NS&I premium bonds work as savings accounts where the interest is decided by monthly tax-free prize draws. Generated at random, millions are paid out every month to lucky bondholders, with the prizes being announced at the start of every month. While everyone has an equal chance of winning, the more bonds people have, the higher their chances are of securing a jackpot.
Prizes are split into three value bands – higher, medium, and lower – and a percentage share of the monthly prize fund is allocated to each of these bands.
Prizes in the higher band can range from £1 million (only two of these can be won), to £5,000.
The medium band awards people the chance to win between £1,000 and £500, while the lower band, which is allocated 90 percent of the prize fund, ranges winnings between £100 to £25.
The odds of winning, however, sit at 24,500 to one for every £1 bond.
How to check if you’ve won the NS&I prize draw
The NS&I website has a prize-checking tool – people can access it here. All that’s needed is the holder’s number to see the results.
Not only will it show this month’s prizes, but it’ll also show the holder if they’ve won in any of the previous six draws and any older prizes that haven’t been claimed.
People can also download the NS&I premium bonds prize checker app, where the same information will be readily available.
The third option is to receive a cheque for the prize through the post, but this does take longer.
Although it should be noted for higher value prizes, these won’t be paid automatically.
For any prizes higher than £5,000, NS&I will check directly with the person how they’d like to be paid and for a £1 million scoop, one of their agents will visit the lucky winner personally to reveal the news.
To find out more about how prizes are paid or to change their current method, bondholders can visit the NS&I page here.