Premium Bonds: Agent Million explains what NS&I winners must do before receiving the prize | Personal finance | Finance

The secret numbers announce good news to winners and also provide guidance on next steps, as NS&I provides financial advisors from which winners can choose. An agent shared what happens behind the scenes and explained what Brits can expect if they are lucky enough to meet one.

NS&I has a team of Millions Agents who announce the good news to Premium Bond jackpot winners.

Agents are sworn to secrecy about many aspects of their work and are often anonymous themselves.

Agents could be sent anywhere to deliver the news in person and one spoke to Express.co.uk.

They noted that the anonymity they enjoy is necessary both for themselves and for the winners, saying, “A uniform would attract attention, so we do our best to blend in with the environment in which we are.”

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Agents are not even allowed to tell their family, friends or colleagues that they are agents.

The agents who walk up to the winners to deliver the good news are armed only with the winner’s name, address and how much they invested in the premium bonds before winning the jackpot.

Many people have different reactions to the news that they are now millionaires, often needing a moment or two to really believe what is happening.

The agent noted that there were a few technicalities to iron out when receiving the £1million jackpot.

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They said: “When Agent Million meets with jackpot winners, they must provide us with proof of their identity. I also don’t complain if they want to put the kettle on and get the biscuits out, especially if it’s been a long trip!

“Once we have passed the various security checks, we can pay them the money.”

They also noted that “every visit is different” and often memorable for a variety of reasons.

They told one such story: “I found a very pleasant one: a lady I had gone to see who chose to have her husband come and sit with her. We had gone through security, so I told him then that I was there to win a prize.

“When I told her it was £1million she ran out of the room screaming. She ran up the stairs and knocked on the doors. Her husband told me she had gone the tell the kids and I had thought until then that there were only the three of us in the house.

“Next thing I know, I’m sitting in their living room with four beaming faces staring at me asking a ton of questions!”

Another agent who spoke to Express.co.uk shared that every visit can often be “memorable”, but not for the same reasons.

One such case was of a winner who lived in the north of England but ‘wanted to live closer’ to his family in the south, although the housing market prevented that from happening.

Once they realized they were now the proud million-pound owner, ‘they burst into tears’ as the move was ‘no longer a pipe dream’.

Some people hold the premium bonds tight, hoping to win big one day, while others see their hope dwindle.

One winner had almost waived his obligations when the agent arrived and had in fact filled out the forms just before but had not yet sent them.

Contrary to popular belief, bondholders don’t need to hold the maximum amount to win big, with a premium bond millionaire holding just £17 when they won.

The winner had held his bonds for nearly half a decade before winning.

Garland K. Long