Premium Bonds timeline – a brief history

For information about Premium Bonds Prize Fund rate changes and the odds of winning a prize, view our list of historic interest rates.

What are the odds?

Are newer Bonds luckier?

Every eligible £1 Bond has the same chance to win a prize in every monthly draw. Newer Bonds seem luckier because over 95% of those currently held have been purchase since 2000.


When do Bonds become ineligible?

Premium Bonds only become ineligible once they are cashed in, or when the owner dies. In the instance where a Premium Bonds holder passes away, the individual managing their estate can choose to manage the Bonds, and these are eligible to win prizes up to 12 months after the date of the holder’s death.

Where are all the jackpot winners?

ERNIE’s randomness applies only to the Bond generation itself – who holds those Bonds and where they’re based is down to customers themselves.

Premium Bonds jackpot winners map


Why are the only big winners those who have larger Premium Bonds holdings?

We’ll give you a unique Bond number for every £1 you invest. Every number has a separate and equal chance each month of winning a prize. So the more Bonds you buy, the better your chances of winning.

While 2.3% of our Premium Bonds holders have the maximum £50,000 invested (as of December 2018), their total investment makes up 33.6% of the £78 billion held in Premium Bonds, from which the prize fund is calculated.

Buying more Bonds will improve your chances of winning a prize, but there’s no guarantee what size prize that will be – back in 2004, one Premium Bonds customer had just £17 invested when she won the £1 million jackpot. 

(Information correct as of December 2018. Percentages rounded to one decimal place.)