How is the PCH SuperPrize Winner Selected?

The PCH SuperPrize winner will be announced in just a few days and some folks are wondering how the winner is selected.

I’m Maryann Carter, Manager of the Publishers Clearing House Contest Department. You may recognize my name from some of the PCH Bulletins. I’m responsible for overseeing contest planning, processing and integrity, including the coordination of all sweepstakes drawings and prize awards. My staff is a specially trained group that registers the sweepstakes, keeps track of all the giveaway details, writes the Official Rules, issues processing instructions and makes sure the winners receive their prize awards in a timely fashion.

This past week has been incredibly busy for us because of all the winner selections going on. With random drawings for the 211 “Short List” DMA contest and an online-only $10,000 prize in Giveaway 1804, plus the Matching Winning Number Sneak Peek for Giveaway 1830, and a Matching Winning Number drawing for Giveaway 1831, 214 winners were selected!

In a random drawing, such as the 211 Short List and online-only $10,000 prize, the computer randomly selects a winner from among all eligible entries. Matching Winning Number drawings have a different winner selection process.

In preparation for a Matching Winning Number drawing such as the recent Sneak Peek for $1 Million A Year For Life, the Contest Department compiles the total participating universe of numbers for the giveaway and defines the eligible SuperPrize Number range for the Sneak Peek event, as well as all other promotional entry information pertaining to the giveaway. This information is distributed to an independent auditor, the PCH Board of Officials, our internal control department, prize award underwriters and the contest programmers in our PCH IT Department. This information is then loaded into the mainframe computer to run PCH’s Winning Number Generator Program. Once a winning number is randomly selected from the participating universe, we check to see if it’s from the Sneak Peek eligible range and if an eligible matching winning number was returned. If so, then we have a winner of the big SuperPrize! If not, then we go to a second chance random drawing to select a winner of a base prize, as advertised. In the case of this Giveaway 1830 drawing, a base prize of $1 Million was advertised.

Everyone involved in the prize drawings works very hard to ensure accuracy and security in how the winner is selected. Records are double- and triple-checked by many sets of eyes. When a PCH SuperPrize winner is finally determined, we all smile, because we know some lucky person’s life is about to be changed!

I’ve been in the PCH Contest Department for 16 years and I really enjoy my job. Even though it’s a lot of work, I still get a thrill every time I see the excitement on a new winner’s face when surprised by the Prize Patrol. My team and I know that we helped, from behind the scenes, to contribute to the happiness in each winning moment. With over $225 Million in prizes awarded since the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes began in 1967, that’s a lot of happiness!

Good luck to all of our PCH Blog readers and sweepstakes entrants!

Maryann Carter

Manager, PCH Contest Department


1,621 thoughts on “How is the PCH SuperPrize Winner Selected?”

  1. I want to win the super prize on January 20 pch prize patrol

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