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Ed McMahon

Did Ed McMahon work for Publishers Clearing House?

He didn’t! But why do so many people think this?

Many people might remember actor and comedian Ed McMahon, best known as Johnny Carson’s sidekick on The Tonight Show from 1962 to 1992. And some people might remember him as the spokesperson or even the founder of Publishers Clearing House, even part of our PCH Prize Patrol! However, it’s not true. He was never employed or paid by PCH in any way. So, why do so many people think that he was? Dave Sayer from the PCH Prize Patrol is here to shed some light on the matter…

This is just an example of the Mandela effect.

The Mandela effect refers to the phenomenon when society has a common false memory — named after the fact that many people remembered South African leader Nelson Mandela passing away in the ’90s, even though he didn’t die until 2013. So why do so many people think Ed McMahon worked with the PCH Prize Patrol? It’s actually pretty understandable!

Ed McMahon worked for a competing publishers’ company.

American Family Publishers had a very similar model to Publishers Clearing House in that they sold magazine subscriptions and had sweepstakes. Ed McMahon, along with Dick Clark, were the spokespeople for AFP, who had their own big checks to give out. Many people confused AFP and PCH! Ed McMahon often appeared with big checks as a guest star in sitcoms like Roseanne and The Nanny. AFP ceased operations in 1998, so many people no longer recall that there were actually two separate companies!

Ed McMahon may not have worked for Publishers Clearing House, but our Prize Patrol is still working tirelessly to get big checks to our winners.

Looking for fun ways to collect tokens and enter PCH sweepstakes? If you take any of our 20-question quizzes at PCHquizzes, you’ll score 200 tokens for each correct answer — that’s a whopping 4,000 tokens per quiz for answering 100% correctly! You can also peruse a short, entertaining slideshow at PCHfrontpage and, if you click through to another slideshow, you’ll bank 1,000 tokens. Pretty easy, right? You’re welcome! 

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    1. Hi Lonnie! Thank you for contacting PCH. In order for us to assist you with your question we will need a bit more information. We kindly ask that you contact us at your convenience. Our customer service representatives may be reached at You may also reach out by using our Digital Assistant that can be found at the link we provided. We look forward to hearing from you.

    SHE OWES ME $15.5 million dollars
    She owes me a Ford truck she showed me a picture of cool. I’m turning her in scamming on me? Got proof of pic ok
    Thanks Rick $$$$$$

    1. Hi Rick, that was not the real Danielle who contacted you in either case. PCH does not contact winners via social media, whether it be through private message or friend request. Please report the fake account to us here: Check out this blog article for info on how you can stop scammers from contacting you on Facebook: Stay safe everyone and be careful of scammers pretending to be the REAL Prize Patrol!

  2. PCH front page pch prize patrol PCH sweepstakes I’m in it to win it enter at I win $7,000 a day for life been a PCH Lotto jackpot looking forward to see you knocking at my door with roses and champagne PCH price Patrol my name is Pauline I win the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes.