Behind the first door of many advent calendars you might expect to find a small treat, but for two people in Kent and Cornwall this December, Agent Million will be behind their front door personally delivering the £1 million jackpot Premium Bonds prize.
The lucky winners are the 375th and 376th to scoop the £1 million prize since it was introduced in April 1994. The winner from Cornwall is the fourth jackpot winner from the county, while the woman from Kent is the 16th lucky winner from the region.
It is a record-breaking month for the Premium Bonds draw, with more prizes paid out than ever before. For December’s draw, the prize fund rate has been increased from 1.15% to 1.40% and the odds improved from 30,000:1 to 24,500:1, following NS&I decision to pass on the Bank of England’s interest rate rise to savers.
It’s the first time that Agent Million has visited either county this year. The last trip to Kent to deliver the good news was in June 2016, while it was August last year when Cornwall celebrated a Premium Bonds millionaire.
Jill Waters, Retail Director at NS&I, said:“Agent Million has been spreading joy for over 20 years, and this will be an early Christmas present that our two jackpot winners will never forget.
“As it is the season of goodwill, this is the first draw since we increased the prize fund rate and improved odds of winning a prize, meaning that we will be distributing more prizes than ever before in a monthly draw.”
With the new prize fund rate (1.40%, up from 1.15% in November) and the improved odds (24,500-1up from 30,000-1), there are over 550,000 more prizes and the prize fund has increased by more than £15 million compared with last month’s draw.
You can find out if ERNIE has delivered you an early Christmas present by downloading the prize checker app for free from the App Store or Google Play or using the Prize checker on nsandi.com
The woman from Kent who won in December’s draw bought her winning Bond (number: 273WE102226) in May 2016 and currently has £34,050 invested in Premium Bonds.
The Cornwall winner, also female, has held her winning Bond for a far longer period. Her winning Bond (number: 060PV693631) was purchased back in February 2005, and she has £20,000 worth of Premium Bonds overall.
Is it going to be a merry Christmas for you?
Though the jackpot winners receive the top prize in person, the owners of the other 2.9 million prizes will also be hoping for something exciting landing in their bank accounts.
Jill Waters added: “Many people will be sending Christmas cards to friends and loved ones over the next few weeks, and we’re no different, with prizes being posted out over the coming weeks to the lucky winners.
“However, if you want to receive your prizes sooner you can register online to ensure that any future Premium Bonds prizes are paid directly into your bank account via BACS. More than 1.5 million of our customers are already benefitting from this service.”
A Christmas surprise
More than 1.4 million prizes remain unclaimed, worth over £57.4 million. There are 35,895 prizes worth £1.4 million still to be claimed by the winners in Kent, while in Cornwall there are still 10,921 unclaimed prizes to the value of £406,175.
Of these, there is a £50,000 prize that remains unclaimed in Kent. The prize was drawn in the November 2007 draw and was won by a female who has £128 invested in Premium Bonds. The Bond number is 3VT019901. There are also another 25 £1,000 prizes that remain unclaimed in the county. The oldest unclaimed prize in Kent was won by a man with the Bond number AN559184 in the April 1959 draw and is worth £25.
In Cornwall, the highest value unclaimed prize is £5,000. It was won in the January 2000 draw and belongs to a man with just £30 invested. His Bond number is 2MT341072. The oldest prize in Cornwall dates back to October 1968 and is a prize worth £25, due to a man with the Bond number 1HB868193.
Premium Bonds prizes often become unclaimed as a result of people moving house and not telling NS&I, or forgetting that they may have had Bonds bought for them for Christmas as a child. NS&I is urging Premium Bonds holders to reduce the chance of their prizes becoming unclaimed in the future by registering on nsandi.com to have any prizes paid directly into their bank account (with notification by email). There is no time limit for claiming Premium Bond prizes.
In Kent, over 57,100 people currently opt to have their prizes paid by BACS, while in Cornwall, 20,290 have chosen this option.
December 2017 prize draw breakdown
In the December 2017 draw, a total of 2,932,798 prizes – the highest number of prizes in any monthly draw – worth £83,829,075 will be paid out. There were 71,853,493,181 eligible Bonds for the draw.
Since the first draw in June 1957, ERNIE – the Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment that generates the winning numbers each month – has created 386 million winning numbers, paying out more than £17.9 billion.
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Notes to Editors
- NS&I has a wealth of facts and figures (including regional) about Premium Bonds. If you require any further details, please contact the NS&I media team or tweet your question to @nsandi
- On 7 November 2017, NS&I increased rates on our variable rate products. These are effective from 1 December 2017. More info can be seen here.
- You can read more about Premium Bond prize winners at nsandi.com/winning-stories
- All Premium Bond prizes are free of UK Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax.
- NS&I is one of the largest savings organisations in the UK, offering a range of savings and investments to 25 million customers. All products offer 100% capital security, because NS&I is backed by HM Treasury.
- The annual Premium Bonds prize fund rate is currently 1.40% and the odds of each individual Bond number winning any prize are 24,500 to 1.
- Pictures of Premium Bonds, including the Premium Bonds app and ERNIE are available in high-resolution jpeg format from the NS&I media team.
- Customers can buy Premium Bonds online at nsandi.com and over the phone by calling 08085 007 007. This is a freephone number and calls to it from the UK are free from both landlines and mobiles. Calls may be recorded.
- When reporting total unclaimed assets held by NS&I (including accounts, Certificates, Bonds, unclaimed Premium Bond prizes and other products), NS&I defines unclaimed holdings as those with no customer contact for a period of 15 years or more.
- Further information on NS&I (National Savings and Investments), including press releases and product information, is available on the website at nsandi.com. Follow us on Twitter: @nsandi or join the conversation on Facebook: Premium Bonds made by ERNIE