I recently read an article in The New York Times by Peter Funt who for many years hosted Candid Camera, the classic TV show founded in 1948 and hosted by his father Allen Funt (after a run of “Candid Microphone” on radio).  Peter talked about how he and his dad used to worry about “what might go wrong … involving the physical and emotional health of unsuspecting subjects” as they conducted thousands of “hidden-camera stunts.”

PCH Sweepstakes Prize

Caption: That’s me on my way to surprise a Sweepstakes winner years ago!

I must confess: Todd Sloane and I – who founded the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol almost a quarter of a century ago – have thought about such matters ourselves as we approached the front doors of hundreds and hundreds of PCH Sweepstakes winners.  I mean: these lucky folks never know we are coming, and they are totally unprepared for the shock, the thrill and the videotaping of the “winning moment.”  Who knows what could happen?  Should we have an ambulance standing by?  Might the winners slam the door in our face?

Well, I must tell you: We have not had any unpleasant experiences involving the winners’ physical and emotional health.  We — and the roses, balloons and Big Check — are welcomed without reservation.  Yes, some shaking has occurred, some winners get a bit weak in the knees, and some say “Can I sit down?”  But they recover almost immediately.

PCH Sweepstakes Prize Winner

As far as the emotional reactions are concerned, euphoria sets in just as quickly as the shakes subside – often accompanied by tears of joy, kisses and shouts of “Hallelujah!”  And this happiness has been known to last for days if not months and years – with no ill effects as far as we know.

In a way Todd and I owe something to the creators of Candid Camera.  We too saw long ago that video coverage of “real people being caught in the act of being themselves” makes for powerful and believable TV viewing.  No wonder folks see our PCH TV commercials and say to themselves “Look at him.  Look at her.  If they can win a Big Check worth thousands or millions of dollars, why can’t I?”  And they decide then and there to enter the PCH Sweepstakes – just as you can and should.  It’s easy to enter

And if you win we won’t arrive saying “Smile – you’re on Candid Camera.”  Instead we’ll say “Smile! You’re a winner in the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes!”

Keep smiling, and good luck!

Dave Sayer

Dave Sayer
Prize Patrol Ambassador

Other blogs you may like:
Prize Patrol On The Road For PCH 25th Anniversary Prize!

“It Really Does Happen. You Are Real” – Michelle Curtis

Leave a Reply


  1. That’s pretty cool how you and your dad started this, i would love to win your Sweep Stakes and if i won the $1 Million Dollar’s a Year For Life i could pass it to my kid’s or one of them and she could pass it out among all 3 of them this would be a dream come true for me as well as you and your dad your dream came true and i would love to have our dream come true by winning, Have a great day Dave .

  2. I am always smiling Dave, but I am sure if you came to my door with the Prize Patrol I know I would be shaking.

    Well, I have been entering PCH for some time now, but this year is going to be different, my resolution this year is to not to give up and to just keep on entering everyday. I always remember what you said Dave, you have to enter to win and I do enter everyday, and it seems like it is all day long at one point or another through out the day plus, it is a lot of fun too!!!

    I am staying POSITIVE and VISUALIZING it all happening to me that is winning this 1MILLION a year “FOREVER” Prize this 2014 and it would be a plus to become the first ever PCH MEGA SUPER winner from my state!!! It is all so very exciting and I am looking forward to seeing who will be the winners of 2014!!!

    Well, I just want to wish the Prize Patrol Team and all the people that work for PCH “Happiness & Prosperity on this New Year 2014!!!” I hope it is a better year for all of us!!!

  3. Yes I would. Be shocked but all my dreams will finally come true I could get the house of my dreams that my family never had and my kids can finally get want they want and my life will be complete but most of all seeing the joy on my kids face and seeing my kids happy would be the best gift ever

  4. It would be so awesome to win something and that is why we all play is for that chance that we might be lucky today and get to meet the Prize Patrol in person as that would be a feeling like no other that you dream of in your lifetime!!!!

  5. I am skeptical about winning. I do hope it is real, but I have reservations about the odds and process of winning. I see some people enter PCH every minute of the day on various websites. Is that “legal” to basically make a career of entering the same contest over and over just hopping from one contest entry to another? Please help sort the confusion.I try to enter every day in the various ways, mail entry, telephone,, Pch facebook, Pch lotto, and Pch games…I too get lost in what is “legal entry” and the gray area. I don’t want to ruin my chances by mistakingly entering the same giveaway twice in a day.

  6. i have a question. what if i do win, and you show up at my home, and i’m at work? does this cause me to lose my chance at winning? just incase, i work afternoon shift which means i have to be to work by 3:00 pm. that is if i win.