Accessibility Statement

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

Leave your comment


  1. Hello Katherine, That is a great question, and the answer is absolutely! The winner does have the option to remain anonymous if they choose to. We had a winner back in April 2015 who requested to be anonymous, and we respected her wishes.

  2. Good morning. Hope you’re headed to Maine for the big day February 29th can’t wait to meet you all. I’ve been a member since June 2016. Make my dream come true.

  3. Hello Kevin, Please report all contacts from scammers to PCH via this link: PCH does partner with the Federal Trade Commission and we send all scam reports to them so please make sure you let us know anytime a scammer contacts you. Remember, the real PCH never notifies major prize winners via phone, standard mail, email, or social media, and we never ask winners to pay to claim their prize. You can see more Safety Tips here: Please be careful everyone; don’t become a scammer’s victim.

  4. I would do a dance like you never seen and I be crying at the same time, because one I have never won anything before and two PCH was there when I needed when I needed to get a lot off my nine your a blessing.