Skip to main content

Does Anyone Ever Really Win The Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes?

I'm an aspiring writer, but overall, I am an American who seeks a better United States of America. Come join me in my journey of truth.

Judith E. Bell is the author of this photograph.

Judith E. Bell is the author of this photograph.

1. What is Publishers Clearing House?

Most of us remember sweepstakes entries arriving in the mail from Publishers Clearing House as far back as when we were toddlers. I remember all those ridiculous television advertisements from when I was a little kid wherein a man in a suit and tie would ramble on about how their sweepstakes was going to solve all of your money problems. There was this one famous advertisement of theirs wherein a bunch of people would express their skepticisms about Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. Then supposed winners of the sweepstakes would say, "That's what we used to think." A well-dressed man at the end of that advertisement would hold up a sweepstakes entry form from them and say, "Come on. Send it in."

Publishers Clearing House has been in business since 1953, but they have been holding contests and sweepstakes since 1967. They're mainly in the business of selling magazines, although they sell other merchandise and products as well. They insist that you don't have to buy a thing from them and you can still win their sweepstakes. I find myself questioning whether you really win anything even if you do buy something from them.

In recent years, paper magazines have become less and less popular as we have moved into the digital age in which most people read magazine articles on the Internet. Publishers Clearing House has evolved with this trend, for a lack of a better term. You may have noticed that before the Internet became as big as it is, Publishers Clearing House used to mail out sweepstakes entry forms more aggressively than usual during times of economic uncertainty.

When I was in living in Los Angeles, California, I developed this pipedream in my mind that if I completed and sent in each and every sweepstakes entry form that I ever received from Publishers Clearing House, I would eventually win the jackpot prize. If I had known back then what I know now, I would not have wasted my time on such nonsense. They promise you the moon and the stars every time that you receive one of their sweepstake entry forms, but I don't even know one person who has won a modest amount of money from this flimflam operation. Any time that I receive a sweepstakes entry form from them, I throw it right in the trash can.

What really bewilders me is despite all the warning signs that have surfaced through the years that Publishers Clearing House is not as genuine as they present themselves to be, there are still people who have never won one red cent from them and yet they will defend them with every inch of their will. What these people intend to gain from doing so is beyond my comprehension.

The comments sections of YouTube videos about Publishers Clearing House are replete with trolls who will claim that they have won money from that outfit only so that they can tell someone who questions the legitimacy of that outfit that they're merely sore losers inasmuch as they have never won anything from them. What is entertaining about it is how normal YouTubers will lash back at these trolls by accusing them of being employees of Publishers Clearing House. Then again, I have read stories on the Internet about companies hiring trolls to fire back verbally at anyone who criticizes their integrity. In any event, Publishers Clearing House has made a countless number of enemies through their deceptive business practices.

One particular characteristic about Publishers Clearing House that stands out the most is that their customer service department leaves so very much to be desired. I once purchased a stain remover from them that was supposed to work on carpets, and the product was horrible. I returned the item and attempted to get my money back, and let's just say that they have done nothing to make me whole since then. Wow! If they're not lying to the public about their sweepstakes, they're ripping off consumers.

What infuriates me so much about Publishers Clearing House is that they mislead you to believe that if you throw a sweepstakes entry form from them in the trash, it will magically change into the winning entry form for their jackpot prize. Well, let me assure everyone who has thrown out Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes entry forms in the past that likely none of them were winning entries.

My late maternal grandmother used to order from Publishers Clearing House all the time upon completing and sending in their sweepstakes entry form, and the most that she got out of it was an attic full of magazines that she had never read right up to the time that she passed away. My late maternal grandmother actually wrote a letter of complaint to them that she had been entering their sweepstakes for years and had never won anything.

My experiences with Publishers Clearing House and other companies like them that hold sweepstakes and contests have never been positive. I usually end up receiving tons of junk mail after entering the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. If they have sold my information to mailing lists companies, I have to question how much money they get paid for it. Their actions in that regard alone stink to high heaven.

After Publishers Clearing House's main competitor, American Family Publishers, went belly up in 1998 largely because of their deceptive business practices, one would think that American consumers would have taken it as a wakeup call not to waste their time on aimless contests and sweepstakes. However, Publishers Clearing House continued to prosper with its sweepstakes long thereafter.

Herein I am going to show you why Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes and the likes should be prohibited by law everywhere in the United States of America. They deceive and take advantage of the financially vulnerable, and they make people's dreams die a slow and miserable death. It is my contention that they were a company that started out as a legitimate one back in 1953 and held legitimate sweepstakes back when they started this same practice of theirs in 1967 but that they eventually deteriorated into a shady operation.

2. Do Not Trust The Mainstream Media Regarding The Question Of Publishers Clearing House's Authenticity

A local television station under the umbrella of the National Broadcasting Company ("NBC") provided an entire news report on whether Publishers Clearing House was a scam. Channel 11 (KARE) provides that same news clip on YouTube that you can watch below.

Channel 11 (KARE) Elaborates On Whether Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Is For Real

Now, let's be brutally honest. The mainstream media has not been dependable in giving the American people the facts for a long time. Even local news programs have habitually deviated from the truth.

I can pick out a number of suspicious aspects about the news clip above that simply don't match up with reality. For example, the male announcer claims that a contestant only has 1 in 6.2 billion chances of winning the jackpot prize from Publishers Clearing House. Now wait a minute. Does it mean that Publishers Clearing House mails out that many sweepstakes entries? It would be impossible for them to do so, because the cost of postage for doing so would be so financially overwhelming for their outfit that they would be unable to pay their winners. I somehow do not believe that any outfit would expend that much money to run a contest or a sweepstakes and would still be able to pay their winners.

Now, I do get it. Because Publishers Clearing House is now utilizing their website to make sweepstakes entry forms available to contestants, that setup alone will alleviate their postage expenses somewhat. However, because many elderly contestants are not computer-literate or simply don't have Internet access, Publishers Clearing House is still going to have to expend a significant amount of money to mail out their sweepstakes entry forms to these people.

Also, it should be noted that there are only 328.2 million people here in the United States of America. However, there are nearly 8 billion people in the entire world. Therefore, Publishers Clearing House would have to send their sweepstakes entries to people outside the United States of America as well inside our nation. Do 6.2 billion people in our world speak English? I have to question. Something simply doesn't add up here, and now I give you the proof in the pudding herein that they are not being sincere.

Scroll to Continue

According to information on their website, Publishers Clearing House only sends their sweepstakes entry forms to residents of the United States of America and Puerto Rico. To the best of my knowledge, they do not make their entry forms available in any other language than English. There was some information elsewhere on their website that indicated that they do allow people in the United Kingdom to enter their sweepstakes. However, the numerical information that Publishers Clearing House sets forth regarding the odds of winning their jackpot prize is simply not cogent after you do the math.

One of the journalists in the news clip above interviews a woman who is supposedly a winner of a large amount of money from Publishers Clearing House. They blur out her face. They could have easily paid her to pose as a sweepstakes winner for Publishers Clearing House, and it wouldn't take much effort for them to blur out her face to make it all seem real.

There is a great amount of fraud and fake news happening in our mainstream media nowadays. Any news agency could report whatever Publishers Clearing House wanted them to do so for the right price. Publishers Clearing House has done every other unethical thing under the sun. What would stop them from bribing a news agency to make them appear to be legitimate when they are not?

3. Publishers Clearing House Has Been Sued Numerous Times For Deceptive Business Practices

Click on to the description of Publishers Clearing House in the Wikipedia on the Internet, and you will find that the people running this outfit have likely spent more time in court defending themselves against lawsuits than they have on the road delivering prize checks to "winners." Of course, I don't believe that they really do give out prize checks to anybody. This outfit has had more lawsuits against it for deceptive business practices than any other company I have ever known. That is so not good.

Publishers Clearing House has become notorious throughout the legal community for false advertising and deceptive marketing practices. Advocates of the elderly have blacklisted this outfit also for targeting senior citizens in their predatory business practices. I go by the rule of thumb that where there is smoke, there is fire.

One time a gentleman argued with me on YouTube that the number of lawsuits against Publishers Clearing House was not unusually high for any large corporation. However, this same gentleman failed to take into consideration the seriousness and the severity of this outfit's deceptive business practices that has repeatedly landed them in front of a judge in the civil court system. They could save a whole mint of money by paying their contestants what they should instead of paying lawyers to defend them.

Now, if any of you reading my article here want to argue that Publishers Clearing House has written some very big checks, I won't disagree with you on that point. However, my response to your argument will be that they indeed have written some very big checks, but they have done so to pay plaintiffs in lawsuits against them rather than sweepstakes winners.

Others have exercised the school of thought that you shouldn't throw away a Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes entry form, because "you never know!" My response to them is that there may be nothing to "you never know" and if you cannot feel or touch something, chances are that it does not exist. The jackpot prize in the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes puts that same image of an optical illusion in that regard in my head.

4. There Are Many Clues That The Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Is Not Real

After you walk into a casino and you start playing a slot machine or you gamble at a craps table, you're interacting either with a machine or a real person. Either way, you know that your efforts to win money are not in vein. You could lose money, but, then again, you have all the proof in the world that money there in the casino is winnable and is real. If nobody around you is winning anything, then you realize that it is time for you to exit the place and cut your losses.

Entering a Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes is kind of like sailing blindly into unchartered territory with no guarantee that you have any chance of winning anything at all or that anybody does. You can't hear any slot machines ringing or any people screaming in an excited manner as you do in a casino whenever anyone is winning something substantial. You're completely at the mercy of the person who receives your sweepstakes entry and opens it up. They may simply throw it in the trash once they see that you have ordered nothing, even though the sweepstakes rules indicate that you're under no obligation to buy anything to enter the sweepstakes.

Not too long ago I had a conversation with my accountant regarding the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes and the likes. He told me that in the four decades that he had been filling out income tax returns, he had never come across even one client of his who had won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes at any level or had won any kind of contest or sweepstakes. He had encountered many clients who had won money from state lotteries and had to report their winnings to Uncle Sam and their state taxation department, of course.

Now, according to the mainstream media, supposedly there are numerous contestants who win prize money from Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes in the three figures or the four figures. However, this same above-described accountant of mine told me that in the four decades that he had been running his accounting firm, he never had a client who had even won that modest amount of money from Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes.

A confidential source of mine also reported to me that a real estate agent who had been in business for over four decades told her that he had never had a client who had bought a house with any kind of winnings from Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. The real estate agent commented to her that he didn't believe that Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes was for real.

It all brings to mind when I used to complete surveys online for money, there was this one survey website that did not pay its survey takers any money but rather entered them into a contest or a sweepstakes. On this one other website named SurveyPolice, this one gentleman warned everyone who signed up for that one survey site that they could be spending their valuable time filling out surveys to be entered into a contest in an effort to win a prize that may not have ever existed. In the case of the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes, skepticism is well warranted.

5. Publishers Clearing House Literally Wastes Contestants' Time

My mother can be technologically challenged at times with computers. For that reason, one time she asked me to enter her into the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes on their website ( I was not happy about it, but I went ahead and agreed with her to do it.

Upon going into the Publishers Clearing House website, I had thought that entering my mother into their sweepstakes was going to be quick and painless. I had filled out their paper sweepstakes entry forms in the past and I had always found them to be long-winded and involving insofar as they could be annoying to complete at times. I was hoping that their website treated their contestants much better in the sweepstakes-entry process. However, my experience on their website was much worse in that respect.

I felt as though I kept having to go from one screen to another in my efforts to submit the sweepstakes entry from my computer and that it was a never-ending journey into madness. I finally ran out of patience when I got to this one screen that asked me to perform a search of different items in front of me. I sat there in so much frustration and anger that I wanted to exit the entire sweepstakes-entry process, which I was finding to be way too time-consuming.

Then an airheaded bimbo appeared on my computer screen saying "SEARCH!" in a loud, shrill, high-pitched voice. I ferociously attempted to mute her, because she was really getting on my nerves; but somehow the volume icon always seems to freeze up on my computer whenever someone annoyingly loud like her appears on my computer screen for one reason or another. I downloaded a special application to mute such nuisances quickly, but, of course, that is another article for another time.

Ultimately, I exited the sweepstakes-entry process, because I did not want to burn up any more of my time going through every little task that Publishers Clearing House threw at me and I did not want to listen to the airheaded bimbo on my computer screen shout anymore. I felt bad about it afterwards, and I apologized to my mother inasmuch as she had really been depending on me to enter her into that sweepstakes. However, not only was she pleasant with me about it, but she asked me to go ahead and unsubscribe her from getting any more electronic communications from Publishers Clearing House. She was equally as irked as I was that they used dirty tactics to hold me hostage to their sweepstakes-entry process in order to corner me into purchasing something from them or so it seemed.

I recently stumbled across a video on YouTube where a gentleman encountered the same grueling experience with Publishers Clearing House. His name is Scott Cramer, and you can view his video below.

Scott Cramer Describes His Ordeal With Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes

After watching Mr. Cramer's video above, I then realized that I probably made the right decision in exiting the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes-entry process before they were able to trick me into buying any of their products or merchandise. When I was a little kid, they used to call their sweepstakes "the Publishers Clearing House Giveaway." Well, they don't give away anything anymore as far I am concerned. They're out to rip you off.

My sister once told my mother not to waste her time entering the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes, and she said that she wasn't going to win anything from them. My sister was right, and, fortunately, my mother took her advice. Like me, my mother now throws out Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes entry forms in the trash every time she receives one in the mail.

In the YouTube video above, one of Mr. Cramer's fans commented that (Publishers Clearing House) was definitely a rigged and staged organization. That's the understatement of all time. Publishers Clearing House is an organization that shouldn't even be allowed to do business anywhere in the world. They are disgusting and unscrupulous.

6. Celebrities Should Not Endorse Publishers Clearing House Under Any Circumstances

I'm not a big fan of Steve Harvey. He is one of those television celebrities who thinks he's the next Richard Pryor except that the only one who ever seems to laugh at his jokes is himself. He also appears to believe that he is equally as intelligent as Montel Williams, when Montel Williams would likely never have invited him on his television talk show when it was still on the air.

Actually, Steve Harvey can be quite annoying at times. In any event, it is his choice whether he wishes to be a spokesman for Publishers Clearing House. They could not have found any more of an imbecile than him to represent them in television advertisements. Seeing him in them should serve as enough of a red flag for people not to enter the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes.

On the other hand, I have a fair amount of respect for Terry Bradshaw. He has devoted most of his life to sports. I cannot fathom why he would want to get tied up with a sham like Publishers Clearing House and become a spokesman for them as he has done. When the day comes that the authorities storm in on them, I would not like to see him get absorbed into that melodrama once it finally unfolds.

The optics are simply not favorable for celebrities whenever they associate themselves with outfits like Publishers Clearing House that produce a substantial number of unhappy consumers at large. Perhaps Publishers Clearing House is paying both Steve Harvey and Terry Bradshaw a generous amount of money to be spokesmen for their outfit. However, once Publishers Clearing House someday has to face the music, it could all come back to bite both Steve Harvey and Terry Bradshaw.

Certainly Terry Bradshaw could not be so desperate that he has to involve himself with a shady outfit like Publishers Clearing House. Steve Harvey, on the other hand, will do anything for attention, even if it is something that could haunt him later on. Terry Bradshaw is entering into his twilight years. Therefore, he has to know that many senior citizens cannot be happy about his decision to be a spokesman for Publishers Clearing House in view of the fact that they have defrauded so many elderly people. In essence, both he and Steve Harvey are endorsing this outfit.

Judith E. Bell is the author of this photograph.

Judith E. Bell is the author of this photograph.

7. Final Thoughts And Conclusion

My mother has always told me that if something is too good to be true, then it usually is. I cannot understand why too few people follow that school of thought whenever they receive a Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes entry form in the mail. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how phony this outfit is in terms of every way that it does business.

Whenever there has been a recession here in our nation, sweepstakes entry forms from Publishers Clearing House have flooded the United States Postal Service. Now that Publishers Clearing House is doing most of its business online, I guess that such a pattern will eventually wind down; although elderly consumers will still likely continue to receive such entry forms in the mail in large doses. Anyhow, it is clear how Publishers Clearing House tries to get to consumers when they are the most vulnerable to their manipulation.

The press and the media have warned us Americans that we are in for inflationary times. Therefore, everyone should beware of the prospective tsunami of Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes entry forms that will be circulating through the mail once it happens.

Whenever I get a Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes entry form in the mail, I rip it up immediately and throw it away. I don't want anything from them, and I don't want to send anything their way. They have no sense of integrity or decency, and I just assume never to do business with them again. Other immediate family members of mine feel the same way.

Dave Sayer has never knocked on my front door, and he never will do so. If you hear the doorbell ring at your front door and you answer it, chances are that whoever is standing there claiming to be from the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol is really a process server in disguise attempting to serve you divorce papers from your soon-to-be ex-wife or attempting to serve you a court summons from your pregnant ex-girlfriend who insists that you are the father of her unborn baby. Uh oh. I may have given process servers an inventive way to do their job, even better than pretending to be a pizza delivery person.

If there is even one person on this writing platform who has won a substantial amount of money from Publishers Clearing House and can provide me with photographic proof of it, I will be the first to admit that I am wrong about that outfit; and employees of Publishers Clearing House need not contact me. Otherwise, I will continue to be one of the many consumers who view that outfit as a sham. If that outfit was really as legitimate as it claims to be, it would not involve such deceptive business practices as I have described herein.

Publishers Clearing House reeks with consumer fraud. I am someone who is all in favor of a free enterprise system here in our nation. However, when a company or a private organization like Publishers Clearing House entices consumers into entering a sweepstakes under the false promise that they will win the jackpot prize sooner or later if they keep on participating in future sweepstakes, then the authorities should have every right to run interference against that outfit. According to the Wikipedia, Publishers Clearing House has even gone as far as deceiving consumers into believing that they were guaranteed winners if they entered the sweepstakes immediately. It is so wrong of them to mislead people in this manner.

If you receive a sweepstakes entry form from Publishers Clearing House in the mail, the best move you can make is to throw it out in the trash can. Avoid their website at all costs. If you actually do decide to enter their sweepstakes, you may see a multitude of zeros; but you will likely never see any of those zeros with any other number in front of it, at least not in the form of a prize check.

Publishers Clearing House is worse than multilevel marketing companies, and that fact alone places them at the bottom of the barrel. Sooner or later Publishers Clearing House is going to be caught up in a scandal that is even worse than that of Enron, and their quasi-corporate empire will go crumbling apart all at once. For that reason, you should avoid them at all costs. The choice is yours. Make the right one.

A Poll For People Who Hate Contests And Sweepstakes

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Jason B Truth

Related Articles