How to enter Nationwide's new £1m prize draw with just £1

Just days after it announced it had close to doubled its profits to £823million in the year to this April, Britain’s largest building society wants to hand a little of that back.

Nationwide today announced it would launch its fourth savings prize draw in the last 15 months in September, and for the first time it would potentially be open to everyone.

All current and savings account and mortgage customers of the building society in England, Wales and Scotland will be entered into the first prize draw on the second Tuesday of September, unless they opt out.

Nationwide Building Society has launched its fourth savings draw of the last 15 months

Nationwide Building Society has launched its fourth savings draw of the last 15 months

The building society said those who meet the entry criteria ‘as of the last working day of each month will be automatically entered into the prize draw’. 

This means anyone who has a current account, savings account or mortgage by the last working day of August will be entered into the September draw.

As a result, the draw can be entered by opening a current or easy-access savings account with just £1 in order to gain access to the draw, which would cheaper than a lottery ticket.

This would enter them into the prize draw with a chance of winning 8,008 cash prizes worth a collective £1million. 

The top prize is £100,000, while there are two £25,000 prizes, five £10,000 and 8,000 £100 prizes up for grabs.

Each customer is entered once, regardless of how much they hold or have borrowed. 

With 14.2million customers currently eligible, there is a 1,773 to one chance of winning any prize, and a 14.2million to one chance of taking home the £100,000 jackpot.

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Britain’s largest building society has become increasingly fond of prize draw savings accounts over the last 18 months. 

The new Nationwide draw can be entered more cheaply than the National Lottery, currently presented by Stephen Mulhern

The new Nationwide draw can be entered more cheaply than the National Lottery, currently presented by Stephen Mulhern

Last year alone it launched a lottery for Isa savers with a top prize of £20,000, and an easy-access account which offered a quarterly draw with £100 prizes available.

In four of those draws, plus its Isa draw and a separate Mutual Reward Bond prize draw launched in September, it has paid 5,121 prizes worth a collective £4.3million.

With savings rates at close to all-time  lows, some savers might be more attracted to prize draws in the hope of winning larger sums. 

Other savings lotteries are also available, with the most popular National Savings & Investments’ Premium Bonds.

Some 21.4million Britons held the tax-free bonds last month, with £107.8billion collectively stashed away in them.

Up to £50,000 can be held per person, and all eligible £1 bonds are entered into a prize draw each month with the chance of winning up to two £1million prizes. 

Each £1 bond has a 34,500 to one chance of winning any prize, which start from £25.

However, 15.9million savers have failed to win a prize since records began in 2007, according to data revealed by a Freedom of Information request.

Family Building Society, a small mutual based in Epsom, Surrey, also offers its own savings lottery, although its Windfall Bond is not open for new applicants at the moment. It offers a top prize of £50,000 each month, with 21 prizes in total up for grabs.

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However, critics and cynics may argue these feel good prize draws are simply a way for banks and building societies to get out of paying savers a decent rate of interest.

Nationwide Building Society slashed its savings rates last year, and even though the deposits it held nearly doubled to £10.6billion in the 12 months to April 2021, how much it handed back fell massively.

Its ‘member financial benefit’ fell from £735million to £265million, ‘mainly reflecting lower savings rates’, it said in its annual results last week, which was £135million below its £400million target.

The roughly £12million it could pay out in a year through its new savings lottery is just 8.9 per cent of that shortfall by comparison.

The building society’s Louise Prior said: ‘We believe it’s important that lots of members can benefit from the Member Prize Draw, which is why we are giving more than 8,000 members the chance to share in a prize pot of £1million each month.

‘And what’s more, members don’t need to do anything to take part – as long as they have at least one of our mortgages, savings accounts or current accounts then they are automatically entered.’

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