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BellaOnline's Contests & Sweepstakes Editor

Is Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes a Scam?

When many people think of sweepstakes, Publishers Clearing House is possibly the first name that comes to mind. Those who are old enough remember late night talk show host Johnny Carson's sidekick Ed McMahon as the official spokesman for years. And who hasn't seen commercials where the famous PCH Prize Patrol is surprising a lucky winner at their home with balloons and a million dollar plus check. But is it a scam or a legitimate sweepstakes?

Company Facts

Publishers Clearinghouse is in fact a legitimate company. It was founded in 1953 as a direct marketer of magazines and other merchandise. In 1967, a sweepstakes was added to increase interest and the rest, as they say, is history. The company has expanded its product offerings and contest opportunities. According to the company website, they're also committed to philanthropic pursuits by donating almost half of their profits to charitable causes.


Because of the sheer size and instant recognition of the PCH brand, it's only natural that there would be scammers latching on to the name and trying to fool unsuspecting entrants out of their money. Two important things to remember if you receive a winner's notification with this or any other sweepstakes are whether you remember entering and if you're being asked to send money to receive your prize.

If you're still not sure, contact Publisher's Clearing House at 1-800-392-4190. You can also forward suspicious emails to abuse@pch.com. PCH isn't a scam. It's just hard to win because of how much competition there is due to the amount of people entering.

Entry Methods

You may still receive those familiar PCH envelopes in the mail with a bunch of items to choose from and stickers to match. You can also enter online at PCH.com. When you enter online, I suggest registering with an email you've set up specifically for sweeps. If you feel your getting too many emails from the company, then you're free to unsubscribe.

No purchase is necessary to enter either way, but when you enter online you will have to go click through several pages of advertisements to complete your entry. There are also instant win games at PCH.com such as PCH search and win, PCH slots, and PCH games. Have fun and good luck!

Source consulted:

PCH Sweepstakes Learning Center, accessed 2013.

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