Lottery Bonds: A Chance to Win Big While Saving 2023

Lottery Bonds are a type of government bond that offers the holder a chance to win a random monthly drawing for a tax-free cash prize. They do not pay interest, but they do encourage saving and are backed by the government in some countries. Lottery bonds are also known as premium bonds in the United Kingdom, where they were introduced in 1956 to reduce inflation and attract people who are otherwise not interested in saving.

Lottery bonds work by assigning each bond a serial number that serves as an entry for the monthly drawing. The amount of the prize fund is one month’s interest on all eligible bonds. Multiple winners receive prizes of varying amounts from the fund. The bonds can be purchased directly from the government or from authorized agents. Each bond has a fixed value, usually £1 in the U.K., and there is a minimum and maximum investment limit.



Lottery bonds are considered extremely safe because they are backed by the government and can be redeemed at any time for their face value. However, they are not protected against inflation and have a low expected return compared to other investments. The odds of winning a prize depend on the number of bonds in circulation and the size of the prize fund. In September 2020, the monthly prize amount totaled £110,000, and there were around 308 million total prizes.


Lottery bonds have been issued by public authorities in Belgium, Ireland, Pakistan, Sweden, New Zealand, and other nations. They have different names and features depending on the country. For example, New Zealand’s Bonus Bonds pool the money of bondholders and invest it in fixed-interest assets and cash equivalents. The interest earned on these investments is the basis for funding the prizes awarded to winners.

Lottery bonds are also used as a type of commercial surety bond that establishments with lottery machines must purchase to prevent abuse of the state lottery system. These bonds protect the public and the lottery commission from fraud and dishonest behavior of lottery sellers.

The Pros and Cons of Lottery Bonds

Pros of Lottery Bonds

Fun and exciting

Lottery bonds add an element of fun and excitement to saving, as bondholders can look forward to the monthly prize draw and hope to win big. The prizes range from £25 to £1 million and are paid out tax-free. The prize fund is determined by one month’s interest on all eligible bonds, and the winning numbers are randomly generated by a machine called ERNIE.

Safe and secure

Lottery bonds are backed by the government, which means that they are very low-risk and bondholders can redeem their bonds at any time for their face value. Unlike other savings products, lottery bonds are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), but they do not need to be, as they are guaranteed by the Treasury.


Flexible and accessible

Lottery bonds can be bought and sold easily through NS&I or the post office. Each bond is worth £1, and there is a £25 minimum investment and a £50,000 maximum investment. Bondholders can choose to reinvest their prizes or have them paid into their bank account. They can also check their winnings online or through an app.

Cons of Lottery Bonds

No interest or inflation protection

Lottery bonds do not pay any interest, which means that bondholders are relying on luck to earn any return on their savings. The odds of winning any prize are 24,000 to 1, and the odds of winning the jackpot are 50 billion to 1. Moreover, lottery bonds do not protect savers from inflation, which erodes the real value of their money over time.

Low expected return

The annual prize fund interest rate, or the average equivalent interest rate, is 3.3% as of March 2023. However, this does not mean that bondholders can expect to earn 3.3% on their savings every year. The actual return depends on how many prizes they win and how large they are. Most bondholders will earn less than 3.3%, some will earn more, and some will earn nothing at all.

Not suitable for long-term goals

Lottery bonds may be suitable for savers who have some spare cash and want to have some fun while saving. However, they are not suitable for savers who have long-term financial goals, such as retirement or buying a house. For these purposes, savers may be better off investing in other products that offer higher returns and compound interest.

Lottery bonds are a unique way to save money while having a chance to win a fortune. They appeal to people who enjoy gambling but also want to secure their principal. However, they are not suitable for investors who seek high returns or protection from inflation.

Frequently Asked Questions (F&Qs)

How do you cash in bonds?

here are a few ways to cash in bonds. You can:

  • Cash them in at a bank or credit union. Most banks and credit unions will cash in bonds, but you may need to provide identification and proof of ownership.
  • Cash them in through TreasuryDirect is a website where you can buy and sell U.S. Treasury securities, including bonds. You can cash in your bonds through TreasuryDirect by following these steps:
    1. Log in to your TreasuryDirect account.
    2. Click on the “Cash Securities” tab.
    3. Select the bonds you want to cash in.
    4. Enter the amount you want to cash in.
    5. Click on the “Cash Securities” button.
  • Send them in the mail to the U.S. Treasury. If you have paper bonds, you can send them in the mail to the U.S. Treasury. You will need to include a completed FS Form 1522 with your bonds. The form can be found on the U.S. Treasury website.

The process for cashing in bonds will vary depending on the type of bond you have and the institution you are cashing them in with. However, the general process is the same.

How much do Premium Bonds pay out each month?

The amount of money that Premium Bonds pay out each month varies depending on the number of prizes awarded and the size of the prizes. In the most recent month, the total prize fund was £96,395,075. This was divided into over 3.3 million prizes, ranging from £25 to £1 million.

The average return on Premium Bonds is around 1.4% per year. However, this is just an average, and some people will win more than this, while others will win less. The odds of winning a prize on Premium Bonds are 24,500:1. This means that for every £1 you hold in Premium Bonds, you have a 1 in 24,500 chance of winning a prize.

It is important to remember that Premium Bonds are not a guaranteed investment. You could win nothing at all, and your money is not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

If you are considering investing in Premium Bonds, it is important to weigh up the potential risks and rewards. You should also consider your individual circumstances and financial goals.

How much is a premium bond?

The price of a Premium Bond is £1. You can buy as many Premium Bonds as you like, but the maximum you can hold is £50,000.

Are prize bonds a good investment?

Yes, They are seen as a way of gold investment, national savings, or offsetting government borrowing.

How do premium bonds work?

Here’s how Premium Bonds work:

  1. You buy Premium Bonds with cash. The minimum investment is £25, and you can buy as many as you like, up to a maximum of £50,000.
  2. Your Premium Bonds are entered into a monthly prize draw. The prize draw is held on the first working day of each month.
  3. There are 1 million prizes available each month, ranging from £25 to £1 million.
  4. The odds of winning a prize depend on the number of Premium Bonds you hold. The more Premium Bonds you hold, the better your chances of winning.
  5. You can check if you have won a prize by logging into your NS&I account or by calling the NS&I helpline.
  6. If you win a prize, the money will be paid into your NS&I account.

Premium Bonds are a popular savings product in the UK.

How to invest in bonds UK?

There are a few ways to invest in bonds in the UK. You can:

  • Buy individual bonds: This means buying bonds directly from the issuer. This can be a good option if you want to invest in a specific bond or if you want to have more control over your investment. However, it can also be more time-consuming and expensive.
  • Buy bond funds: This means buying shares in a fund that invests in bonds. This is a good option if you want to invest in a diversified portfolio of bonds without having to pick individual bonds. It is also a more cost-effective option than buying individual bonds.
  • Invest in bond ETFs: An Exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a type of investment fund that tracks an index of bonds. This is a good option if you want to invest in a diversified portfolio of bonds and if you want to be able to trade your investment easily.