Premium Bonds - The Reply

National Savings and Investments reply (very promptly I must add - kudos for that) to my questions about waste:

"I understand your frustration at receiving your prizes in separate envelopes, and also your comments on saving the environment. Unfortunately as the prizes are drawn electronically by ERNIE, he does not recognise holders numbers and does not have the facility to merge all prizes won by individual customers.

As we send out 1.8 million separate prizes it would be virtually impossible to check if a customer has won more than once in every single prize draw that takes place. There is no manual intervention in the despatch of the prizes as they are all despatched from our computer centre."

  1. I'm not entirely convinced ERNIE is a man. Bit picky here but I've always wanted to find an excuse to use the word "anthropomorphism". Now I have. If he's a man, he must be a very busy one.
  2. The second paragraph sort of suggests they think I'm expecting them to do this by hand. 1.8 million isn't really that big a number in this day and age. Is it? How about something like:
 SELECT [Holders].[Name], sum([WinningBonds].[WinAmount]) AS [Winnings] 
     [Bonds] ON [Holders].[HolderId] = [Bonds].[HolderId] INNER JOIN 
     [WinningBonds] ON [Bonds].[BondNumber] = [WinningBonds].[BondNumber]
GROUP BY [Holders].[Name]
ORDER BY [Winnings]

I'm not sure I'll get very far by going back and suggesting that though... Oh well, I did try, sort of.

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