I recently read an article in The New York Times by Peter Funt who for many years hosted Candid Camera, the classic TV show founded in 1948 and hosted by his father Allen Funt (after a run of “Candid Microphone” on radio).  Peter talked about how he and his dad used to worry about “what might go wrong … involving the physical and emotional health of unsuspecting subjects” as they conducted thousands of “hidden-camera stunts.”

PCH Sweepstakes Prize

Caption: That’s me on my way to surprise a Sweepstakes winner years ago!

I must confess: Todd Sloane and I – who founded the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol almost a quarter of a century ago – have thought about such matters ourselves as we approached the front doors of hundreds and hundreds of PCH Sweepstakes winners.  I mean: these lucky folks never know we are coming, and they are totally unprepared for the shock, the thrill and the videotaping of the “winning moment.”  Who knows what could happen?  Should we have an ambulance standing by?  Might the winners slam the door in our face?

Well, I must tell you: We have not had any unpleasant experiences involving the winners’ physical and emotional health.  We — and the roses, balloons and Big Check — are welcomed without reservation.  Yes, some shaking has occurred, some winners get a bit weak in the knees, and some say “Can I sit down?”  But they recover almost immediately.

PCH Sweepstakes Prize Winner

As far as the emotional reactions are concerned, euphoria sets in just as quickly as the shakes subside – often accompanied by tears of joy, kisses and shouts of “Hallelujah!”  And this happiness has been known to last for days if not months and years – with no ill effects as far as we know.

In a way Todd and I owe something to the creators of Candid Camera.  We too saw long ago that video coverage of “real people being caught in the act of being themselves” makes for powerful and believable TV viewing.  No wonder folks see our PCH TV commercials and say to themselves “Look at him.  Look at her.  If they can win a Big Check worth thousands or millions of dollars, why can’t I?”  And they decide then and there to enter the PCH Sweepstakes – just as you can and should.  It’s easy to enter

And if you win we won’t arrive saying “Smile – you’re on Candid Camera.”  Instead we’ll say “Smile! You’re a winner in the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes!”

Keep smiling, and good luck!

Dave Sayer

Dave Sayer
Prize Patrol Ambassador

Other blogs you may like:
Prize Patrol On The Road For PCH 25th Anniversary Prize!

“It Really Does Happen. You Are Real” – Michelle Curtis


  1. Mrs. Toole says:

    I could become the local area prize winner. Location confirmed.

  2. Lois Caron says:

    I want to smile, I would like to win. I would smile all the way to the bank, but first I would give thanks to the Lord for the blessing!!!!

  3. I want to become the next winner pch. On April 30

  4. Carla M Antee says:

    I’m Smiling

  5. Robert garcia says:

    There would be no greater feeling then a man dust himself off and rise again out the ashes like a phoenix spread his wings and PCH could make that possible it would be both welcomed and need thanks again good luck to everyone .. I’m gonna go from rags to riches, LOL…… ;)

  6. mary busher says:

    Sure wish I knew how to become a winner always in it to win it entering every day dreaming praying hoping wishing to become a winner someday in my life time them all my money problems would be over and then some !

  7. Cheryl Crayton says:

    I really would love to win I have been out of work for about two weeks and the bills are really starting to pile up. So I just like to say good luck

  8. ANDREA. HARRIS says:

    Hello to everybody!! I sure would love to win! the 4900….it sure would help me out with my bills every month for the rest of my life. and buy a nice DELUX one story home and a nice new motor home. I wish everybody and including myself the best of luck.

  9. Brenda Allen says:

    I think if I should win at this time in my life it would be a wonderful thing.

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