Premium bonds are becoming more popular everyday. Millions of people are investing in these bonds and some are questioning if they are really worth it. Premium bonds were introduced in 1956 as a way to get the public to invest into the British Government. This was set up like a lottery so that the common man could save and at the same time have a chance to winning millions of pounds. Nearly twenty million people, a third of the population now owns at least one premium bond. Investors can buy these bonds directly from the post office or they can purchase from the National Savings and Investment firms.
Since interest rates are falling, premium bonds are seen as a safe way to invest and at the same time have the thrill of winning one of the over million and a half cash prizes awarded each month. Fifteen percent of the prize money is used for high cash prizes and another fifteen percent is used for medium cash prizes. The remaining seventy percent of the money was used to award lower prizes that are as high as fifty pounds. A fifty pound prize on a one bond is almost a 500 percent return. Right now you have a 1 in 21,000 chance to win, but with the bonds becoming more popular, those odds may be greater in the future.
You have to buy at least one hundred pounds to invest in premium bonds and you can only have thirty thousand pounds in an account. The bonds are backed and protected by the national treasury. Anyone who invests can be assured that when they decide to pull out their funds, the money will be there. Anyone can invest as long as you are sixteen. Many parents buy premium bonds as a way to pay for their children’s college. Young investors can learn the value of savings and at the same time get the chance to win enough money to set them up for life.
Unlike lottery tickets, the same bond can win over and over. The more you invest, the more times you will have a chance to win. The winnings are tax-free and you can even reinvest the money you win until you reach the thirty thousand pound limit. It has been reported that the odds in winning has declined in the last ten years. It is a matter of statistics that the more bonds that are bought the lower the chance that your bond number will be picked.
The odds are still better than the American lottery because you don’t have to buy a different ticket each time. You can find out if your bond number is picked by looking at the National Saving and Invest website. Here they list all the winning numbers and all you have to do is call or contact them for you to claim your prize. It is recorded that the National Saving and Invest firm has over five hundred thousand unclaimed prizes that they are holding for claimers.