Over one third of the UK population won't ERNIE as much…

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Not so Premium Bonds for over 20 million people.

The well known Premium Bond is set for change, and unfortunately it is in the wrong direction. 1 in 26,000. That is the new odds for winning a prize for each bond number, up from 1 in 24,000. Not only are our chances of winning being reduced, but so are the amounts.

The number of £1,000,000 winners each month will remain the same, at 1, but this is probably because it would be quite hard to give a prize to half a person. All other prizes are set to have a smaller number of winners, with the number of £100,000 successes falling from 5 to 3.

What are your odds now? See below:

The changes will be put in place come 1st August as a result of falling savings rates. If we look at Premium Bonds over the last 10 years, we see that although the number of investors has reduced, the actual amount of money being invested, excluding inflation, has increased by more than 200%.

National Saving & Investments (NS&I), a government agency, started Premium Bonds 57 years ago, back when Harold Macmillan was PM. The winners are calculated in a very unique way, which can take up to two and a half hours each month. Who makes the sometimes life changing decision of who should win? Well, the mathematic genius behind the numbers is all down to ERNIE.

ERNIE (Electronic Random Number Indicating Equipment) is now the 4th of its type, which took over from ERNIE 3 back in 2004.

If you are a Premium Bond holder then you might want to have a look at your ‘Bond Number’, as last month it was calculated that over £40m has failed to be claimed. How could you be so stupid? Apparently it is quite easy. NS&I’s Operations Manager said, “Prizes often become unclaimed as a result of people moving house, or forgetting that bonds have been bought for them as a child, or executors are unaware the bonds are held when someone dies”.

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