NS&I breaks silence after Premium Bonds holders complain over 'unusual' June draw

Premium Bonds customers have hit out at a "very unusual" prize draw as NS&I responds. National Savings and Investments, or NS&I, which is backed by the Treasury, has responded to the customer after they asked if the number of prizes had changed.

The customer asked over X: "What went wrong with the June draw. Neither myself or any of my immediate relatives or friends won a penny. Very unusual indeed. Have you reduced prizes?" NS&I responded to say: "We have not reduced the amount of prizes in June's draw.

"ERNIE (our Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment) generates numbers completely at random. While ERNIE randomly generates winning numbers, he doesn’t store any numbers, so there’s no way any Bonds can be left out of the draw.

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"We match the numbers generated against eligible Bond numbers to determine the lucky winners. Every Bond number has a separate and equal chance each month of winning a prize. The more Bonds you hold the better your chances of winning."

On its website, it explains: "ERNIE, our Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment, is the power behind Premium Bonds. Generating the numbers for 689 million tax-free prizes worth approximately £31 billion since June 1957."

"In 2019, the power behind Premium Bonds was upgraded to the latest generation - ERNIE 5. Unlike previous versions which used thermal noise to produce random numbers, ERNIE 5 is powered by quantum technology, which uses light. This new technology allows ERNIE to produce enough random numbers for a monthly prize draw in around 20 minutes - that's over 20 times faster than its thermal predecessor," it adds.

"Using light, ERNIE 5 generates random numbers that are matched against eligible Bond numbers to determine the lucky winners. And because it’s random, every Bond number, whether it has 8, 9, 10 or 11 digits, has a separate and equal chance of winning a prize."