Agent Million meets Premium Bonds customer with just £17 invested

A new record in the history of Premium Bonds has been set today as a Bond bought more than 45 years ago in February 1959 has won the £1 million jackpot for a mystery winner in the London Borough of Newham.

Not only is it the smallest value Bond ever to win the £1 million jackpot, it is also the oldest Bond to net the top prize, debunking the myth that old Premium Bonds never win prizes.

The lucky winner, whose identity is being kept a closely guarded secret, owns just £17 worth of Premium Bonds and the winning Bond was one of three purchased together in 1959. The odds of £17 worth of Premium Bonds winning the jackpot are one in 1.4 billion.

The winner was told this afternoon in person by Agent Million, the mystery person who pays a personal visit to the winner to give them the good news.

The winner - a female pensioner - this afternoon told Agent Million:

"I can't believe it. I've kept my Premium Bonds for so long and with such a small amount never in a million years did I think I'd win the jackpot. It's such a lot of money.

"It's funny to think that when I first bought my Premium Bonds in 1959, the jackpot was so much smaller, one thousand pounds I think, but because my Bonds have been in the draw for so long, my win is so much bigger. It just goes to show these old Bonds do still go into the draw each month.

"At the moment I have no idea what I'm going to do with my win. I expect I'll go on a nice holiday. Perhaps I'll even buy some more Premium Bonds!"

This is Newham's first ever Premium Bond jackpot winner since the £1 million top prize was introduced in 1994, and June's winner becomes the 124th Premium Bond millionaire. In 1959, the top prize was £1,000 and, taking inflation into account, this would be worth £15,130 today1.

The second oldest bond to win the jackpot was bought in Camden in 1977 and won in April 1995. The next smallest total holding to win the jackpot is £476. A £20 Bond from this holding, purchased in Essex, won the £1 million top prize in March 1995.

Of the 253,000 people who live in Newham, 86,363 people (34%) hold Premium Bonds, worth a total of £59.4 million.

1959: a memorable year

  • James Bond novel 'Goldfinger' by Ian Fleming is published
  • The Morris Minor Mini is introduced
  • Barbie doll makes her debut
  • Nottingham Forest beat Luton Town 2 - 1 in the FA Cup Final
  • Ben Hur and Carry on Nurse are on at the cinema
  • Two monkeys survive a mission 300 miles into space
  • Dense fog brings parts of England and Wales to a standstill
  • 'Mack the Knife' by Bobby Darin is the year's biggest selling single
  • Births: John McEnroe (tennis player), Ben Elton (comedian, writer), Steven Morrissey (singer with '80s cult band The Smiths) Deaths: Buddy Holly (musician), Billie Holliday (jazz singer), Errol Flynn (actor)

1 million Premium Bond prizes

The prize fund rate is currently 2.60% per annum tax free, equivalent to 3.25% p.a. gross for a basic rate tax payer and 4.33% p.a. gross for a higher rate tax payer. From 1 September 2004 the prize fund rate will go up to 2.80% per annum tax free, and on 1 October it increases again to 3.00%, with odds fixed at 24,000 to 1.

The change in the prize fund rate in September means the number of monthly Premium Bond prizes increase from 870,000 to more than 1 million for the first time ever. The popularity of Premium Bonds has grown dramatically over the past five years as the amount invested has doubled to over £24 billion.

Like all National Savings and Investments (NS&I) products, Premium Bonds offer investors 100% security, backed by HM Treasury, as well as the sense of fun that comes from winning tax-free prizes.

Number and value of prizes awarded in July 2004

Prize value Volume of prizes
£1,000,000 1
£100,000 3
£50,000 7
£25,000 13
£10,000 32
£5,000 64
£1,000 1,044
£500 3,132
£100 67,914
£50 804,921
Total value of prizes
Total number of prizes

Since the first draw in 1957, ERNIE - the Premium Bond prize number generator - has given away more than 110 million prizes worth over £7 billion. Prizes range from £50 to £1million.

There is currently £23.6 million in unclaimed prizes. There is no time limit on claiming prizes. Premium Bond investors can check to see if they have won by logging on to and using the Premium Bond prize checker.

Notes to Editors

  1. Source: Bank of England. A basket of goods costing £1 in 1959 would cost £15.13 today.
  2. The lucky jackpot winner becomes ERNIE's 124th Premium Bond millionaire. The winning number is CL 828321.
  3. July's jackpot winner holds a total of £17 Premium Bonds.
  4. Further information on National Savings and Investments (NS&I), including press releases and product information, is available on the website at You can also contact the NS&I Media Team