Are Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Scams?
How PCH Sweepstakes Work & Whether They're Worth Entering
Everyone's heard of the million-dollar sweepstakes SuperPrize Giveaways from PCH, but should you enter them? Are they worth the effort? Are PCH Sweepstakes real or scams? Find out everything you need to know to decide whether to spend your time on giveaways from Publishers Clearing House.
Has Anyone Ever Really Won?
Some people worry that because they don't know anyone who's ever won, the prizes are never awarded and that PCH sweepstakes are frauds. Others can't imagine how a company could legitimately give away such big prizes on a regular basis and still stay in business. But neither of these issues indicates that PCH is a scam.
You probably don't know any SuperPrize winners because a ton of people enter and few are chosen as winners. Your Aunt Martha who has entered every day for 30 years is just one of millions upon millions of people doing the same thing. And out of the hundreds of millions of entries, only a small handful of SuperPrize winners are chosen each year (though thousands more win smaller prizes through PCH).
If you'd like to hear about one of these lucky few, meet Natalie Bostelman. She was skeptical at first, too.
"I was a little suspicious because I'd received the letter from Publishers Clearing House, but I was trying not to get too excited," Bostelman told us. "So they arrived at my business and surprised me with the big check, the champagne, the flowers, and the balloons. I fell down on the ground and screamed like a fool."
As for how PCH can afford to give away such big prizes, it comes down to marketing. The SuperPrize Giveaways have made PCH a household name across America. Some companies try to brand themselves through costly marketing purchases like running Super Bowl ad campaigns or renaming sports arenas after themselves. PCH does it by giving prizes away.
People Really Do Win Prizes From PCH Sweepstakes
The good news is that Publishers Clearing House's sweepstakes really are legitimate. The bad news is that it is extremely hard to win their mega prizes.
PCH runs a variety of big creative presentation sweepstakes that give away millions of dollars every year. Those prizes are fairly awarded as advertised. But the PCH giveaways are so famous and so many people enter them that the odds of winning are exceptionally long—about 2.4 billion to one to win the SuperPrize.
Your odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are better. You're also significantly more likely to die in an asteroid strike, become a movie star, or be drafted by the NBA.
You might enjoy taking that chance — after all, it costs you nothing and the sliver of a chance of hitting a jackpot might be worth the short time it takes to fill out the entry form — but the best sweepstakes to enter are usually the ones that are not as well-known.
Beware of PCH Imposter Scams
Although PCH's sweepstakes are legitimate, you should be cautious if you receive a prize notification claiming to come from PCH. Publisher's Clearing House is very careful about how they notify their winners, to differentiate themselves from scammers who are using their name.
Imposters try to convince their victims that they're legitimate by sending letters or emails that look like they come from Publishers Clearing House. These scams can seem official, using the real PCH logos and employee names, but they are fakes.
If you receive a "win" notification from Publishers Clearing House, ask yourself a few important questions. Do you remember entering this giveaway? Is the sender really Publishers Clearing House? Check the email address, telephone numbers, and names to see if they look legitimate, then double-check them against the PCH information that's available online.
Is the sender asking for money, a credit card number, or a bank account number? Some seemingly odd things are normal when you win sweepstakes, but others are not.
Does the prize have a high value? PCH doesn't contact winners of prizes worth more than a couple of hundred dollars by email, bulk mail, or telephone. They appear in person or send a certified letter.
If you're still unsure, Publishers Clearing House has a toll-free number that you can call to verify any prize notification you receive from them. Call 1-877-3SWEEPS (1-877-379-3377) Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to check if you've really won.
If you've received a sweepstakes spam phone call claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House, the Federal Trade Commission advises that you hang up immediately and report the scam to them. You can also report to PCH — they track scams that use their name.
Is It Worth Your Time to Enter PCH Sweepstakes?
There are some good reasons to add PCH's giveaways to your daily sweepstakes routine. PCH offers truly life-changing prizes that are fun to dream about winning. And although the odds are extremely long, at least you don't have to pay to enter, like you must with lotteries.
Remember that you don't have to win a SuperPrize to benefit from PCH giveaways. Aside from their multi-million-dollar giveaways, Publishers Clearing House also offers several other drawings and many of them have better odds. PCH Search and Win gives away prizes every few minutes, and PCH Games lets you win prizes and tokens just for playing online games.
On the downside, PCH sweepstakes take quite some time to enter and often have multiple offers that you must opt out of receiving if they don't appeal that you. Even if you think you correctly opted out, you might receive unwanted email or postal mail. You'll have to take even more time to unsubscribe from them.
To decide whether PCH sweepstakes are right for you, weigh whether a slim chance of winning an enormous prize is worth the trouble of entering and managing unwanted marketing messages.
How Do You Enter Publishers Clearing House's Sweepstakes?
There are three main ways to enter PCH sweepstakes: online, by mail, or by telephone.
To enter online, you can find the entry details for the current PCH SuperPrize Sweepstakes here. You can visit PCH.com directly, and you can also enter through other PCH properties like Search and Win or PCH Games. See the Top Ways to Win with PCH for more details.
To enter by mail, you can respond to a PCH mailing that they have sent to you, or you can send your entry to Publishers Clearing House, 101 Winners Circle Jericho, NY 11753.
To enter by telephone, call 1-800-566-4724 with your PCH Customer ID.
If you'd like more information about how to get in touch with PCH, how to unsubscribe from unwanted emails, and how to get more answers to your questions, Publishers Clearing House's website has a whole list of contact numbers.
PCH.com, "How Can PCH Give Away All That Money?" Accessed Oct. 22, 2019.
Tulane University, "Meteorites, Impacts, and Mass Extinctions," Prof. Stephen A. Nelson. Accessed October 22, 2019.
Chron.com, "Statistics on People Getting Famous in Acting". Accessed Oct. 22, 2019.
NCAA.org, "Estimated probability of competing in professional athletics". Accessed Oct. 22, 2019.