Throwback Thursday: Prize Patrol Then And Now

Throwback Thursday

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since we switched from notifying big Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes winners by telephone to (tah dah!) in-person visits from the Prize Patrol.

In some ways our first surprise delivery of $1 Million to John and Julie Yancy of Austin, TX seems like yesterday.  And when we look at the old video, don’t Todd Sloane and I look exactly the same?  Oh maybe a few pounds heavier and an “age line” here and there.  But we are still fleet of foot.  We can still run up to a winner’s door with flowers, balloons and Big Checks as fast as ever.

Prize Patrol

And yet, some things have changed.  In 1988 when we’d drive our Prize Patrol van into a winner’s town, we’d have to buy a local road atlas to find our way to the winner’s address.  Nowadays we consult Google Maps before we leave home so we can see exactly where we are going.  Google Earth even lets us look at some winners’ front doors.

Early on we would pick up almost any bouquet of wild flowers to bring to the winner.  Then we discovered that long-stemmed American Beauty roses generated more tears and more dramatic video footage for you TV viewers to enjoy in our commercials.  So roses it’s been ever since.


Air travel is more difficult than in 1988.  Gone are the days when we could arrive at the airport 10 minutes before departure.  Now, when things don’t go as smoothly as planned, changing flight reservations is a real hassle – and fraught with extra fees.  And a meal on the plane is now a bag you buy before boarding.  Finally, while smart phones are a great convenience for today’s traveler, trying to get a live person’s help can be a real challenge.

But we are not complaining.  We still love knocking on doors and knocking people’s socks off as we announce “You are a winner in the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes!”  In recent years we have made a lot more people PCH Millionaires than we did back in the late 1980’s.  Some have even won “Lifetime Prizes” like $5,000 A Week “Forever”.  And I’m sure you’ve heard about the amazing prize we’re offering now – our largest weekly lifetime prize ever — $7,000 A Week for Life.  That could be worth many millions of dollars to some lucky entrant – maybe YOU!

Yep, Todd and I have traveled a lot of roads together – with a thrilling “winning moment” at each destination.   Thanks go to the many PCH employees who have memorably performed Prize Patrol duties with us over the years — like Gina, Bruce, Carroll, Marc, Dorothy, Jen, John, Stacy, JuJu, Jamie, Scott, Eve, Liz, Danielle B, Laura and Danielle L. – not to mention our veteran cameraman Jeff and hundreds of his colleagues.

Here’s to many more years of “winning moments,” and may the next one be yours.  Cheers!

Dave Sayer PCH

Dave Sayer
Prize Patrol Ambassador

70 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Prize Patrol Then And Now”

  1. valorie says:

    hi pch i love a bouquet red roses at my door . i will give all my tears i have.

  2. carolinejinks says:

    I want to win the 7,000.00 aweek for life gwy no 3080 for the april 30th 2014 bulletins promotion special early look

  3. Beautiful Roses! Late Valentine’s Day! I love surprises.Have a safe trip wherever you travel. Lumberton NC is right@ the South of the Border line. Do you come@night. If so honk your horns really loud so my neighbors can be happy with me.If it’s in the day , cars will follow you to my house.But if it is in the morning come on in and have a cup of coffee.! See you soon!

  4. Ruby Arends says:

    Just a dozen of Roses would make me smile ear to ear ;)”

  5. Larry Fugate says:

    Looking forward to see the prize patrol.

  6. Robert sosa says:

    Todd. Dave and Danniell I hope and pray to see you today! I’ ll be waiting, have a safe and wonderful trip? PCH member, Robert Sosa

  7. Jonathan Heath says:

    I have been disabled for a long time now and it gets harder each month to just pay my bills. I have three wonderful children that lives with their mother because I can’t support them and that kills me. I have prayed for a long time for God too give me a way to be able to just make them happy. In short it would be a very great blessing too win even the smallest contest, although winning 7.000.00 dollars a week would not just pay my bills it would make them very happy and that’s what I really want. Thank you for your time.

  8. Braulio Bernal says:

    It would be a real life changing experience in my case if I were to become one the lucky winners, because I’d be able to help a lot of my relatives who desperately need some help to have a better living. In advance,thanks for the opportunity,best wishes to all.

  9. Jean Martin says:

    “dreams do come trew if you believe” God bless and be well. Jeanie

  10. I hope I win the money on Nov 26th .

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