Halifax launching free prize draw for savers

22 September 2011

cash Halifax bank is rapidly restyling itself as the friendliest bank in the ‘hood’ – after ditching the despicable ‘radio show’ adverts in favour of some nicer ones with singing in, they’ve now announced a new prize draw for savers, which all sounds a little bit like an alternative to Premium Bonds.

From December, any customer with more than £5,000 in a Halifax or Bank Of Scotland savings account will be able to opt in to a free monthly prize draw. No questions asked, no strings attached. Each month the bank will hand over three £100,000 prizes, 100 £1,000 prizes, and 1,000 £100 sums – £500,000 in total. Better still, the prizes will be tax-free.

However, the chances of winning the prizes will be fairly slim – the bank says that they’ve got millions of customers with £5k or more in savings accounts (which sounds like boasting to us) but hey, someone has to win it, and it costs nothing to enter.

Of course, you’d have to look at whether you’re getting a decent return on your savings to begin with – it would be easy to look at this as a gimmick in order to attract and/or retain customers. The maths geniuses at The Guardian estimate that if just a million savers registered, the odds of winning any prize would be one in 917, or one in 333,333 for one of the three £100,000 jackpots.

Meanwhile, with Premium Bonds, the odds of winning a prize are 24,000 to one, starting with nearly two million £25 prizes rising to one jackpot of £1 million. If it’s your cup of tea, you can pre-register for the draw at the Halifax website. As ever, Bitterwallet is legally entitled to 30% of your winnings as a result of you reading this story.

There are rumours that winners will receive their big cheque on their doorstep, hand-delivered to them by Howard Brown. Said rumours also suggest that Brown will lick their face like a cat after presenting the cheque. Halifax did not comment on these rumours as we didn’t bother to ask them about them.

TOPICS:   Banking

6 comments

  • Dick
    I don't agree with their maths. If there are 1103 prizes, and assuming any entrant can win more than one prize, then the odds of winning nothing are (999999/1000000)^1103. The probability of winning at least one prize is 1 minus that. That gives odds of 1 in 907 (rounded). If they insist each entrant can win at most one, then the calculation is (999999/1000000)*(999998/999999)*...*(998897/998898), which gives odds of 1 in 907 too (also rounded). So how did they get 917?
  • The B.
    "the bank says that they’ve got millions of customers with £5k or more in savings accounts" Which means they've got loads of customers who are idiots, Halifax have consistently come out at the bottom of every savings rate table since they became a bank. I'm a Halifax customer btw (but not savings, even then they're shit but it's too much hassle to move).
  • Jolyon B.
    Because being an equal opportunities employer the Guardian asked their non able bodied transgender individual with learning difficulties to prepare the mathematical calculation and although the individual got it incorrect they didn't want to damage his self esteem
  • Dick
    I've got £20K+ in a savings account with them. Fixed at 5.8% for four years in 2008. I'm a Dick, not an idiot.
  • james D.
    The odds of winning with premium bonds are 24k to 1 but PER BOND, each one being £1, so if you have 5k of premium bonds that's 4.8 to 1
  • zeddy
    I'd like them to tell me where IF.com account holders stand, but I can already guess their reply...

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