Security of entries, data, and processing are of utmost importance to Publishers Clearing House.
All entries are processed in an efficient and secure environment. When mail is received at one of the mail processing facilities, it is batched together and assigned a batch date representing the day that the mail was received. All mail is run through an electronic scanner, where the identification numbers are machine-read and sent directly to the PCH mainframe computer's Contest system and stored on the Contest Audit File along with the date the entry was received. Embedded in the identification numbers are information corresponding to the name and address of the entrant, the promotion from which the entry came, and any applicable eligibility information. This sweepstakes entry process takes place whether the returned mail contains an order or not and is completed within one to three days, depending on incoming mail volume.
Any mail that cannot be machine-scanned, either because it was damaged or was an unsolicited entry or order, is manually key-entered and sent to the PCH mainframe computer's Contest System.
Online contest entries are assigned SuperPrize Numbers in daily batch mode processing. The SuperPrize Number information is securely stored on our mainframe computer in the Contest Audit File, along with entrant ID number, entry date and applicable eligibility data. This process takes place whether the online entry contains an order or not.
Quality control checks ensure compliance with processing procedures. Batch processing increases production efficiency and enhances security because all records are counted before and after each step of the process. Access to computer files is limited to authorized personnel only. Each entry on the PCH Contest Audit File has numerous checks and balances to ensure its authenticity. Back up files are stored in a secure off-site location. Contest data is encrypted prior to transmission. Giveaway drawing file output is checked by PCH Contest Administration prior to winner identification. The PCH Board of Officials oversees drawings and procedures to ensure the fair application of the laws of chance and equal treatment for all entries.
A nationally recognized independent auditing firm has been engaged to review the effectiveness of controls over the security and processing integrity of the Publishers Clearing House Contest Processing System in accordance with the Trust Services Sys Trust ® Principles and Criteria established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA). The scope of this review covers Infrastructure, Software, People, Procedures and Data hosted at the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Headquarters in Port Washington, NY. Related processes included are contest promotions that initiate the process of assigning eligible ranges of numbers to valid contests and contest processing procedures, which include:
- Validating the population of eligible entries
- Generating the random winning entry
- Validating the winning entry
- Determining eligibility of the winning entry