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Throwback Thursday: The First Prize Patrol Winning Moment!

Hey blog readers, it’s everyone’s favorite day of the week – Throwback Thursday. And today have we got a special treat for you…we’re going back in time to a very SPECIAL day. First I will tell you the tale, and we’ll see along the way if you can guess what I’m talking about.

Let’s start with the date. It was August 11th, 1988. The location: Austin, Texas.

A few days prior, entrants into the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes were sent a letter to remind them that they entered. The letter also included the entrants number and a notice that they might want to tune into the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather on a specific date….you guessed it…August 11th. Why?

Well, that night on the CBS Evening News, the winning number was going to be revealed.  The prize to be awarded was $1,000,000.00. Looking back on it now, it comes across seemingly like a lottery drawing where you watch to see if your number matches. Luckily, the winner, John Yancy of Austin TX, tuned into the broadcast that night. But in addition to getting the shock of his life about winning, there was another shock in store for John.

Waiting just outside his home in a van, there were two staff members from Publishers Clearing House watching that same broadcast on a portable TV…and as soon as the number was revealed, they jumped into action. One of those PCH employees was someone unknown to the Yancy’s, but known very well to all of you….Prize Patrol Elite Member Todd Sloane. He carried with him a video camera to film the very first in-person prize delivery for Publishers Clearing House.  That’s right fans, you probably figured it out by now but I’m talking about the very first Prize Patrol winning moment! Oh, and that video I was talking about? Well, we’ve got that right here for you!

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Can you image being the FIRST person surprised by the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol? Hearing that winning number being read…checking against your entry and then before you even have time to process it all, there’s a knock at the door? I can only imagine how exciting it must have been for John.

Now we do things a little bit differently. For starters, we never let winners know the Prize Patrol is coming. Next, we let you all have fun trying to guess where the Prize Patrol is headed with our clues on the PCH Blog and Danielle Lam’s PCH Prize Patrol Fan Page. But one thing has stayed the same: when that winning moment finally arrives, Todd is still always there with his camera…and he will be again on April 30th for our $1,000,000 A Year For Life SuperPrize Event! Remember, there’s just a few days left to enter so make sure that you take every chance you can to enter daily!

Happy Throwback Thursday everyone!

Sarah S.
PCH Social Media

P.S. Time’s a tickin’! Be sure to enter today!

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P.P.S. Want to hit it big like the recent $16 Million Florida Lottery Winner? Check out today’s Play&Win blog!


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  1. What a Dream it will be to see the van pull up in front the house…I remember from when I was little. My mom would fill it out to win…She was happy to put it in the mail.. watching the T.V. it was aways next time…lol.. It’s was fun to dream….lol Thank you for the Dreams….