More and More Winning at

Apr 13, 2006, 01:00 ET from Publishers Clearing House

    PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- On Wednesday afternoon
 (April 12), the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol once again did the
 job for which it is nationally famous -- thanks to years of TV advertising:
 it knocked on the door of an average American home and made the shocked
 occupant's dream come true with a cash windfall from the company's
 perennially treasure-filled sweepstakes. There were the balloons, the
 roses, the big check, the van, the champagne, the blue-blazered Prize
 Patrol and the video- cameraman capturing the excitement played out
 hundreds of times before.
     But what was different this time, and what is increasingly the case,
 was that this winner did not receive the official looking Publishers
 Clearing House mailer, peruse its colorful offerings of magazines,
 merchandise and prizes and reply by pasting stamps on an entry form; this
 lucky person entered the company's sweepstakes online.
     Indeed, more and more folks in search of prizes really worth winning
 are turning to the granddaddy of sweepstakes and its website which, like
 others, is increasingly popular.
     The site,, is also increasingly lucrative -- not just for the
 company which is realizing more magazine and merchandise revenue there, but
 for visitors who respond and win prizes worth thousands, even million
 dollar prizes.
     On Wednesday, John Zimmerman was on the receiving end as Dave Sayer,
 head of the Prize Patrol, surprised him at his Portland, Oregon home with a
 $10,000 prize which he won through According to Sayer, company
 records indicate that Zimmerman has responded to Publishers Clearing House
 mailings for many years, sometimes ordering a magazine or merchandise,
 sometimes not. But over the last year and a half he became an almost daily
 entrant to the sweepstakes via the website. Clearly it paid off.
     It also paid off for Betsy Tanabe of State College, PA. "I'm sure glad
 I got that new computer," she said celebrating her $1,000,000 win with
 family and friends last summer after getting the shock of a lifetime. The
 excitement was heightened when the Prize Patrol also delivered a new Ford
 Thunderbird, a bonus for entering the sweepstakes online. (While the
 winner's test drive was "wonderful," she chose a $42,500 cash option
     In November, 20-ish Chassidy Madden of Kentucky won the company's third
 million dollar prize of 2005 and its second million. Her speechless
 reaction was featured in commercials that appeared in NBC's coverage of the
 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and in a national campaign in January.
     Entering online, Tanabe and Madden clearly threw themselves into
 competition with thousands of offline entrants who respond to the mailings
 that are sent throughout the year to the company's extensive mailing list.
     Sayer says that while in earlier years over two-thirds of the people he
 surprised were women, mostly middle aged, more younger men seem to be
 winning lately.
     George Young of Iowa hooted with delight after initially blurting an
 expletive that can't be part of a TV commercial. "Ohhh man!! Yeah, yeah,
 yeah!!" he repeated as fellow factory workers watched a $10,000 award
 ceremony the likes of which they had never seen.
     Marty Kelly of Pennsylvania was less verbal than Young, but was equally
 moved. The Prize Patrol accompanied him to his wife Lisa's workplace where
 news of the $10,000 win brought her to tears. She is expecting their third
 child this summer and now looks forward to some maternity leave which she
 could not have afforded before.
     "These guys gave us some great 'Publishers Clearing House moments' that
 will go into our long-running 'reality TV' campaign of cheers and tears,"
 said Sayer. "Our commercials are totally unstaged and unrehearsed and
 underscore the legitimacy that applies to our whole sweepstakes -- which
 has awarded nearly $200 million in prizes since 1967" he added.
     Publishers Clearing House sees "hits" to its website increase
 dramatically when its "winning moment" commercials are on the air. So PCH
 management anticipates higher traffic in July when the next
 campaign promotes a $1 million prize to be awarded in August.
     Like most companies, Publishers Clearing House recognizes the growing
 importance of the internet and is putting increased resources into it.
 Besides sweepstake entry opportunities, provides web surfers with
 shopping opportunities for magazines and merchandise plus a broad array of
 company information.
     "Direct mail put Publishers Clearing House on the map, and we know that
 millions of consumers will continue to respond to our value and excitement-
 packed bulletins," said Andy Goldberg, president of PCH. "But also
 provides value and excitement plus entertaining games, profiles of our
 sweepstakes winners and more. We are adding lots more contests so that web
 surfers of all ages will find new ways to win, and we're adding
 value-priced offers based on the specific interests of our customers," he

SOURCE Publishers Clearing House