How Did the Prize Patrol Get Started?
Just over twenty years ago, Todd Sloane, an assistant in the PCH advertising department, came to me and said, “I have an idea.”
“What is it?” I asked as I sat in my office minutes after we had conducted a drawing for a Million Dollar SuperPrize.
“Well,” he said, “you’re about to place a phone call to a guy in Texas to tell him he won a million dollars. Then maybe you’ll bring him to New York and film a TV commercial where he’ll sit woodenly in front of a camera and say something like ‘I just won a million dollars in the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes – You can too.’ I think we could make more exciting TV advertising if we surprised him with the Big Check at his front door.”
The idea seemed a bit outrageous; but Todd volunteered to experiment with his amateur camcorder; so we flew to the winner’s home in Texas to give it a try.
Well, the winner John Yancy and his wife Julie gave us a surprise reaction that was, in a word, classic. They screamed, they jumped up and down, they held their heads in disbelief. And a TV commercial emerged from the shaky camera footage that set the course of Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes TV advertising ever since. Todd and I founded the PCH Prize Patrol to personally deliver roses, balloons and Big Checks – which since 1989 have numbered nearly a thousand! That’s a lot of miles – and over $221 million in prize money!
Naturally, we are happy with the popularity of the Prize Patrol, the excitement it has brought to our mailings and TV ads, and the joy it has brought to so many winners – far and wide – over the years.
Twenty years ago a person who wanted to win our contests had to enter the PCH Sweepstakes by mail. That’s no longer the case. While our mailed Bulletins are gratefully received in many households, more and more Americans are turning to the web to visit Publishers Clearing House.
Of course, you know that because you are reading our PCH Blog. And you probably want to win too! So let’s get started.
Just click here to enter the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes online. Have fun playing PCH’s online games. Watch the Prize Patrol in action at PCHTV.com.
PCH PRIZE PATROL
(P.S.: By the way, Todd continued to come up with bright ideas at PCH and is now one of our top executives.)