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How Does the PCH Sweepstakes Work?

Do you know how the PCH Sweepstakes works?  Ever wonder what a Giveaway is?  Anyone who aspires to win may want to understand the basics.  Read on for answers to some of our fans’ most commonly-asked questions.

What is a Giveaway?

At PCH the key characteristics that define a giveaway are:

  • The starting and ending dates
  • The number and amount of prizes offered
  • The winner selection methodology
  • The eligibility requirements
  • The distribution of entries (such as geographic distribution, specific bulletins or groups, etc.)
  • The estimated odds of winning

Since PCH runs so many giveaways with so many chances to win, we assign a Giveaway Number to each giveaway to help us keep track of it. All PCH giveaways with prizes over $5,000.00 are registered in the states of New York and Florida, in accordance with the law.

What is an entry deadline?

The entry deadline is the date by which an entry must be received in order to be eligible to win the prize offered in the promotion.

How does an entry deadline differ from a giveaway ending date?

Every entry you submit has a new, unique prize number.  The entry deadline is the date by which the prize number for an entry is due.  Prize numbers are specific to the individual entrant and to the prize value being promoted.  Most prize promotions last for 4-8 weeks and the corresponding prize numbers usually have an entry deadline within that same 4-8 week timeframe.  Some of our giveaways last a year or more. The giveaway end date is the last day when any entry will be accepted for the giveaway before it closes for the final drawing.  

How can a giveaway promote different prizes?

At the outset of a giveaway, we plan the amount of prizes and their value.  Throughout the life of the giveaway, we may show different types of prizes that could be purchased by or funded by the dollar amount being offered.  We keep track of what prizes were offered in each different promotion.  When a winner is selected, we will offer the prize promoted to the winning entry, as set forth in the Official Rules.

What is the difference between a Prize Number and a Giveaway Number?

A prize number is a 12-digit number specific to an individual and a prize promotion.  A giveaway number simply identifies the prize promotional pool into which entries will be submitted.  Throughout the life of a giveaway, you may submit many entries, and each one of them will have a new, unique prize number.  But, the giveaway will always have the same number.  Even though it’s all done by the computer, imagine that each giveaway is a huge barrel.  And every entry you submit gets thrown in the barrel for its chance to win in the drawing.  The barrel will always have the same number, but each entry you throw in the barrel is numbered with a new and different prize number.

How does the PCH Sweepstakes Work

Did you know these facts about how the PCH Sweepstakes works?  Are you hoping your next prize number will become a winner?  Comment below to let us know if this information was helpful.  Also, let us know if you have additional questions that we can answer in future blogs.  As always, we love to hear feedback from our fans and loyal entrants!

Deborah Holland PCH

Deborah Holland
Executive Vice President

Other blogs you may like:

Question Answered: What Is A Special Early Look?

Anyone Could Win The Sweepstakes With PCH

How Is The PCH SuperPrize Winner Selected?

Leave your comment


  1. How do I fully register my prize number? I’m so confused about it there’s so many warnings in my emails about it, it makes me crazy thinking I need to do something I’m missing.

    1. Hi Angie! Any emails or mailings we send are simply additional sweepstakes opportunities. You’re not required to respond back to all of them. Even if you don’t respond back, all of your other timely entries are still valid. We offer multiple ways you can enter every day, check out our FAQ to see them all: A single entry is all you need to win big! Have fun, and good luck!

  2. Hello PCH Family!
    Thank you so much for the amazing merchandise you offer and the opportunity to win a Life Changing Award! I’m glad I read this blog, it’s definitely help clear some things up. I hope y’all have a wonderful and safe week! I’m Keeping the faith that one day I’ll get to meet all the amazing people that make up the wonderful community!

  3. I enter many times have been pch customer over 30 years never got an activation code yet does that mean all my entries are for nothing, I can’t win without an activation code? It seems in 30 years I would have won something. I see people win who never bought never entered before. Did they have an activation code. My customer number is ### #### 0493. Also how does PCH define a property? Can you enter only once a day at even though there are multiple opportunities given ? Thanks for all the clarification. Loyal friend John H.

    1. Hi John, 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. will send out various promotional e-mail entries which provide you additional opportunities to enter. You can enter once per day through each entry opportunity presented on our websites, emails you may receive, and through each PCH apps. You can find out all about the different ways to enter here: All the best!

  4. It states that you can only have one entry per day. But if you’re playing the pch+ you get entries all the time. So should I just be playing that once a day only? Why do I notices saying if I get 2 more treasure chest I get a special gift or prize. Im confused. Thanks Kristi Wolf

    1. Hello Kristi, Thank you for contacting PCH. We are sorry to hear that you are experiencing technical difficulties on our website. Please give our technical support representatives a call at 1-800-476-4724, we are open . We look forward to hearing from you.