Alexa, am I a March Premium Bond millionaire?
The first winning bond belongs to a man from Somerset with the bond number 256SE420168. He holds the maximum amount of £50,000 in Premium Bonds.
The second millionaire is a woman from Buckinghamshire, who holds £33,116 in Premium Bonds, and has the bond number 272TH828201.
The numbers were picked by new machine, ERNIE 5. It is powered by quantum technology, which means that it uses light to produce random numbers. In contrast, previous ERNIEs used thermal noise to pick winning numbers.
The new technology allowed ERNIE to produce enough random numbers for March’s prize draw in 12 minutes, which compares to nine hours for ERNIE 4.
Premium Bond holders will also be able to use technology to check prizes. For example, this month they will be able to use Amazon’s Alexa for the first time, the prize checker on nsandi.com, as well as the official Premium Bonds prize checker app.
“Premium Bonds are as popular as ever before and ERNIE has been an integral part of that journey, changing the lives of millions of our customers since 1957,” said Ian Ackerley, NS&I chief executive.
“But ERNIE and Premium Bonds are also moving with the times; ERNIE, using quantum technology, will now be able to generate the millions of numbers required at a much faster pace, continuing to give customers a chance to have some fun while having a secure place for their savings,” he added.
Since last month, it has been possible to buy Premium Bonds with a minimum investment of £25. They can be bought as a gift for children under 16 by parents and grandparents.