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How soon after purchase do Premium Bonds go into the draw?

Premium Bonds are a type of savings bond offered by National Savings and Investments (NS&I) in the United Kingdom. When you buy Premium Bonds, you are entered into a monthly prize draw where you can win tax-free prizes between £25 and £1 million.

Can I enter the Premium Bonds draw right away?

Yes, Premium Bonds go into the next available draw after you buy them, so there is no waiting period before they are eligible to win prizes. Here is a summary of when new Premium Bonds enter the prize draws:

  • Bonds bought before the first of the month enter that month’s draw
  • Bonds bought between the 2nd and 28th of the month enter the following month’s draw
  • Bonds bought after the 28th enter the draw after next

For example, if you bought Premium Bonds on January 29th, they would enter the March draw. But if you bought them on January 15th, they would enter the February draw.

Key Points on Entry to Draws

  • New bonds enter the next available draw
  • No waiting period before bonds are eligible to win
  • Buy before the 1st to enter that month’s draw
  • Buy between 2nd-28th to enter following month’s draw
  • Buy after 28th to enter draw after next

When do the Premium Bonds prize draws take place?

The Premium Bonds prize draws take place every month. The draw schedule is as follows:

Draw Number Draw Date
Draw 1 1st day of the month
Draw 2 14th day of the month

So Draw 1 takes place on the 1st of each month, while Draw 2 takes place on the 14th. There are always two chances to win each month.

Key Points on Draw Dates

  • Two draws per month, on 1st and 14th
  • Draw 1 on 1st day of the month
  • Draw 2 on 14th day of the month
  • 24 chances to win each year

How long does it take to get Prize Draw winnings?

If you are lucky enough to win a Premium Bonds prize, you will receive your winnings pretty quickly. Here is an overview of how long it takes to receive the money:

  • Prizes under £5,000 are paid into your bank account or by cheque within 5 working days
  • £5,000 – £50,000 prizes arrive by cheque within 7 working days
  • Over £50,000 in 15 working days by cheque with special delivery

So you can expect to see smaller prizes in your bank account within a week of the draw. Larger amounts over £5,000 come by cheque but still arrive quickly by post.

Key Points on Receiving Winnings

  • Under £5,000 paid within 5 working days
  • £5,000-£50,000 paid within 7 working days
  • Over £50,000 paid within 15 working days by special delivery
  • Smaller prizes paid into bank account
  • Larger wins sent by cheque

How are the winning Premium Bonds numbers selected?

The Premium Bonds draws use a random number generator to select winning bond numbers each month. The process is overseen by two independent adjudicators to ensure it is fair and random.

Here are the steps involved in picking the winning numbers:

  1. NS&I provides the total value of prizes for that month’s draws
  2. The random number generator creates a series of winning numbers
  3. The adjudicators confirm the draw was random and fair
  4. The winning numbers are checked against all eligible bonds
  5. The total prize value matches the target set by NS&I

The first two winning numbers are eligible for the £1 million jackpot prizes. After that, other amounts like £100,000, £50,000, £25,000 and so on are assigned in descending order.

Key Points on Number Selection

  • Random number generator picks winning numbers
  • Adjudicators oversee to confirm fair draw
  • First two numbers get £1 million jackpot prize
  • Other prize values assigned in descending order

What are the odds of winning a Premium Bonds prize?

The odds of winning any Premium Bonds prize are currently 24,500 to 1 for each £1 bond number. So the more bonds you have, the greater your chances of winning.

Here are the approximate odds for winning different Premium Bonds prize amounts:

Prize Amount Odds
£1 million 1 in 107,500,000
£100,000 1 in 42,500,000
£50,000 1 in 20,900,000
£25,000 1 in 13,000,000
£5,000 to £10,000 1 in 2,270,000
£100 to £5,000 1 in 22,500
£25 1 in 24,500

As you can see, the odds get longer the bigger the prize. But you still have a reasonable chance at smaller prizes from £25 up to £5,000.

Key Points on Winning Odds

  • Overall odds 1 in 24,500 per £1 bond
  • Jackpot odds 1 in 107 million
  • Good odds for smaller prizes from £25 to £5,000
  • More bonds means better chance of winning

How do I find out if my Premium Bonds have won?

There are a few ways you can check to see if you have won a Premium Bonds prize:

  • Online prize checker – Log into your account at to see instant results
  • Alexa prize checker – If you have Amazon Alexa, ask it to check your bonds
  • Mobile app – Use the NS&I mobile app to check draw results
  • By phone – Call NS&I to check for any prizes
  • Notification – You will be notified of any large prize wins over £5,000

The quickest and easiest way is to use the online prize checker or mobile app. But you can also call NS&I or use Alexa if you prefer. And they’ll let you know if you hit the jackpot!

Key Points on Checking for Wins

  • Use online prize checker for instant results
  • Check via NS&I mobile app
  • Call NS&I phone line to ask
  • Get notified if you win over £5,000
  • Alexa voice assistant can check for you

Can I cash out my Premium Bonds at any time?

Yes, one of the great features of Premium Bonds is that you can get your money back whenever you want. Here are the options for cashing out your bonds:

  • Sell back to NS&I at face value – No fees or penalties
  • Sell on secondary bond market – May get less than face value
  • Cash out individual bonds – Minimum £25 encashments
  • Cash out entire holding – Get all your money back at once

Selling back to NS&I is the easiest way to cash out. You just need to fill out a form and you’ll get the full face value back with no extra charges. So Premium Bonds remain flexible and accessible investments.

Key Points on Cashing Out

  • Sell back to NS&I at original price
  • Can cash out some or all bonds
  • Minimum encashment is £25
  • No exit fees or early redemption penalties
  • Easy to get your money when needed

Do Premium Bonds pay interest or have a fixed return?

No, Premium Bonds do not pay any interest or have a fixed rate of return like some other investments. The only financial return comes from winning prizes in the monthly draws.

Rather than interest, your “return” on Premium Bonds comes in the form of these tax-free prizes:

  • Jackpot prizes up to £1 million
  • Thousands of other cash prizes from £25 up to £100,000
  • Estimated 1.4% prize fund rate based on total bonds
  • Average return for casual investors around 1.2%

So while you don’t get regular interest payments, you do have the excitement of potentially winning big sums each month! Any prizes you win are completely tax-free too.

Key Points on Returns

  • No interest or fixed returns
  • Prizes from monthly draws instead
  • Jackpots up to £1 million
  • Tax-free prize winnings
  • Average return around 1.2% from prizes

Are Premium Bonds safe investments?

Yes, Premium Bonds are considered very safe investments for several reasons:

  • Backed by UK government – Returns guaranteed by Treasury
  • Get your money back – 100% capital protection when cashed in
  • Funds covered by FSCS – Holdings insured up to £85,000
  • Low risk – No market fluctuations, interest rate changes etc
  • Top NS&I security – Protected against fraud and theft

Unlike stocks and shares, your Premium Bonds investment and winnings are secure. Even in the unlikely event NS&I fails, holdings up to £85,000 are protected by the FSCS scheme.

Key Points on Safety

  • Government-backed guarantees
  • 100% capital protection
  • FSCS covers up to £85,000
  • Very low investment risk
  • Strong security protections

What are the tax rules for Premium Bonds prizes?

One of the best perks of winning with Premium Bonds is that all prizes are completely tax-free for UK residents. Here are the key tax rules:

  • Prizes completely tax-free for UK residents
  • No income tax, capital gains tax or reporting requirements
  • Interest earned on winnings also tax-exempt
  • No need to declare prizes on your tax return
  • Tax treatment may differ outside the UK

So if you’re lucky enough to hit the Premium Bonds jackpot, you get to keep every penny! Smaller wins are also all yours without any tax deducted.

Key Points on Tax Rules

  • All prizes tax-free in the UK
  • No income, capital gains or reporting taxes
  • Interest on winnings also tax-exempt
  • No need to declare wins on tax return

What are the main pros and cons of Premium Bonds?

Here is a quick rundown of the key advantages and potential disadvantages of investing in Premium Bonds:


  • Tax-free prizes
  • Government-backed
  • Get your money back anytime
  • FSCS protected up to £85k
  • Excitement of winning jackpots
  • Very safe investment


  • Low overall return after prizes
  • No guarantees of winning
  • Prizes based on luck – not fixed returns
  • Less flexible than cash savings
  • Can take time to get money back

So Premium Bonds offer safety and excitement but low and variable returns. The tax-free winnings are a major plus point over interest accounts.

Key Points on Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Tax-free wins, government guarantee, excitement, safety
  • Cons: Lower returns, unpredictability, illiquidity

How do I buy Premium Bonds and select my investment amount?

Buying Premium Bonds and choosing how much to invest is straightforward:

  1. Apply online via or post using application form
  2. Minimum investment £25, maximum £50,000 per person
  3. Select total amount you want to invest
  4. Can set up standing order for regular investments
  5. Top up existing Premium Bonds easily
  6. Joint bonds available for couples

You have complete flexibility on how much to invest in Premium Bonds, from just £25 up to the £50,000 limit. Just decide on your total amount and provide payment when applying.

Key Points on Investing

  • Minimum £25, maximum £50k per person
  • Apply online or by post
  • Set your desired total investment amount
  • Can add more anytime up to the limit
  • Standing order for regular top-ups


Premium Bonds offer a unique opportunity to earn tax-free cash prizes while protecting your initial investment. All new bonds enter the prize draw shortly after purchase, with two chances to win each month. Odds of winning are reasonable for smaller prizes but very long for the jackpot.

Bonds can be cashed in at any time with no penalties, but provide lower returns than interest accounts. However, the tax-free allure of Premium Bond winnings makes them appealing for many savers and investors.