History of the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes

We’ve all seen the commercials showing people holding huge cardboard checks – and that’s what we associate with the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes! An over-the-top, exciting cash prize. But there is a rich history to this company that makes them even more interesting.

In 1953, Harold and LuEsther Mertz founded Publishers Clearing House, which became a very successful direct marketing company. The sweepstakes was started in 1967 in an effort to promote the company’s magazine offerings. With over 240 million in prizes given away over the years, this is one of the largest (and longest-running) sweepstakes in the world!

This particular sweepstakes is probably one of the most famous because the winners are often surprised at their homes – on camera. The thrill of winning thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of dollars can be seen written on their faces, and the ordinary folks who win remind the viewers that they, too, could receive a winning payday.

Publishers Clearing House hasn’t rested on its laurels, though. Since 1999, a website has made it possible to enter online, while a new group of online play to win games have also sprouted up. You can play slots, bingo, the lotto, or other games. There is also a search and win website that will give you the opportunity to get a prize just for searching! Smart phones have even been included in the action, with special apps and games set up so you never have to stop playing and winning.

Prizes are often between $5 and $10 million, and there is even a $5,000 a week for life sweepstakes! The company faced some lawsuits for its careless use of the word “finalists” in direct mail promotions of the sweepstakes. Although the fine print did clarify that a person was only a finalist if he had a winning number, many felt that Publishers Clearing House had misled people into giving away their information. However, all that is behind the company now; settlements and a new commitment to clarity and openness have helped the sweepstakes become even more famous than before.

While it is possible for you to enter and win one of these huge prizes, the odds are against you. This is one of the most well-publicized sweepstakes, and it is entered by millions of people. A regular sweepstakes routine of entering small sweeps, daily or instant win sweeps, and local sweeps is more likely to pay off in the long run. Check in on RocketSweeps to find out about some of the newest daily win sweeps!

This article was written by Todd who blogs about sweepstakes at Rocketsweeps.com


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