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What Happens If I Win and I’m Not Home?

One of the most frequent questions we get asked here at Publishers Clearing House is “What happens If I Win and I’m Not Home?” Because this is SUCH an important question, we had the PCH Video Group put together a new video to answer it for you. It’s part of our new “PCH CHAT” series staring Howie, and the Prize Patrol! Watch below to find out what happens.


As Danielle and Todd explained in the video, if the winner isn’t home, the Prize Patrol does NOT give the prize to someone else. What they will do is WAIT for the winner to come home. Often times, they have to wait a really long time, which is what happened with Rory Bellamy, our $1 Million winner from November 2012, and Pam Barton. Can you believe the Prize Patrol waited a whole weekend for Pam?

In some cases, the Prize Patrol has even tracked winners down at work! Can you imagine getting surprised with a Big Check in person at your workplace? That’s what happened to our $10,000 winner Carol Copeland who the Prize Patrol surprised in front of a classroom full of students!

So remember everyone, the Prize Patrol ALWAYS finds their winner. So keep playing  and YOU could be next!


Amanda C.
PCH Creative

Other blogs you may like:

What happens if the Prize Patrol visits me and I’m on Vacation?

What does the Prize Patrol do when the Winner Isn’t Home?


Leave your comment


  1. My name is Barbara and I been with PCH, since 200, and I have not won one time yet, and place an order in every bros how I receive, that’s why I ask not to send me any more Flyers from PCH as of DEC-12-28-2023 OKAY.

    1. I’m staying home until the Prize Patrol rings my doorbell because I know I gonna win the
      Big One. It’s not a problem because I’m 77 and retired and don’t travel much. I’m even putting 6 bottles of good champagne in the fridge with which we can all celebrate 🥂
      See ya soon🙏🥳

  2. Hello Susan, We are thrilled that you’re so eager and determined to win! You’ve got to be “in it to win it” so keep trying and don’t give up. All of our winners are randomly selected and every entry has the same chance of winning; there’s no way to know who we’re going to surprise next.

  3. Hey, it was a great day!
    My wife was just notified!
    Her daughters dead beat father
    was just finally caught today. So our daughter will have a nice college fund set up for her.
    We will be glad to help with the scammer!
    You can be caught!
    (This post is optional, Thanks again for your help)

  4. I thought it was not real.
    I thought you did it in a unexpected way.
    Plus I heard kids playing!
    It was a rush!
    I have had scammers before!
    Thanks for your help!

  5. A particular question here (already asked via chat option but rep was not able to answer). If the winner will be gone for a few days for their night shift rotation, but the husband will be home after his daytime job (which neighbors or landlord would be able to confirm at the complex), will the prize patrol go ahead and leave the prize with the husband? Especially if the winner works at a hospital where any media presence would possibly get the winner in trouble at work (for them even being on the grounds or for asking for the winner at front desk)?

    1. Hello Mallory, PCH and the Prize Patrol do not take awarding winners lightly; it’s very important to all of us that a winner is found and awarded their prize. If a winner is not home, the Prize Patrol will do whatever it takes to locate them. Rest assured, if you are our lucky winner, you will receive your award. On giveaway days we encourage everyone to go about business as usual. With that being said, there are many times that the Prize Patrol has surprised winners at their place of employment, of course we can always wait until after work to award the prize if need be. They’ve also found winners in hospitals, at church, even on vacation! Check out this FAQ for more info about winners not being home:

  6. My house is falling apart I am 75 y0. I have a home equity loan
    and the interest is limiting me for food house repairs and I am feeding my dog for myself my door bell is not working, knock hard if I win please, help me.

  7. Thank you for your information. I’m praying that I might win and I am house setting at my son, daughter in law, and grandson’s home for Christmas. I’m not for sure when they will be back and I will try to be home on the 27th just in case.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone that works there and also to the winner no matter who it may be. God Bless!

    1. I Have been notified that I am a big winner .. I will have someone knocking on my front door with a big check for me.
      He gave me his name Bob Fisher & his Badge # 117USA
      Dose this person work for you. If so will I have someone ate door today giving me a big check?

      1. Hello Harold, We’re so happy that you knew that wasn’t the real PCH who contacted you. We will never ask for money to claim a prize. We also don’t notify winners via phone, standard mail, email, or social media. Please report all scam contacts to PCH via this link: We encourage everyone to review the following Safety Tips to better protect themselves from being scammed:

  8. Hello. If god wants to select me as a winner I want to give you my address during the week from Dec 26th to January 02, 2024 will be: Nashville Midtown, USA. The room is by my daughter’s name: $$$$