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The winners of January’s NS&I Premium Bond prize draw are due to be announced in the coming days and this time, an extra £80million in prize money is up for grabs. NS&I increased its fund rate to three percent following December’s draw, and around 570,000 savers are expected to benefit from the hike.
NS&I Premium Bonds work as a savings account that offers account holders the chance to win extra cash, tax-free, at the start of every month through randomly generated prize draws.
Prizes are split into three value bands – higher, medium, and lower – and each band receives a percentage share of the monthly prize fund.
Prizes in the higher band range from £1million (only two of these can be won) to £5,000, while the medium and lower bands award people the chance to win between £1,000 and £500, and £100 and £25, respectively.
But after bumping the rate of the fund for the third time in one year, hundreds of thousands more premium bond savers are in with an opportunity of snapping up a prize.
The odds of winning, however, sit at 24,500 to one for every £1 bond, but savers can increase their chances.
How to increase chances of winning Premium Bond prizes
Although winners are chosen at random, there are ways to boost the chances of winning, and this involves topping up and buying more bonds.
Bonds can be bought for £25 each and up to £50,000 can be invested in total. According to NS&I, each £1 bond number has an equal chance of winning, regardless of when or where it was bought.
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How to check if you’ve won a Premium Bond prize
People can check if they’ve won a prize through NS&I’s prize-checking tool, which can be accessed here. All the person needs is their bond number to see the results.
People can also download the NS&I premium bonds prize checker app, available at the Apple Store or Google Play, where the same information will be readily available.
Not only will it show this month’s prizes, but it’ll also show the bondholder if they’ve won in any of the previous six draws, as well as any older prizes that haven’t been claimed.
Currently, it’s thought that around £74million worth of bond winnings are going unclaimed.
This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as missing current address details, or if an account holder had bonds bought as a child but has since forgotten about them.
However, according to NS&I, the best way to ensure prizes are claimed is for savers to opt to have them paid directly into their bank account or automatically reinvested into more Premium Bonds. Savers can find out how to do this here.
How are Premium Bond prizes paid?
Winners can choose to receive the prize in three ways. They can first opt for winnings to be paid straight into the nominated bank account – which is quick and easy.
Lucky bondholders will receive a text from NS&I alerting them, after which they should see the prize money by the seventh working day of the month.
The second option is to reinvest the prize into more bonds. Those who have less than the maximum invested (£50,000) can buy more bonds to boost their chances of winning even further.
The third option is to receive a cheque for the prize through the post, but this option takes longer.
When is the next NS&I Premium Bond prize draw?
The next NS&I premium bonds prize draw will take place on January, 4.
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