Myths vs. Facts

There are many common misconceptions about Publishers Clearing House. Find out what's false and what's true.

Does buying help you win?

No Purchase is Necessary to enter or win our famous PCH sweepstakes. As outlined in our Official Rules and as stated in the SweepsFacts insert included with every PCH promotional mailing: Buying Won’t Help You Win. Your chances of winning without a purchase are the same as the chances of someone who buys something. It would not be lawful to give any advantage to buyers in a Sweepstakes. You may be interested to know that many of our SuperPrize winners won with a non-order entry!

Has Ed McMahon ever been a spokesperson for PCH?

Contrary to popular belief, Ed McMahon has never been a spokesperson for our company, and has never had any affiliation with Publishers Clearing House. Mr. McMahon worked for American Family Publishers, which is no longer in business. PCH puts its TV advertising spotlight on real sweepstakes winners who are surprised and videotaped live by PCH employees that make up the Prize Patrol.

Are the winners in our TV commercials real winners or actors?

The winners you see in our TV commercials are not actors! They are real winners surprised live by our famous PCH Prize Patrol. To see winner footage please visit

Do you really give away all that money?

All prizes are guaranteed to be awarded as stated in the Official Rules. Since 1967, when the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes started, over $285 million in prizes has been awarded.

How can you afford to give away all that money?

All prizes are funded by company revenues derived from the sale of our varied merchandise and magazine offers.

No one in my area ever wins; no one my age ever wins; only people with nice houses win; minorities never win.

Over the years we have awarded over $285 million in prize awards to people from all walks of life; all across the US and Canada; folks with varied ethnic and economic backgrounds; living in apartments, mobile homes, private homes, on farms; young folks, seniors and every age in between. We even awarded a winner on the tundra in Alaska, and one time found our winner in mid-air – while flying on a plane! Prize winners are selected in an unbiased manner that assures an equal chance for all entries.

How can you afford to give away so much money when you only sell magazines?

PCH has evolved from a sweepstakes-driven magazine agent to a company that is largely product-driven. In the 1980’s at the urging of PCH’s customers, the company began offering quality merchandise. Now, in addition to our great magazine subscription offers, you can find a wide variety of general merchandise, housewares, videos/DVDs, music, coins, collectibles, books, jewelry, horticulture, gift foods, inspirational items, and personal care products included in PCH’s offers. Another source of revenue for the company comes from advertising on PCH’s online properties.

Is Publishers Clearing House affiliated with Readers Digest? Is PCH related to Sweepstakes Clearing House?

Our company has become a well-known, recognizable household name. We are famous for our promotional mailers, our online site at, and of course our famous “Prize Patrol,” complete with the Prize Patrol van, balloons, champagne and oversized checks. We have no affiliation with Readers Digest or Sweepstakes Clearing House. And, consumers should beware of imitators and operators who invent names that try to sound like ours. For more information on how to protect yourself from sweepstakes scams click here.

Do non-order entries have the same chance of winning as those with orders?

No purchase is necessary to enter or win. Non-orders have the same chance of winning as those with orders. By law, a legitimate sweepstakes prohibits a purchase or payment of a fee (or ‘consideration’) as a condition of entering and winning a promotional giveaway. This regulation, along with an advisory that a purchase won’t improve any individual’s chance of winning, is prominently displayed in all mailings. Our records show that many of our SuperPrize awards were won by entries without an order!