Inside the mind of NS&I's Agent Million who delivers £1million cheques to the public

Winning the £1million Premium Bonds jackpot is an amazing feeling – but a secretive person has the best job in the world and gets to share that joy every month.

That’s because if you win the top monthly prize on the lottery run by National Savings & Investments (NS&I), you get told in person – and the person who does that is known as Agent Million.

The identity of Agent Million is a tightly-guarded secret, to protect them and the winners they visit – but The Mirror has managed to secure a rare interview with the undercover operative.

In a candid interview, Agent Million reveals how winners find out the good news, how they react – and how much they get paid.

Agent Million is actually part of a small team who take it in turns to find and inform two lucky NS&I customers every month that they have won £1million.

Have you had a visit from Agent Million? Message

The role is carried out by a crack team of existing NS&I staff who are hand-picked for having the right skills for the role.

© Alamy Stock Photo ns&i premium bonds uk

One of Agent Million’s handlers said: “They have to be brilliant communicators. They’ve got to have a warmth and an empathy, and build up trust quickly. They’ve got to have those essential skills to read a situation and adapt accordingly.”

But taking the role is not done lightly, as it has to stay a secret – even from other NS&I staff, who consider being picked to be an Agent Million a rare honour.

If they accept, they go through a tough training programme under the guidance of an experienced Agent Million, then go out and do it by themselves.

The Agent Million we speak to is a middle-aged woman who keeps her face hidden.

She took up the role in February 2015, and says she has travelled to every part of the country letting new millionaires know they’ve won big.

She said how people react is total pot luck, ranging from disbelief to joy.

“I’m always well prepared, but because I’ve never met that person before I don’t know how they are going to react,” she said. “Every winner is absolutely individual. We get stunned silence, whooping and cheering, full-on euphoria, some are shaking or crying.

“But we have to have that skillset to gain the customer’s confidence. It’s about reassurance. If the winners don’t believe me they can always telephone the office so my ID can be verified.”

Some winners in particular stand out to Agent Million.

© Getty Images Some people are so shocked they refuse to believe it

One lucky winner in her early seventies was gobsmacked, and told Agent Million that her lucky win had been predicted years earlier.

“She was telling us a tale that when she was younger she visited a psychic, who told her to invest in Premium Bonds and she’d get a big prize, but later on in life,” Agent Million explained. “So she invested a little over £1,000 and there she was, aged in her early seventies, and winning big on the Premium Bonds .”

Another winner, in his late teens, bagged the £1million jackpot with Premium Bonds bought using money his grandmother left him in her will.

“It was the evening and he’d not been long up that day, after being out the night before,” Agent Million said.

“His grandma had actually left a legacy for him which was invested in Premium Bonds. The winning bond came from the legacy his grandma had left him.”

But another £1million winner was so suspicious they wouldn’t even open the door.

“One customer I went out to visit with a new colleague, but unfortunately the customer didn’t believe anything I was saying to them and we were having a conversation through the letterbox,” Agent Million said.

“Eventually our reassurance put the customer at ease and we moved into the back garden. Once I’d actually delivered the news, the customer said ‘That’s it, we’re not sitting out here anymore, let’s go into the house for some tea to calm ourselves down’.”

An elderly lady had won £100,000. She called us, and was very very excited. But she was desperate to tell us she also had a £500 and £25 prize that month.

Another example was a lady calling in. She was telling us a tale that when she was younger she visited a psychic, who told her to invest in Premium Bonds and she’d get a big prize, but later on in life. So she invested a little over £1,000 and there she was, aged in her early 70s, and won big on the Premium Bonds.

If you are ever contacted by Agent Million it will be a surprise until the very last second.

That’s because they basically wear disguises by changing what they wear depending on where they are visiting.

Agent Million said: “For obvious reasons I can’t identify what I look like – I have to stay anonymous for the winners’ security and my own.

“But we do a lot of research on the area and I try to dress inconspicuously to fit into the environment.

“I don’t want the neighbours to start twitching the curtains, I have to be part of the environment and look like a friend or relative. It’s always neat and tidy – no jeans, nothing like that – but it’s about blending in.”

Agent Million can even come across as slightly restrained.

“I know I probably come across as really, really nervous – because I am,” she said. “It’s about how am I going to be seen, things like that. I’ve got a Fitbit on and I can see how my heart rate goes up.

“But once the winner has calmed down and gone down a few pegs I can be more myself.”

Due to the Covid pandemic Agent Million cannot visit people face to face. She won’t reveal how they have been contacting people, apart from to say: “We still successfully deliver the two jackpot prize winners every month. Covid has not stopped Ernie from spreading the good news.”

Some might assume that the person who has to travel up and down the country visiting millionaires might be well paid themselves.

But nothing is further from the truth – Agent Million is not paid at all, above their salary for their other NS&I role.

“There is no extra payment, I do it for the love of the job,” she said. “I am so proud to be able to represent NS&I and Ernie and inform the customer that they’ve won that money. If the opportunity ever came I’d do the millionaire job every single day.”

Agent Million’s handler is adamant that the personal touch of delivering the good news in person – or as close as possible – is here to stay.

“It’s a way of engaging with our customers, and it’s just such a wonderful thing and a life-changing moment,” they explained.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Sinclair Broadcast Group hit by ransomware attack

Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the nation’s largest television station operators, announced Monday that it had been hit by a ransomware attack over the weekend that resulted in data theft ... Read more »

Is hurricane season dead? Or could La Niña help provide one last punch

As we get into the latter part of the busiest three-month period of hurricane season (August, September, October), can we start to take a deep breath and exhale? © CNN ... Read more »

Venezuela envoy Alex Saab to be arraigned in U.S. court on money laundering charges

© Reuters/LEONARDO FERNANDEZ VILORIA Wife of extradited Venezuelan envoy Saab addresses the media in Caracas (Reuters) – Alex Saab, a businessman accused of laundering money on behalf of Venezuela’s government, ... Read more »

Belarus Kicks Out French Ambassador After EU Fails to Recognize Lukashenko's Re-election

Belarus has ordered French Ambassador Nicolas de Lacoste to leave the country as France and the European Union continue to fail to recognize Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s re-election victory last ... Read more »

Nuclear power too costly, too slow, so it's zero use to Australia's emissions plan

The catch-22 of nuclear power in Australia is that you would only consider it if you wanted to reduce emissions because of climate change, but if you agree climate change ... Read more »

Covid: UK daily cases soar to nearly 50,000 – highest in three months

© Independent Breaking News The UK has recorded nearly 50,000 new coronavirus infections, marking the largest daily rise since lockdown rules ended in England three months ago. For the sixth ... Read more »

What is Furikake, the Nutty-Salty-Savory-Seaweedy Japanese Sprinkle?

© Photo by Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Cyd McDowell While the Japanese have been turning fish into dried flakes for hundreds of years, furikake—a seasoning with a distinctly nutty ... Read more »

Best Elliptical Machines for Low-Impact Workouts

Runners can gain huge fitness benefits from using elliptical machines, particularly on rest days or while recovering from injuries. The steady resistance you get from an elliptical machine’s pedals puts ... Read more »

Australian politician rips into Sen. Ted Cruz for mocking COVID-19 vaccine requirements: 'We don't need your lectures, thanks mate'

© Ken Cedeno/AFP via Getty Images Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas Ken Cedeno/AFP via Getty Images An Australian politician slammed Sen. Ted Cruz after he mocked his government’s vaccine mandate. “Individual ... Read more »

'We dodged a bullet': California oil spill could have decimated Huntington Beach. Why didn't it?

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – As sheets of oil washed on shore, the mayor of this surfing hub made a dire forecast: The community could be looking at an environmental disaster that could ... Read more »

7 Common Nausea Causes—and How to Treat Them

Is there anything worse than a bout of nausea? We think not. Nausea—which is the queasy and uncomfortable feeling that happens just before vomiting—can make it difficult to work, eat, ... Read more »

UK daily Covid cases rise by biggest total in three months as infection increase by 49,156

THE UK's daily Covid cases have risen by the largest amount in three months, as 49,156 infections were recorded. The dramatic spike in cases marks the most substantial increase since ... Read more »

Amazon KN95 masks made in the USA are in stock

© Provided by BGR KN95 Mask Amazon Among our readers, Amazon KN95 masks are more popular than anything else since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. KN95 masks on Amazon ... Read more »

Bella Thorne Breaks Red Carpet Rules in Safety Pin Gown With a Daring Thigh-High Slit and Slingback Pumps for ‘Time Is Up' Premiere

© / MEGA BellaThorne Bella Thorne brought her bold style to the premiere of “Time Is Up” at the Auditorium Conciliazione in Rome. For the occasion, the “Shake It ... Read more »

NHS driver raging after workmen turn her £1,600 dropped kerb into ‘eyesore'

A NHS driver has branded a water company ‘a joke’ after they botched a £1,600 job to drop a kerb. Tracy Mock asked for the manhole outside her house to ... Read more »

Vic mayor returns to anti-corruption probe

A mayor of a council in Melbourne’s northeast who has admitted to branch stacking will continue giving evidence at an anti-corruption inquiry.  © PR HANDOUT IMAGE PHOTO Former Labor mayor ... Read more »

Encore bug allows Apex Legends players to exploit invisible wall

A new bug has surfaced on Apex Legends‘ Encore map that throws a wrench into Arenas. © Provided by Dot Esports The bug, demonstrated by keanetjd on Reddit last week, ... Read more »

Former security services executives plead guilty to rigging bids for U.S. security contracts

(Reuters) – Two former employees of security company G4S Secure Solutions NV pleaded guilty to criminal antitrust charges stemming from their involvement in a conspiracy to rig bids, fix prices, ... Read more »

Walmart-backed Symbotic, SoftBank SPAC in talks for $4.5 billion merger - Sky News

(Reuters) – Walmart Inc-backed robotics and automation company Symbotic is in talks to merge with a blank-check vehicle backed by SoftBank Group Corp in a deal that would value the ... Read more »

Burundi launches COVID-19 vaccination drive

Burundi‘s President elect Evariste Ndayishimiye takes oath of office during his inauguration ceremony at the Ingoma stadium in Gitega BUJUMBURA (Reuters) – Burundi on Monday rolled out its first COVID-19 ... Read more »

Masks and outdoor still the best way to make holiday gatherings safe, says CDC

Americans should wear masks and consider celebrating Thanksgiving outside this year, federal officials have advised, amid calls for more people to take both vaccine doses ahead of the holiday. © ... Read more »

Bitcoin price – live: Crypto analyst makes ‘parabolic' prediction as BTC nears all-time high

LIVE – Updated at 17:23 © Getty Images bitcoin price crypto ethereum.jpg The price of bitcoin is rapidly closing in on a new all-time high after another surge at the ... Read more »

First News: The Climate Challenge with message from HRH Prince Charles

© Prince of Wales gives his message about saving the planet THE CLIMATE CHALLENGE With First News The UK’s only children’s newspaper, First News, and JPI are working together to ... Read more »

Alvarado man accused in traffic deaths of Good Samaritan, pregnant woman, unborn child

An Alvarado man was in custody Monday in connection with the Saturday traffic deaths of a Good Samaritan, a pregnant woman and her unborn child on a Texas 360 service ... Read more »

Landbank chips in P10.42 billion for COVID-19 use

© STAR/File Landbank chips in P10.42 billion for COVID-19 use MANILA, Philippines — State-run Land Bank of the Philippines has issued $205.27 million (around P10.42 billion) in Retail Dollar Bonds ... Read more »

Women on reality TV shows get far more abuse online than men – study

Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Women reality TV contestants are far more likely to be targeted for abuse by online trolls than men, new research reveals. Women of colour are particularly vulnerable ... Read more »

GOP Senator Thinks Donald Trump Will Not Even Win Nomination for President in 2024

Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) believes Donald Trump could lose the race for the White House if he runs for president in 2024, and not even make the final national vote. ... Read more »

Australia's trash tide: researchers studied 20m pieces of beach rubbish, and found a lot of plastic

Plastic makes up 84% of the rubbish found on Australian beaches, according to analysis of a decade of clean-up efforts by more than 150,000 citizen scientists. © Provided by The ... Read more »

Facebook says Craig Kelly's content on United Australia Party page OK after banning MP

Facebook says the United Australia Party’s page does not violate the social media giant’s community standards despite carrying prominent content from Craig Kelly, whose accounts have been banned for breaching ... Read more »

Joc Pederson continues to mash in MLB playoffs with ‘stolen' Anthony Rizzo bat

The explanation behind Joctober may start with Anthony Rizzo. Joc Pederson, the red-hot Braves outfielder, has been using the bat of Rizzo, his teammate with the Cubs until this July, ... Read more »

‘My friend': Israeli foreign affairs minister Lapid thanks Jaishankar for visit

© Provided by Hindustan Times Union external affairs minister S Jaishankar (C) alongside current Yad Vashem Ccairman Dani Dayan (R) attend a ceremony at the Hall of Remembrance in Jerusalem’s ... Read more »

Save up to 57% on Sony headphones during Amazon's Epic Daily Deals sale

NYPost Composite Tune in now, or miss this deal on top notch headphones and earbuds from Sony. As part of Amazon’s Epic Daily Deals, Sony is getting in on the ... Read more »

Internet services suspended in parts of Kashmir Valley following recent civilian killings

© Provided by Zee News Srinagar: Mobile Internet services were suspended in parts of the Kashmir Valley as a precautionary measure on Monday (October 18). In the Srinagar district, the ... Read more »

Karnataka Congress calls PM Modi illiterate, sparks row

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: File) Ahead of the bypolls to two constituencies in Karnataka on October 30, the Karnataka Congress attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the ruling BJP ... Read more »

All six members of family spanning three generations killed in Kerala floods

© Provided by Zee News Chennai: In a tragic incident that took place in Kerala’s Kottayam district, all six members of a family lost their lives in the flood and ... Read more »