Accessibility Statement

Why is “No Purchase Necessary” in the PCH Sweepstakes?

Every PCH Sweepstakes promotion says “No Purchase Necessary.” Have you ever wondered why?

Over the years, PCH has delivered a wide variety of sweepstakes entry opportunities both online and through the mail. With so many different types of sweepstakes, it takes a team of PCH employees dedicated to managing all of them! They make sure each and every prize is delivered and check that all of our promotions, including each set of rules and sweepstakes facts are legally compliant. There’s one thing however, that’s always the same in every sweepstakes entry opportunity that PCH sends out, and that’s a notice stating “No Purchase or Fee Necessary to Enter.”

Many people have asked us why we always include that notice in our mailings and online promotions, and the simple answer is that, as a legitimate sweepstakes, we don’t (and can’t lawfully) require a purchase or fee to enter. In fact, no legitimate sweepstakes provider will ever require a purchase or a fee, because if they do, their sweepstakes could be considered an illegal lottery. In the United States, subject to a few exceptions, only governmental entities and their agencies and certain exempt charitable organizations are allowed to run games of chance that require any type of payment to enter.

If there’s no purchase necessary, then why do we include merchandise and magazine order forms with our PCH sweepstakes prize entry opportunities? Publishers Clearing House is a multi-channel marketer and we make our money through the sale of magazines and merchandise. Our dedicated merchandising and product buying staff works very hard to find the kind of products our customers want at prices they can afford. The order forms simply give our customers the option to purchase great merchandise or popular magazines at a low price if they choose to do so. Many people choose not to purchase anything and prefer just to enter our sweepstakes – which is OK with us – their entries have the same chance to win either way! The customers that do choose to buy from us help generate revenue, which is used to fund our famous sweepstakes and run our business. That includes paying the other 400 employees that work at PCH, maintaining the building we work in and paying outside vendors to help us build the company we all know and love.

After all the prizes have been delivered and expenses paid, the profits are distributed to the owners of Publishers Clearing House. What few people know is that, due to our ownership structure, over 40% of the profits of Publishers Clearing House go directly to the benefit of  charities and charitable trusts.

If you’re interested in learning more about Publishers Clearing House visit the About Us page on our Sweepstakes Information Center.


Frank @ PCH

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  1. All the circulars mailings do say: no purchase necessary to enter or to win a prize from PCH. Then tell me WHY do I get 2-3 mailings a month that states: this form is for orderers ONLY??! IT seems like if you DON’T order from those particular mailings that you lose your chance of winning? So I always just return the empty envelope for my entry, if there’s nothing that I don’t want or need to order

    1. Hi Debbie, I would like to remind you that a purchase is never necessary to enter or to win. In fact, most of our major prize winners won as a result of a non-order entry. We really mean it when we say that it’s free to enter and free to win. I encourage you to keep trying and don’t give up. There are multiple ways to enter and every entry has the same fair chance of winning. To see them all, click here: Good luck to you and all who enter!!