Most Common Prize Patrol Questions: ANSWERED!

Hi everyone it’s Danielle Lam of the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol. I truly believe I have one of the best and most interesting jobs out there…and usually people I meet think so, too! As you could imagine, we get a ton of questions when we’re on the road changing peoples’ lives all over the country with those famous “big checks” you see on TV. I’ve noticed over the years we get the same questions over and over…questions I’m sure you have, too. So, let’s answer them for you right here!

#1 – The most common question the Prize Patrol gets is “Do the winners know you’re coming?”

The answer is NO!  The Prize Patrol (and nobody else from PCH either) will ever contact you letting you know the Prize Patrol is on their way. When we show up, it’s a COMPLETE surprise.

That leads me to the second most common question…

#2 – Does the Prize Patrol know if the winner is going to be home?

The answer is NO again. Crazy right? That’s right…we can travel all the way across the country and have NO idea if the winner is going to open the door when we knock. It’s a gamble we’re willing to take!

That again leads me to another common question from PCH fans….

#3 – What happens if a winner isn’t home?

We always joke and say “be nice to your neighbors” because they usually help the Prize Patrol track our winners down if they don’t answer the door. Often times we can find out where a person works (if they do) and we go surprise them there. Worst case scenario, the neighbors cannot help and we wait around or come back later to try again. No, we don’t give the check to someone else. Even if the winner isn’t home, they get their money!

#4 – So are the people in your commercials real?

ABSOLUTELY! I think it’s really fun to follow us on social media and see our winning moments, then see a PCH commercial and see that same person featured! The reactions you see are real and in the moment. With Prize Patrol winning moments there are no “re-dos” and every reaction you see is a true surprise.

So, there you have it! The 4 top questions the Prize Patrol gets on the road. Now I want to know, if you saw the Prize Patrol in person, what question would you ask us? Let me know…I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Danielle Lam
Prize Patrol

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  1. I got a phone call today saying that I won 2.1Mill. That prize patrol will come up my drive way in a 2002 Lincoln limo and present my check. They will then take me to my bank in the limo to make sure I am safe. I told them I would contact you to verify my winnings and would call them back. They gave me names of team members and a code I must give the patrol team. There will also be FBI agents with them. SCAM Yes? I checked your data base and my name was not listed as a winner. A response from you regarding this would be great. Thanks

    1. Hello Sharlene, that is not the real PCH calling you; it’s a scammer that’s only pretending to be from PCH. Please do not call that number, do not give the scammer any personal info including bank account information, and definitely do not send them any money if they ask. If you haven’t already done so, please report that scam contact to us via the following link: I encourage you to read these Safety Tips too: Please be careful everyone; don’t become a scammer’s victim!

    1. Hi Frank! 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. They’ve also found winners in hospitals, at church, even on vacation! Check out this FAQ for more info about winners not being home: