How is the PCH SuperPrize Winner Selected?

The PCH SuperPrize winner will be announced in just a few days and some folks are wondering how the winner is selected.

The PCH SuperPrize winner will be announced in just a few days and some folks are wondering how the winner is selected.

I’m Maryann Carter, Manager of the Publishers Clearing House Contest Department. You may recognize my name from some of the PCH Bulletins. I’m responsible for overseeing contest planning, processing and integrity, including the coordination of all sweepstakes drawings and prize awards. My staff is a specially trained group that registers the sweepstakes, keeps track of all the giveaway details, writes the Official Rules, issues processing instructions and makes sure the winners receive their prize awards in a timely fashion.

This past week has been incredibly busy for us because of all the winner selections going on. With random drawings for the 211 “Short List” DMA contest and an online-only $10,000 prize in Giveaway 1804, plus the Matching Winning Number Sneak Peek for Giveaway 1830, and a Matching Winning Number drawing for Giveaway 1831, 214 winners were selected!

In a random drawing, such as the 211 Short List and online-only $10,000 prize, the computer randomly selects a winner from among all eligible entries. Matching Winning Number drawings have a different winner selection process.

In preparation for a Matching Winning Number drawing such as the recent Sneak Peek for $1 Million A Year For Life, the Contest Department compiles the total participating universe of numbers for the giveaway and defines the eligible SuperPrize Number range for the Sneak Peek event, as well as all other promotional entry information pertaining to the giveaway. This information is distributed to an independent auditor, the PCH Board of Officials, our internal control department, prize award underwriters and the contest programmers in our PCH IT Department. This information is then loaded into the mainframe computer to run PCH’s Winning Number Generator Program. Once a winning number is randomly selected from the participating universe, we check to see if it’s from the Sneak Peek eligible range and if an eligible matching winning number was returned. If so, then we have a winner of the big SuperPrize! If not, then we go to a second chance random drawing to select a winner of a base prize, as advertised. In the case of this Giveaway 1830 drawing, a base prize of $1 Million was advertised.

Everyone involved in the prize drawings works very hard to ensure accuracy and security in how the winner is selected. Records are double- and triple-checked by many sets of eyes. When a PCH SuperPrize winner is finally determined, we all smile, because we know some lucky person’s life is about to be changed!

I’ve been in the PCH Contest Department for 16 years and I really enjoy my job. Even though it’s a lot of work, I still get a thrill every time I see the excitement on a new winner’s face when surprised by the Prize Patrol. My team and I know that we helped, from behind the scenes, to contribute to the happiness in each winning moment. With over $225 Million in prizes awarded since the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes began in 1967, that’s a lot of happiness!

Good luck to all of our PCH Blog readers and sweepstakes entrants!

Maryann Carter

Manager, PCH Contest Department

Leave a Reply



  2. cheryl

    i just want to know if i still have a chance to win the big super prize event. i called customer service and they said i do so do i


  3. cheryl

    Is it still possible to get a letter if you were not home on the 22nd and the ups was not able to deliver the letter you said they would try three times then leave a not on door were to pick it up if you were not home.

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      The names for the 211 “Short List” DMA contest will be posted onto our website on February 28,2011. If you find your name on there and you did not receive a letter, please call us at 1-800-645-9242 Monday – Friday between 8:30 AM and 8:30 PM EST so that we can assist you further.

      Rod @ PCH

  4. {smiling}

    Thank you Mrs Maryann Carter, and your staff for all you do. thanks for making it a little more clear to us how you guys really labor to get the job done. {a quick nod at ya}…I gotta lot of respect for all the hands involved.

    anyways…just wanna give my thanks to everyone.

    {shaking your hand}…Thank goodness for the countless Angels “SEEN & UNSEEN!”

    Big-Time Blessings to all the PCH Dream-MOVERS!

  5. Gina-It is always good to have a DREAM! And if you had been my daughter I would have been so proud of what you were trying to do for me. Don’t ever take Dreams for granted…
    Ever since I got a divorce I have used the quote “Everything happens for a reason we may not not know why at the time but in the end we will get an answer.” Onto the nexxt day-
    BRAVO, Gina! You tried with good intentions-keep that in your heart and go on..
    always “KEEP DREAMS ALIVE!” The other quote that has keep me going for all these years..
    “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.
    Delicious Ambiguity.”
    — Gilda Radner
    As I always tell my children just because one dream didn’t come true reach for another.. and you will do that too!
    “REACH FOR THE STARS GINA!!” and keep *smiling*

    1. Gina, Gina< Gina!!!

      You have taught me through this blog to HOLD onto your Dreams!!! What has happened to you???? You were an inspiration to me!!!!!
      I am Much older than you & have been doing this for much longer a time than you!!!!
      If we did not make it now … Do like my Mom did.. just keep entering!!!!

      What has happenened to YOU the eternal DREAMER???

      Keep dreaming Gina, as I will too…
      Sure.. it hurts if you have not won it this time, as it hurts me also,

      just as so many times before it has happened to me… But were you not the one that said it takes faith, determination,persitence etc. to achieve anything????

      Keep the Faith etc. Gina!! As I am trying to keep mine…

      I am still praying for you Mom & hope things are going well for her..


    2. Another note GIna,

      KEEP entering!!!

      As with you , the same as me… there is always that NEXT TIME!!!!

      My Best,

    3. Gina,
      After reading all these posts… You & I could still have a chance at the 1 million for life!!! ( I think!!??)
      I still do not totally understand the whole process of how these sweepstakes work??…

      But KEEP your hopes up!!

      And as you said… ONly time will tell!!! Good Luck to ALL!!!


      P.S. BOY!!! is this getting intense!!! I can’t wait to see who wins!!!!! ( still hoping it is me… but wishing all the best to EVERYONE!!!!)

      1. Hi Maureen,

        Your best source to follow is the Official Rules/Sweepstakes Facts found with every entry processed. As for Giveaway 1830, keep in mind, the official end date is 02/28/15. So there will be other opportunities! Good Luck!

        Addison @ PCH

  6. Is it possible that the short list letter came to a registered email address….because I think I got one……(fingers crossed)

  7. To whoever Mr. James Worthy, the President and CEO of PCH is – be aware of a scam regarding your sweepstakes program. I received a letter today, from Mr. Worthy, regarding a third place win of $650,000 and to contact Mr. Jim Higgins, agent in charge at 1-604-600-3045. This “person” wanted my age, birthdate, if I have a credit card, if I owned my house, if so how much was the house payments were and the lending agent. Understand I didn’t answer any of the questions except for my age – “old lady”. But this isn’t what I was excepting from this company. So everyone beware – SCAMS are even here at PCH.

    1. Anita, The contact you described is NOT the REAL Publishers Clearing House. It sounds like a scam pretending to be Publishers Clearing House. PCH does not notify winners by phone. We do not ask the kind of personal information you described and there is no purchase or fee necessary to enter and win or to collect your prize. We’re glad you didn’t give the caller any personal information. To learn more about how to avoid scams, please visit our Sweepstakes Tips at the following link: .
      Deborah @ PCH

  8. Maryann Carter – Manager, PCH-Cont.Depart.
    Thank you for taking the time out of your very, very busy schedule to write this piece to further inform all of us as it may have been needed! You all at PCH sure do know how to get the adrenalin, heart, lungs, blood really movin’… that is almost better that a regular physical check up to make sure we are alive… LoL! Anyway, I sure hope that I see you guys on Feb. 28th… I get a sneaky feeling that you snagged “Conan” and there is a PCH prank of excitement on the way!!! Gee, I can’t wait for it all to go down!!! 🙂 <3 🙂 <3 🙂 <3 🙂 <3 🙂 <3 lots of smilin' and joy/love in the air for PCH… Best to all PCHers out there… where dreams do come true! When you explain the "short list" can you tell me what does "DMA" acronym represent?

    1. DMA means “Designated Market Area” as defined by Nielsen Market Research. It stands for the local TV-viewing area. All the zip codes in the country are clustered into 210 DMAs.
      Deborah @ PCH

  9. First Day IN A LONG Time That I Haven’t Seen GINA SAPORITI ETERNAL DREAMER Post A Blog On Here?????? Gina U have been posting & posting over & over everyday……What’s UP !!!!! Did You make it on the short list????? Just Saying!!!!! Hope U did……. NO LETTER FOR ME 🙁 !!!!!…..ITS OVER OVER OVER,WELL AT LEAST I NO NOW!!!.. I guess as the old saying goes U win some U loose some !!!….I guess they needed it more!!!!Thanks.