Why is “No Purchase Necessary” in the PCH Sweepstakes?

Every PCH Sweepstakes promotion says “No Purchase Necessary.” Have you ever wondered why?

Over the years, PCH has delivered a wide variety of sweepstakes entry opportunities both online and through the mail. With so many different types of sweepstakes, it takes a team of PCH employees dedicated to managing all of them! They make sure each and every prize is delivered and check that all of our promotions, including each set of rules and sweepstakes facts are legally compliant. There’s one thing however, that’s always the same in every sweepstakes entry opportunity that PCH sends out, and that’s a notice stating “No Purchase or Fee Necessary to Enter.”

Many people have asked us why we always include that notice in our mailings and online promotions, and the simple answer is that, as a legitimate sweepstakes, we don’t (and can’t lawfully) require a purchase or fee to enter. In fact, no legitimate sweepstakes provider will ever require a purchase or a fee, because if they do, their sweepstakes could be considered an illegal lottery. In the United States, subject to a few exceptions, only governmental entities and their agencies and certain exempt charitable organizations are allowed to run games of chance that require any type of payment to enter.

If there’s no purchase necessary, then why do we include merchandise and magazine order forms with our PCH sweepstakes prize entry opportunities? Publishers Clearing House is a multi-channel marketer and we make our money through the sale of magazines and merchandise. Our dedicated merchandising and product buying staff works very hard to find the kind of products our customers want at prices they can afford. The order forms simply give our customers the option to purchase great merchandise or popular magazines at a low price if they choose to do so. Many people choose not to purchase anything and prefer just to enter our sweepstakes – which is OK with us – their entries have the same chance to win either way! The customers that do choose to buy from us help generate revenue, which is used to fund our famous sweepstakes and run our business. That includes paying the other 400 employees that work at PCH, maintaining the building we work in and paying outside vendors to help us build the company we all know and love.

After all the prizes have been delivered and expenses paid, the profits are distributed to the owners of Publishers Clearing House. What few people know is that, due to our ownership structure, over 40% of the profits of Publishers Clearing House go directly to the benefit of  charities and charitable trusts.

If you’re interested in learning more about Publishers Clearing House visit the About Us page on our Sweepstakes Information Center.


Frank @ PCH

Leave a Reply


  1. If the computer is programed then the randomness is not random. The winning combinations are programed in by the compliers and then not random.
    So the supposed pseudo randomness is not there and the games and winning numbers predetermined.

  2. You say that a purchase or fee is not required yet if an order is not placed you state in effect that if an order is not placed then customer benefits are forfeited. Seems to be a bit contradictory.

    1. Hello Ralph, Our winner selection process is completely random; there’s no way to know who our next winner will be so don’t stop trying. I would like to remind you that you never have to buy anything to enter or to win. Our sweepstakes is designed to create interest in our many great product and magazine offers but a purchase is not required and won’t help your chances of winning. Most of our major prize winners sent in a submission that was an entry only and no purchase was made. We really mean it when we say that it’s free to enter and free to win. There are multiple ways that you can enter into our many great giveaways. To see all of the ways you can enter each day, click here: http://bit.ly/Enter-A-PCH-Sweeps
      Good luck to you and all who enter!

    1. Hello Gloria, 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. There are multiple ways to enter and every entry has the same fair chance of winning. To see them all, click here: http://bit.ly/Enter-A-PCH-Sweeps.

  3. I have been a PCH customer for 46 years. during that time I have ordered many of your more expensive items, including jewelry.I have been told that I belong to the Inner Circle. Never the less, my entry / order package, today, included yes envelope and a new envelope. Impact packets I have been receiving envelopes or stickers saying for order is only or not orders use this postcard. You know good and well Karma that you throw away the no envelopes at the post cards!!!
    I am very disappointed and PCH!!!

    1. what I received in my mail today was one YES envelope and one NO envelope.
      your order entry form States no purchase necessary.
      Does PCH, in fact, throw away the NO envelopes?

  4. No purchase necessary pch is not an illegal lottery its all by chance so I believe in luck
    I’m in to win it!

  5. Years ago I received, in the mail, a letter that said I was definitely a winner of a large prize. A follow-up letter would inform me of procedure. Never heard from them again ,on the subject.

    1. Hi Lee,

      That was a scammer impersonating a PCH employee! PCH never contacts winners in advance and you never have to pay to claim a PCH prize! The only way you would know if you won is by the Prize Patrol showing up at your door. Do not give scammers any of your personal information or money! Please report this scammer to abuse@pch.com and check out these helpful tips: http://bit.ly/_FraudProtection_

  6. I too think all your come ons are very close to false advertising..in fact THEY ARE , MAKE A Y INDIVIDUAL KEEP ON FOLLOWING WITH HUGE THREATS AND THREATENING LANGUAGE AND AT SAME TIME DECLARING NO PURCHASE NECESSARY ..BUT MEANWHILE, YOU FOOL, LOOK THROUGH A THOUSAND OTHER PAGES AND YOU HAD BETTER PURCHASE, ! Have i purchased , yes…so stop already ! Have I even mailed in what supposedly was final official entry , yes… so what do you think you are doing….. besides falsely assuring no purchase necessary! Most of us have major concerns about financial issues in todays high cost of living and your company is so unfairly taking advantage of that fact! We all still dream ! Way back in 1940’s i actually for four years was top salesman in our small high school selling magazines when this company was a fledging corporation. Then I was proud! Now ????