Winning money is a dream come true for many people who like to enter sweepstakes and contests. There are several companies which run contests or sweepstakes every year with cash prizes, including Publishers Clearing House, which is also known as PCH.

What is PCH?

PCH is a direct marketing company which sells magazine subscriptions and markets them by offering sweepstakes and games offering cash and other prizes. The company has been in business since 1953 and started running their sweepstakes in 1967. They now own several other businesses, including an online gaming company called Funtank.

Publishers Clearing House Logo

How Does PCH Work?

Any adult can enter PCH sweepstakes or play games offered on their website. They can also enter sweepstakes after receiving a direct mail promotion by either going to the website or mailing in their entry. Each giveaway has “Official Rules” posted on the website or in the material they mail out.

Each giveaway has an assigned number so they can be tracked, but there can be different promotions under the same giveaway number that offer smaller cash prizes. For instance, PCH may offer a million-dollar prize under the main giveaway number, but then they could have promotions offering smaller cash prizes with different entry deadlines. Each promotion also has a unique number so everything can be tracked.


Publishers Clearing House offers a variety of prizes for giveaways and promotions. The main and the most popular prize is cash. However, they also reward automobiles, tablet computers, and gift cards. The cash prizes vary from small amounts like $10 up to $2 million dollars or more. They also have many sweepstakes offering prizes like $7,000 a month for life.

There has been some concern that the sweepstakes giveaways are a Publishers Clearing House scam to get people to buy magazines or merchandise, so they have a better chance to win. However, the company states on its website that purchases do not give entrants any advantages.

The PCH website also offers several different games, including token games in which players can win small cash prizes or additional tokens to redeem for other prizes. Some of the other games include casino games like slots and blackjack, arcade and carnival games, and a lottery, all which offer cash prizes.

Ways to Win

PCH offers many ways to win cash besides their sweepstakes. They have several games on their website offering players a chance to win cash and other prizes.

Sweepstakes – Publishers Clearing House runs several sweepstakes throughout the year. Some of them offer small amounts like $1,000 or $2,000, but they also offer sweepstakes worth millions of dollars, including one with a $10 million prize.

PCH Search & Win

PCH has a search engine on their website to look up any information you wish. Along with search results, you win tokens in increments of $5,000 for using it during the week, Monday through Friday. So, Monday you would get $5,000 tokens for conducting a search, Tuesday is $10,000, etc.

PCH Games

There are many opportunities to win smaller cash prizes on the games page. By playing an arcade or carnival game, you play for $1,000 or $2,500. Cash can be won by playing the casino games, blackjack, and slots, or they also run tournaments offering larger prizes like $10,000. Finally, they have token games for which players win tokens and small cash prizes like $100.

PCH Lotto

The lotto games are played like the regular lottery in which you pick numbers to win the jackpot. The main lottery is a daily drawing that has a growing jackpot worth several million dollars, but there are other daily lotteries for smaller amounts like $500, $2,500 or $10,000.

Facebook Contests

If you become a fan of PCH on Facebook, you will have several opportunities to win cash or token prizes. They have Facebook widgets, like the Share and Win widget, which allows you to spin and win instant prizes. Put the widget on your page to allow others to spin and win as well.


When a winner is selected in one of PCH's sweepstakes, they must fill out an Affidavit of Eligibility. It is a legal document which:

  • States the winner is not an employee or principal of the company nor do they work for any of its affiliates, subsidiaries or contest processers nor have family members who do. It also states they are not a member of the board of judges.
  • The winner also gives permission to have their name and likeness used to let the public know the awards PCH offers are legitimate.

Is Publishers Clearing House Legit or a Scam?

After seeing some of the prizes being offered, many people want to know is Publishers Clearing House for real? Their concerns are not only because of the amount of money given away, but because of lawsuits the company settled for “deceptive marketing.”

After doing some research about their sweepstakes, games and the company, our conclusion is PCH is legitimate and not a scam. They do need to comply with the lawsuit settlement, so they no longer use terms like “guaranteed winner,” but they inform entrants “you have not won yet” and “buying won’t help you win.”

Prize Patrol

Although there is a “Prize Patrol,” PCH sends them out at their discretion, so they do not appear at every winner’s doorstep.

Tips to Avoid “PCH Scams”

To avoid any scam, always read the materials you receive or the website carefully. Some companies will disguise promotions by making them look like winner notifications from PCH even though they are not affiliated with the company.

If you are asked to pay for your winnings, then it is a scam. PCH doesn’t ask for credit card numbers, banking account information or for you to pay taxes before getting any winnings from them. PCH informs winners by posting their names on their website, sending them a notification by mail or, occasionally with an appearance from the Prize Patrol. They do not send emails or checks through the mail.

What to Do If You’ve Been Scammed

If you have been scammed by another company disguising themselves as Publishers Clearing House, you need to contact the company. Publishers Clearing House scams are conducted by other companies, but PCH wants to be informed about them.

Contact PCH – you can contact the company through:

    • Live Chat with customer service representatives on
    • Customer Service answers questions on their web page.
    • Phone – Call them regarding scams at 1-800-392-4190.
    • Mail a letter to their headquarters at:
      • Publishers Clearing House

101 Winners Circle

Port Washington, NY 11050

Unsubscribe from Emails

If you want to stop getting promotional emails from PCH, go to the bottom of an email and click “unsubscribe.” You can also go to their website and select the “Ask Us” form, then “Account Updates.” From there you can unsubscribe from emails and stop receiving notifications via mail by clicking “Remove from Mail/Email.”

How to Enter to Win

If you would like to enter sweepstakes or other giveaways, simply go to their website and fill out the online entry forms. Registration is not required, but registering allows you to start winning tokens and gives you access to other games.