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


  1. Good Evening Everyone,
    Question for Natalie Bostelman
    When do they start mailing this letter in reference to this short list letter, is it a week before the 31st or is 2 weeks? Does it come by regular mail or certified by Fed Ex?

    Thank you,

    Hope to see the Prize Patrol soon on that special Day!!!

  2. I am really hopeing that I am 1 of those 214 Winners on that list. It sure would be such a Great Honor in meeting all of the Prize Patrolers on August 31st, 2011. I sure will have our 5Gallon Pitcher filled with nice clod Ice Tea & our Champaigne Glasses ready for that Nice Sparkling Bottle of that Champaigne that you people always carry with you. We will be listening for either the KNOCK ON OUR DOOR, OR THE RINGING OF OUR DOORBELL. THANKYOU & YOU ALL HAVE A GREAT WEDNESDAY. FROM YOUR BIG FAN & FRIEND marilynhadey28

  3. Good morning all, as it is getting closer to Aug. 31st it is also getting nerve racking trying to make sure you’re doing everything right. Im to the point I can’t remember what all to search for but im not going to quit now. I love pch the things they offer and love the games, I don’t know much about the computer but the basics but its fun. Best Luck to each of us and waiting for the big day event.
    Joyce Grigsby

  4. thank you for all the info i have been wondering if it was a scam for awhile but with my disability son and 4yr old son and two daughters i talk to them and tell them one day we win big for out family…

    1. Hello Isiah,

      If an event is to be announced on television, it would normally state on some the entries being submitted for that event. A Superprize Winner is to be announced on August 31st. You can check at our website at or for the announcement. Good Luck!

      Addison @ PCH

  5. Hello everyone!Thank you pch for another winning opportunity like #1967A, #1400 or $10million or $5000. a week for life or $1million a year for life.Yes I want to win!Yes winning would change our lives for the better…Looking for the prize patrol !

  6. Sorry but I don’t believe it is “random”. Why do you never see some that needs money win? You always see someone with a nice house and a brand new car in the drive way. Only if I won then I would believe it, but since I need money and live in a converted old country store I doubt I would win.

    1. Hello Belinda,

      Winners are chosen randomly. We do not know who the next winner is and everyone “does” have an equal opportunity in winning. However, there can only be one winner for the major prize. Good Luck!

      Addison @ PCH

    2. Do you know how ridiculously SELFISH you sound? Only if YOU won, you would believe this contest is real? That greedy spirit is exactly why people like you don’t win. Why would God bless someone like that? Just think about it.

    1. We sure do get winners from all sorts of homes across the nation! You can watch real winning moments at ! You’ll see apartment dwellers as well as others!
      Deborah @ PCH

  7. I am so sorry for the error…
    My comment is just that I hope I win. I want to give my family a better life. I dream of taking my children to Disney world one day. I would love to afford a SUV for my kids along with the financial stability to maintain it and take them to and fro places they never been before like ballet classes for my girls, and music lessons for my boys. A nice house even if it’s a rental, with a beautiful yard too.