Curious About Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes – Is it A Scam?

By David Wade, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – You get them in the mail and see them on TV – a chance to win big with the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes.

But Dorothy isn’t so trusting.

She Declared her Curiosity to WBZ-TV asking:

“Does anybody ever win the million dollar prize? Or is it a scam to get our email addresses?”

When we started checking, we learned that the “Prize Patrol” was heading our way, so we went along.

WBZ-TV’s David Wade reports

Danielle Lam from the Prize Patrol visited the Attleboro home of Wendy and Steven Gould, with a huge, pretend check and a real one as well.

That’s because Wendy won $10,000.

Her husband answered the door.

“You’ve got to be kidding,” he said.

“People do win the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. In the past 20 years we’ve actually had two, million dollar winners here in Massachusetts,” says Lam.

Joseph Lavita of Walpole won a million back in 1993, and Janice Wyner of Methuen did the same in 2006.

“Some people scream and jump and shout. Some people look like they’re going to faint. Some people run away and then they come back,” says Lam.

How did Wendy Gould handle it?

It turns out she was at work in Wellesley.

So after swearing Steven Gould to a vow of silence, the Prize Patrol headed to Wellesley to surprise Wendy.

“You just won $10,000,” Lam exclaimed when she met Wendy.

Though delighted, Wendy didn’t want to be on TV, so we couldn’t interview her.

But off-camera she was certainly happy about her windfall.

Publishers Clearing House sells almost every magazine imaginable.

It also sells a lot of merchandise.

They insist you don’t have to buy to win.

Wendy didn’t spend a dime.

You can even enter the sweepstakes on line, every day.

But you’ll face an onslaught of come-ons for knife sharpeners, massage pillows and leak fixers as well as offers for magazine after magazine.

And the odds of winning the biggest prize are long – one in nearly 2-billion.

You’ll also give them your name, address and email, but you can opt out of receiving mailings from them.

And for the lucky few, they do award a lot of money.

“Over the years we’ve given away over $227 million,” says the Prize Patrol’s Lam.

One thing to watch out for is scammers claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House, but asking you to pay a fee before getting your winnings.

That’s not legit, and the real sweepstakes doesn’t do that.

More from David Wade
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  • Eduardo Mcelhinny

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  • Cassie.Ieremia

    I believe that the publishers clearing house aint a scam because I saw it on national television and it broad casted world wide i’ve seen tears happiness and eyes full of joy familys that taught it’ll never happened to them but it did and if thats what it takes to make people believe that PCH is a scam then I dont know what else to say like what my mom always say seeing is believing so I just want to thank Mr.Dave Sayer, Deborah Holland and the rest of the PCH staffs & workers for giving people like myself an opptiunity of a life time to believe that there is still a chance & also givin the people a chance to believe that there is still hope out there by that being said thank you for taking the time to read my blog in hawaiian we say Mahalo and that means THANKYOU.

  • mike halper

    now you have to buy somethin g to complete an entry they lie and say for example prize 108 ends in feb 2 yrs later they have same drawing saying no one won i do not trust them feel it is rigged like all contests sue yiu win at vvegas but 90 percent gpoes to house alweays

    • Billie

      No you DON’T have to buy anything to enter their sweeps. I do it every day and I’ve never bought a thing. They have several drawings that end on different dates so check your facts Mike Halper or learn to read.

      • justlogical

        @Billie Have you won anything from PCH? Probably not ant chances are you never will. They do bombard you with emails everyday that are nothing but a disguise for their unsolicited advertisement. I received 1 today that REQUIRED me to get a auto insurance quote in order to get a entry to a sweepstakes.

  • Joan Gurganus

    I’m glad I looked at this message because I received a telephone call today teling me I had won a 2 and a half million dollars from publishing clearing house and I needed to pay insurance to the courier when they delivered it. It didn’t sound correct so that’s the reason I checked on the internet for Publishers Clearing House; I even questioned the person on the telephone that I thought Publisher’s
    Clearing house always delivered their prizes themselves; He made up some story and told me, but I still didn’t fall for it. It was some
    global courier service and they left their telephone number with me;

    • justlogical

      anybody that ask for money in order to collect a prize is trying to scam you

  • James d. Cato

    Were all sucker’s for a win win win ….. my wife is really mad at me right now laat year i spent good money this year i got sucker’ed in a 50 dollar a mounth book scam thay had me thinking 16.00 dollars a mounth,now i’ve got to cancle my devit card and wish i had my 50.00 dollars back and i’ve still to get my book’s …. thay sucked off my gas money for the week now im in a super bind to get to work ; and its all my falt ,I just wanted to be able to do somthing good for my family and only made things worse

  • mary

    I am upset with PCH. because they lie and say there coming to your area and then they dont. Why lie?????????????? We all know they cant come to the same place all the time but really why lie??????????????????? Also got a phane call from them wanting to know about your life then led you on like you really have a good chance of winning I done with there liesMary

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