What does the PCH Prize Patrol do if the winner isn’t home?


When people ask, “What does the Prize Patrol do if the winner isn’t home?” I often tell the story of the weekend we spent near Houston, Texas, when neighbors told us that our $10 Million SuperPrize winner Pam Barton “might be home soon, or she might not be home for days.”

We had a large crew with us – from Publishers Clearing House, from our ad agency and from Primalux, our video production company. The thought of flying everyone back to New York on Friday, then returning to Houston a few days later did not make economic sense. So we booked a bunch of rooms at a hotel nearby where we could comfortably keep an eye on the winner’s home.

The whole weekend was like an interminable reconnaissance mission. Todd Sloane and I shared the challenge with Matt Lauer and Katie Couric on NBC’s Today Show – without divulging our exact location. We spent hours driving back and forth to the winner’s neighborhood to see if there was any sign of life. No luck. So we had another meal. Then another. Then another.

On Sunday night we left a phone message at the winner’s home, that a courier service had an important parcel to deliver Monday morning – if it was possible for someone to receive it. Sure enough: it turned out to be possible. A haltingly curious Pam Barton called at 7:30 AM on Monday to say that she could receive the parcel – whatever it was and from whomever it was – at 8:30.

While Pam was suspicious, she had received a hint from a neighbor that the “courier” could be Publishers Clearing House. “Drats!” we thought. “Every neighbor had promised not to spill the beans!”

Nonetheless, Pam’s “winning moment” turned out to be a great one. No matter how prepared you think you might be to receive a PCH Prize Patrol visit, the excitement of the actual event far exceeds one’s imagining. She almost fainted against the door jamb as we presented balloons, roses and a giant cardboard Big Check that declared her the winner of $10 Million.

We learned later that Pam came awfully close to NOT winning that SuperPrize. She was inclined to NOT mail in her sweepstakes entry that had arrived in the mail. But a good friend urged her to enter saying “You’ve got nothing to lose — and maybe millions to gain.”

That’s good advice, and it’s advice I would give to YOU: Enter the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes! You could win! If you don’t enter, you will lose for sure.

A simple click on this link to pch.com will get you started.

Good luck!

Dave Sayer

Executive Director


p.s. Pam Barton and I have remained good friends. In the picture above, Pam and I are at a New York restaurant. Winning at the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes has enabled Pam to travel the world and enjoy the finer things in life.

72 thoughts on “What does the PCH Prize Patrol do if the winner isn’t home?”

  1. Dawn Rigney Kniepkamp says:

    I wish this could happen to me, especially after all the entries i have completed, but my luck is down. I have never won anything in my entire lfe. and im am down on my luck. i am in desperate need to win and improve my health and life . good luck to who ever wins. i know it wont be me. and if so i will be shocked.

  2. Daniel Dingess says:

    I’m a injured firefighter I have 2 children and one on the way I’m about to lose my house and desperately depressed it would make shuch a deference for so many people I live in a small town in pike Co KY heart of applachia and would love to open a youth center cause there are none and nothing but trouble for area kids/ teens would truly save my family and others families. . I know I shouldn’t pray for sweepstakes/ lottery winning but I don’t know what else to do , and dont know why I even wrote this it has only made me sad ..but maybe I needed to… I know no one will read this and it won’t change a thing its only proof of my hope and faith of that a great day of change positive change for my family

  3. pch do no deactivate any og the GWY prizes i activated. activate $1 million plus $5000.00 a week for life and activate bonus.

  4. winning would enable me to move to an assisted living place

  5. kenneth johnson says:

    to win pch would be a life changing moment my daughter and i share a small 1 bedroom condo i sleep on the couch . both of us have dreams of school and travel but due to my disability and her poor health we are home alot. if i had the resources i would take her places she has always wanted to see and let her pick the school of her dreams . she has been having second thoughts about college due to our finances but i will not let her where theres a will theres a way. and shes going no matter what. ah but to see the pch van pull up to our home that would be a life changing moment. !

  6. haley says:

    That’s a beautiful story. Its good to know pch doesn’t give up on their winners. And its awesome that you stayed in touch and created friendships with winners. You guys are doing an awesome thing for many people across the nation. Even if they don’t win you give many hope and a fantasy that will make anyone smile. Blessed be to all of pch staff and families.


  8. I want to win and I want to move buy house I dont have a money when I when I want to come true dream clock the door my home suprse july28 I pray for pch come ture clock the door my home suprise for me will to see you im happy amd smile thank u the bless fot pch agian to tell u thank and smile

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