Martin Lewis gives updated advice on premium bonds
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This months’ winners were announced on May 3, with 3.4 million prizes being dished out, each valued between £25 and £1million. One pensioner shared how winning the jackpot took her from scrimping by to thriving in retirement.
Hannah, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, won the £1million jackpot just 18 months after buying the lucky bond.
She had invested £3,000 in February 2003 and August 2004 saw Agent Million arriving on her doorstep.
She shared the experience: “Agent Million arrived on a Sunday afternoon. It changed my life.
“I nearly passed out when I was told what I’d won. I was totally overwhelmed.”
Premium Bonds launched 66 years ago in April 1956 (Image: GETTY)
Hannah shared that before winning, she was living on just £108 per week from her pension.
Since winning she has been able to buy her own home and also reinvested in the bond that had treated her so well.
She invested the maximum £50,000 limit in Premium Bonds “straight away” and still gets the odd small winnings from it.
She said: “I still get £50 a month and, to be honest, I get almost as much pleasure in those wins.
The Prize checker app allows Britons to check if they have any winnings (Image: NS&I)
“I’ve told very few people, just people who could share the secret and still act normally. I do sometimes tell strangers that, thanks to ERNIE, I’m having a lovely time.”
The NS&I results for May 2022 were released earlier this week and the prize checker has also since been updated.
The prize checker enables people to check if they have any winnings, whether from this month or past prize draws.
There is an estimated £74million left unclaimed in prizes and there is no time limit in which to claim it as the money is kept indefinitely.
This month’s newly crowned millionaires will also benefit from a relatively new change from NS&I’s offerings.
Now, NS&I will provide the winners with a choice between thousands of qualified financial advisors to help them manage their windfall.
One of the May jackpot winners, a Wandsworth resident, had purchased the winning bond almost two decades ago.
This has given hope to older bond holders, proving that ERNIE has not forgotten they stand a chance to win as well.
The Wandsworth bond was purchased in June 2003, with a value of £1,000.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, two £50,000 winners only had their bonds for mere months before reaping the benefits of Premium Bonds, with both of them having been bought in January 2022.
Premium Bonds must be held for a full calendar month before they can be entered into the monthly prize draw.
This means that these bonds have only been in three prize draws before hitting big.