If America Adopted the Premium Bonds Program
The British have found a unique way to invest their money. By buying premium bonds the citizens of Britain can enter their bond numbers into a lottery each month and have a chance to win over a million pounds. There are millions of other cash prizes that awarded to the bond numbers drawn and this cash prize is seen to be better than interest generated from traditional savings program. The system is so popular more than a third of the country invests this way. The investor can pull out their money at any time and there is not penalty or cost to do so. The money invested is used by the government to fund projects and at the same time give their citizens a chance to be millionaires.
What would happen if this system was used in the United States? Premium bonds would be a welcome financial opportunity for American citizens. The current lottery system is taking in millions of dollars across the country but there are few winners. Once you buy a lottery ticket you don’t get your money back and you lose that dollar. This is gambling and not investing. The odds of winning an American lottery are astronomical. One person in Florida in 1999 bought ten thousand lottery tickets. After the numbers were pulled, the person only won eight hundred and sixty three dollars. The investor lost over nine thousand dollars in taking a huge chance of winning the twenty three million dollar prize.
This would not happen with premium bonds. Thought the prize money is not as huge as the American lottery, the British investor would have twelve chances to win a million pounds over the course of a year. The chances of winning less amounts are even greater. The British citizen is allowed to invest up to thirty thousand pounds into the system and if they don’t win they can take their money out anytime they want. They lose nothing for their investment. This way the premium bond market is not considered gambling and the investor can be assured that their nest egg will remain in place.
The problem with premium bonds coming to America is that the government will have to restructure their thinking of how to save and distribute the funds. They are making millions now without having to do anything but have the weekly lottery and pay off the winners. They pocket out the cash without having the responsibility of letting people have the opportunity to save. Church groups and other anti-gambling groups will win a victory as they will look at the investment opportunity as a savings plan and not a gambling operation.
Unlike the British system where the investors purchase their bonds from the post office the postal service in the United States would probably be overwhelmed if they had to take responsibility for the program. The United States would probably benefit by selling premium bonds online and have an agency that deposits and awards the prizes. This would take a lot of planning but the American population would definitely embrace it.