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.

Good luck!

Dave Sayer

Executive Director

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.)


41 thoughts on “How Did the Prize Patrol Get Started?”

  1. Wendell Ellison SR. says:

    would love to win, but good luck to everyone.

  2. Rosemary Portokalis says:

    Thank you for the gift prize sent. that I was really surprized. storms yesterday sure messed up reception. thank you for the oppertunity to play the games. MY Great grandchild got my mail and she got a gift because she was excited when she seen the letter, she is learning to read K start
    got my fingers crossed and hope the dream comes true good luck to everyone!!

  3. Awesome prize patrol

  4. Debbie Corley says:

    PCH gwy no 6900,6650,6085,6086,4950,7028,6884, win it all.

  5. Brenda Nelson says:

    IN IT TO WIN IT. PCH FAN WHO WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOU SMILING AND SHARING JOY AND SMILES AT MY DOOR ONE DAY. GIVINBACK IF I HOLD THE PCH FOREVER PRIZE. SHARING WINNINGS. A LADY NEEDS A HOME. KEEPING THE FAITH. THANKS FOR THE CHANCE. I ENTER DAILY.

    1. ALTON FINCH says:

      GODD LUCK BRENDA. I HOPE YOU WIN THE BIG ONE. KEEP TRYING AND NEVER GIVE UP.

  6. Glad it was switched up to show the winners at home.

  7. I would love to be surprised.

  8. that is just wonderfill.

  9. ethankcarla m Antee For Life my says:

    The story of pch blog

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