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Here is how much was won on Prize Bonds last year

The amount has increased significantly over the past three years as people sought safe places to put their money.

Picture posed by model
Picture posed by model
Image: Happy girl with money via Shutterstock

A TOTAL OF €46 million was handed out in Prize Bond prizes in 2012 – €10 million more than was awarded just two years previously.

The increase in prizes accompanied a dramatic boost in the amount of money people placed in Prize Bonds as consumers sought safe places to save their money in the wake of the economic crisis.

The total value of prize bonds at the end of December 2012 was €1.6 billion, up from €1.4 billion in 2011 and €1.3 billion in 2010.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan told the Dáil that €36 million was awarded in prizes in 2010, €42 million in 2011 and €46 million in 2012.

However the prizes look set to fall this year as the NTMA, which issues the bonds, has changed the formula it uses to calculate the overall number of prizes on offer. Up until 3 January, the prize jackpot was approximately 3 per cent of the total number of bonds issued; from 4 January this dropped to 2.25 per cent.

The move will not affect the biggest prizes. The top prize of €1 million, which is paid out once a month, the €20,000 which is paid every other week, and the five prizes of €1,000 each week remain unchanged but the other lower value prizes have been adjusted to take account of the new 2.25 per cent rate.

There will now be 500 prizes of €100 and more than 8,200 prizes of €50. Previously there were ten prizes of €250 and more than 9,000 prizes of €75.

Prize Bonds were first awarded in March 1957.

Read: 8 things you (probably) didn’t know about Prize Bonds >

Read: Prize Bond prizes to to fall as cost of borrowing goes down >

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