Good things come to those who wait

The old phrase ‘Good things come to those who wait’ has been especially pertinent to Premium Bond winners in 2016, as a number of Premium Bonds winners have won high value prizes from Bonds bought 30 years ago or older.

There are common misconceptions that only new Bonds win prizes and that old Bonds are left out of the draw. However, in 2016 to date, 88 wins of £1,000 or over have been won by Bonds that were purchased between 1957, when the Bonds first went on sale and 1987.

Each £1 Bond has an equal chance of winning, regardless of when or where it was bought. However, as the majority of eligible Bonds have been bought since the year 2000, and even though Premium Bonds have been on sale for over 50 years, this is often why newer Bonds seem to win more frequently.

When ERNIE randomly generates winners, he doesn’t store any numbers, so there’s no way any Bonds can be left out. Winning numbers are generated randomly and then matched against eligible Bond numbers afterwards.

In the eight 2016 Premium Bond draws to date, a Bond holder who bought the Bonds back in June 1958, scooped a £5,000 tax-free prize from a mere £53 invested. The winner, from Humberside, won the prize in the May 2016. Another Premium Bond holder, from Hertfordshire, also won big from a Bond purchased just under 60 years ago. ERNIE selected their numbers and they won £1,000 from having just £34 in Premium Bonds, buying the winning Bonds in July 1959.

This year has also seen some major Premium Bond wins from older Bonds. £100,000 was won from a Premium Bonds holder in Lancashire in the May 2016 draw. The winner has only £20 in Premium Bonds, and bought the winning Bond 35 years ago, in March 1981. A quarter of that amount but no less significant was won in South Scotland, also in the May 2016 draw. £25,000 was won from just a £10 investment, with the holding purchased in July 1974.

Jill Waters, NS&I Retail Director, said: “There are a few myths around Premium Bonds, one being that only newer Bonds win prizes. However, each £1 Bond has the same chance of winning a prize regardless of when or where it was purchased, and the winners so far this year couldn’t be better evidence of that. Prizes purchased back in 1958 and in1959 have scooped £5,000 and £1,000 respectively.”

“Another fallacy is that you need the maximum holding to win prizes. This year’s wins have already seen a £100,000 prize from a £20 investment purchased in 1981, and a £1,000 win from a Bond bought nearly 45 years ago, with only £1 invested. These examples show the random nature of the draw and the great surprises and excitement that Premium Bonds can generate.

“All Premium Bond prizes are tax-free, so those lucky enough to win get to enjoy all of their winnings as well as being safe in the knowledge that all money invested in NS&I is 100% guaranteed.”

Top 5 high value Premium Bond prizes with Bonds over 30 years old

Prize Value Winning Bond number Total value of holding Area Date of purchase Date of win
£100,000 14KT085181 £20 Lancashire March 1981 May 2016
£25,000 6JZ900182 £10 South Scotland July 1974 May 2016
£10,000 2GB625801 £20 Northern Ireland December 1982 March 2016
£5,000 23VP641166 £800 Surrey April 1981 January 2016
£5,000 4FB160678 £379 Wiltshire May 1971 February 2016

Top 5 oldest winning Premium Bond prizes in 2016

Date of purchase Prize Value Winning Bond number Total value of holding Area Date of win
June 1958 £5,000 1PS165413 £53 Humberside June 2016
July 1959 £1,000 LT688284 £34 Hertfordshire August 2016
August 1961 £1,000 2AS271777 £8 Wales April 2016
March 1963 £1,000 1HN846643 £31 Sefton May 2016
July 1964 £1,000 4AL262383 £113 Inner London May 2016


Premium Bonds holders can keep track of their prizes by using the NS&I Premium Bonds prize checker app, which is free to download, and lets customers check if they’ve won a prize in the past six months, and any unclaimed prizes. Customers can also check if they have won a prize by using the Premium Bonds prize checker on

Three of the Premium Bond jackpot winners this year have won from a reinvested prize from a previous draw. Premium Bonds holders can choose to have any of their future wins reinvested to increase their chances of winning. You can find out more information about how to reinvest prizes here. Premium Bond holders can also register to manage their Premium Bonds online and by phone so they can check their balance and transactions, including any prizes they’ve won.
Jill Waters, NS&I Retail Director, said:
“We have seen that a few of our lucky jackpot winners’ winning Bonds were from a reinvested prize, and therefore we are reminding Premium Bonds holders that they can reinvest their prizes automatically to give them more chances of winning in the future.”
Notes to Editors

  1. All Premium Bonds prizes are free of UK Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax
  2. The annual Premium Bonds prize fund rate is currently 1.25% and the odds of each individual Bond number winning a prize is 30,000 to 1.
  3. Pictures of ERNIE (including the new ERNIE 4 machine), NS&I’s Agent Millions and people buying Premium Bonds are available in high-resolution jpeg format from the NS&I media team.
  4. Customers can buy Premium Bonds online at and over the phone by calling 0500 500 000. This is a free phone number but calls from mobiles and some landline providers may be chargeable. Telephone calls may be recorded.
  5. Further information on NS&I (National Savings and Investments), including press releases and product information, is available on the website at Follow us on Twitter: @nsandi or join the conversation on Facebook: Premium Bonds made by ERNIE