with a £10,000 holding is £200.
This rises to round £500 for somebody with £25,000, and round £1,000 for somebody with a £50,000 holding.
Sure areas are far luckier
One other debate is whether or not you usually tend to win a prize should you reside in a specific a part of Britain.
Actually, quite a lot of Cash Mail readers informed us they’d noticed this sample.
For instance, of the 4,976,066 prizes within the November draw, 1,026,155 had been received by individuals within the South East.
Solely 133,432 prizes had been received by individuals based mostly within the North East, and 447,875 within the North West.
Alan Corridor, from Liverpool, believes the town doesn’t have many large winners.
He says: ‘Previously, I’ve taken prize cheques to pay them in at my financial institution and the cashier has quipped: ‘It should be Liverpool’s flip to win large.’ ‘
However NS&I insists that if it appears as if extra prizes are received by holders in sure areas of the nation then it is prone to be as a result of there are extra bond-holders there in comparison with different elements of the UK.
The South East is dwelling to probably the most UK bondholders.
Of the 22.4 million or so traders, 3,471,853 are based mostly within the South East, or 15.5 per cent.
London is dwelling to 10.8 laptop of shoppers, whereas 10.1 per cent are based mostly within the East, 9.6 per cent are within the North West and three.2 per cent are within the North East.
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