NS&I celebrates 65 years since first Premium Bonds prize draw

June 2022 will be the 781st Premium Bonds prize draw.

31 May 2022

The first Premium Bonds prize draw was held 65 years ago – with the top prize on June 1 1957 being £1,000.

Ernie (Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment), the machine that generates the winning numbers, has now paid out more than 562 million prizes worth £22.9 billion.

Today, the top prize is £1 million.

June 2022 will be the 781st Premium Bonds prize draw, according to NS&I (National Savings & Investments), which provides the bonds.

The minimum purchase nowadays is £25 and adults can purchase bonds for children up to 16.

The way that people receive their prizes has also changed over the years, with more than 90% of prizes being paid directly into customers’ bank accounts or reinvested into more Premium Bonds.

Jill Waters, NS&I retail director, said: “June is a double celebration with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and 65 years of Premium Bonds draws.

“For 65 years, Premium Bonds draws and Ernie have been a part of people’s lives.

“The sense of anticipation and expectation that rippled across the nation in 1957 is still present among our customers today as they wait with bated breath for the results each month.”

Last week NS&I announced that the Premium Bonds prize fund rate will increase from 1.00% to 1.40%, effective from the June 2022 prize draw.

This means customers will get the chance to win a further 1.4 million tax-free prizes each month.

NS&I is backed by the Treasury and has a duty to balance the interests of savers, taxpayers and the broader financial services sector.

The provider also released 65 facts to mark the milestone.

They include the longest amount of time a £1 million winner has waited to hit the jackpot, which is more than 45 years.

Twelve winners meanwhile have waited just two months before scooping the £1 million prize.

Ten children under the age of 16 have won the £1 million jackpot and the oldest ever £1 million winner was aged over 90 at the time of their win.

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