December's big Premium Bond winners revealed

Could you be a millionaire?


Premium bond winner's letter

As millions open the first window on their advent calendars two lucky Premium Bond holders received cheques for £1 million instead.

A woman from Cornwall won with a Premium Bond (number: 060PV693631) she bought in February 2005; while the lady from Kent bought her winning Bond (number: 273WE102226) far more recently - in May 2016.

But even if you haven't won the jackpot, December will see more smiles than ever before.

That's because after the Bank of England increased interest rates, National Savings and Investments also upped the number of prizes available for Premium Bond holders to win.

"This is the first draw since we increased the prize fund rate and improved odds of winning a prize, meaning that we will be distributing more prizes than ever before in a monthly draw," said Jill Waters, retail director at NS&I.

Premium Bonds get better - with 530,361 extra prizes of up to £100,000 coming in December

Credits: NS&I

As well as the two new millionaires, four people won £100,000, ten won £50,000 and 17 won £25,000. If you think you might have won, check here.

Overall almost 3million bonds won prizes this month - with Ernie handing out almost £84millon in total.

The total amount now paid out to Premium Bond holders is more than £17billion - all of it tax-free.

There are also more than 1.4 million people who have won prizes in past draws, worth over £56 million, but not claimed them.

NS&I is urging Premium Bonds holders to reduce the chance of their prizes becoming unclaimed by registering to have any prizes paid directly into their bank account (with notification by email).

Or you can see your historic Premium Bonds wins by downloading the free Prize Checker app from the App Store or from Google Play.

You can take out a Premium Bond from National Savings & Investments, which offers a variety of savings accounts.

You can save into a Premium Bond, but instead of receiving an interest rate, there is a 1.4% rate which funds a monthly tax-free prize draw.

But the chances of an individual bond number winning a prize are now 24,500 to 1.

See also: Punters complain lottery has become too hard to win

See also: 21 million savers affected by cut in Premium Bond prize and NS&I rates

A Premium Bond may appeal to those who like a flutter, but if you're a slow and steady saver, there are more reliable ways to grow your money.

Here's our guide to growing your cash by finding better savings rates , whether that's through a traditional ISA or peer-to-peer lending.

We've also got tips on how to find the best cash ISA , and 3 ways to nab yourself better savings rates.

If you don't mind a gamble, but like a bit more control, you could find a stocks and shares ISA rewarding - find out more here.

Biggest UK lottery winners

Biggest UK lottery winners

provided by