Sixty-five years ago today, the first Premium Bonds prize draw was held on 1 June 1957, with a top prize of £1,000. June 2022 will be the 781 st Premium Bonds prize draw and 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.
Premium Bonds have continued to evolve over the years. Today, the minimum purchase is £25 and all adults can purchase Bonds for children up to 16. The way that people receive their prizes has also changed, with more than 90% of prizes being paid directly into customers’ bank accounts or reinvested into more Premium Bonds.
To mark the 65th anniversary of the first draw, NS&I is releasing archive imagery. The imagery celebrates the history and heritage of Premium Bonds throughout the decades, illustrating how they have been part of everyday British life. Imagery from the first draw, ERNIE through the years, celebrity cameos and early Premium Bonds advertising are all included here