I’m a Premium Bonds Agent Million – and winners ALWAYS do the same when I tell them they’ve won the jackpot
THE first premium bond draw took place 65 years ago, when a lucky person won the top prize of £1,000 on June 1, 1957.
Now millions of savers enter a raffle every month in the hope of winning a £1million jackpot – and Agent Million is the mysterious person whose job it is to deliver the good news to the winner. each month.
Since the launch of the Premium Bonds, Ernie (Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment), the machine that generates the winning numbers, has paid out over 562 million prizes worth £22.9 billion.
But it’s that big prize that people really want. We’ve chosen the brains of Agent Million to find out exactly what it’s like to hit the jackpot.
What are premium bonds?
Premium bonds are a way to save, but are different from a standard savings account because they don’t offer interest.
Instead, you have a regular chance to win prizes, which range from £25 to the £1million jackpot.
They are also popular because they are a government-backed product, which means they pose very little risk.
Premium bonds can be purchased from National Savings & Investments (NS&I), and you can invest and withdraw money whenever you want.
You need to invest a minimum of £25 to start and you can invest up to £50,000.
The more you invest, the higher your number of premium bonds and the higher your chances of winning.
Each month you can use the online NS&I Premium Bond Price Checker to see if your numbers are out.
Do I have to invest a lot of money to have a chance of winning?
Nope! The person with the smallest ever jackpot was someone from Newham, London, who held just £17 in premium bonds, Agent Million explains.
The person had held their bonds since 1959 and had won in 2004, meaning they also held the record for the longest wait to win the top prize.
In June, NS&I (National Savings & Investments), which provides the bonds, raised the rate of the Premium Bond prize fund from 1% to 1.4%, increasing the odds of winning from 34,500 to 1 to 24,500 to 1 , and adding more than one million prizes to this month’s draw.
How does it feel to tell someone they’ve won £1million?
“The best part of the job is the adventure,” said an agent Million, who spoke to The Sun on the condition that she remain anonymous.
NS&I actually has a small team of “Agent Millions” – not just one – who travel the country knocking on the doors of the biggest winners each month.
Agent Million told us she had been in the role for four years and could be sent anywhere in the country to tell people in person that they had won the money.
“Inevitably, you’re going to change people’s lives,” she said.
“I always tell my winners, I think the best part of winning the jackpot means it gives you so many choices that you didn’t have before.”
Before knocking on their door, Agent Million only knows the name of the person, their address and the amount they have invested in the premium bonds.
How do people react?
Tears, shock and offers of a cup of tea are the things people almost always do when they hear the news.
“You get to see such a wide range of people in different circumstances, and it’s just a joy,” says Agent Million.
“First it’s a wide-eyed shock, then invariably there are tears and then they ask you ‘Do you want a cup of tea or a cake?’
“The champagne is already out!”
Agent Million is also sure to show up with plenty of proof that the person actually won, to give people confidence that they are not being scammed.
What is a particularly memorable visit you made?
“One of the most beautiful was the first one I went to [after things opened up a bit more] after the pandemic,” says Agent Million.
The winner had been protecting for much of the past two years, so it was safe to ask Agent Million into the house.
“So we started the conversation in the garden.
“The winner was there with his wife and found himself in absolute tears, and they just couldn’t believe it, especially after such a difficult time.”
Winning a million pounds inevitably changes people’s lives, and Agent Million said people often want to spend money on basic things such as carefree heating bills or fixing a broken fence, as well as to achieve lifelong ambitions.
“Another woman I was talking to had gotten married and had children, but had always wanted to take flying lessons,” says Agent Million.
“As she got older, that dream faded, but when she won, she said the first thing on her list was to take flying lessons.”
Do you give advice to winners?
There’s one piece of advice Agent Million gives to every winner – and that’s to not tell anyone they’ve won.
“One woman took it literally and didn’t even tell her husband about it for a week,” she said.
Breaking the news can be so exciting that Agent Million said she sometimes struggles to stay calm herself – but keeping her cool also helps calm others down.
Yet potentially changing someone’s life is a very rewarding responsibility.
“It’s just brilliant, an absolute privilege.”
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