Publishers Clearing House (PCH) is one of the leading providers of sweepstakes gaming in the United States. Players from across the country can play their slot games, scratchers, keno and other lottery-type titles on the site.
Of course, many people know Publishers Clearing House best as the giveaway company. Each year, commercials feature the PCH Prize Patrol, which surprises homeowners with life-changing money.
Despite the seemingly fantastical nature of its most public activities, PCH is a legitimate company that has awarded, by its admission, more than $483 million in prizes. Its core businesses are marketing and magazine sales. However, what PCH represents to most of us is an opportunity to play for real prizes without having to pay money upfront.
So, read on for information about all the opportunities awaiting you at Publishers Clearing House.
Top Sweepstakes Casinos
How does PCH work?
In order to understand how Publishers Clearing House’s free-to-play, chance-to-win games work, it’s necessary to describe how a sweepstakes site operates. The key to any sweepstakes site is that there cannot be a direct exchange of money.
For instance, PCH uses a currency called tokens. These are reward units distributed to participants in the various on-site games. They are redeemable for entries into prize draws that Publishers Clearing House conducts each month. These prizes have a real dollar value. The number of tokens required to play will vary according to the expense of the prize. So, in a sense, it is possible to redeem tokens for prizes with real world value.
Because of this fact, a purchase of tokens might render the giveaways as gambling instead of sweepstakes. In the eyes of regulators and lawmakers, this classification would land PCH in hot water.
Casinos with sweepstakes games
PCH’s list of games may not be your cup of tea. After all, between slot games, online scratch-offs and keno, PCH is more suited to casual gamers. However, those who want to play casino games or poker can explore Virtual Gaming World network sites.
The following four sites are open for business in most US states:
As you can see, there is a broader slate of game options. It is also possible to convert dollars into redeemable currency easier, thanks to the network’s dual currency approach. The long and short of it is that PCH is not the only game in town, but it serves a valuable segment of the community.
There’s no reason you can’t play on all these sites and Publishers Clearing House without too much overlap.
How do Publishers Clearing House casino games work?
So, how does all this stuff fit together? Before you began reading, you probably thought PCH was synonymous with giveaways and Ed McMahon. As it turns out, both of those statements are inaccurate. There’s so much more to PCH than the PCH Prize Patrol. In reality, McMahon represented a competing website.
So, Publishers Clearing House is ultimately free to play, win tokens and redeem them for prizes. However, where PCH gets you is with your time.
It will typically take quite a while to rack up enough tokens to buy a significant number of entries for a prize draw. Even in that scenario, the drawing is completely random and there’s no guarantee you’ll win the prize. That’s not to say that PCH games are not fun or worth the effort.
It’s merely a fact, however, that the company’s model means that winning a prize is a bit of a shot in the dark at various points. Because PCH takes such care to offer games free of charge, though, it presents an opportunity that you cannot find in many other places.
Some solid slot titles and game options are available to you here, and if you’re normally in a state where gambling is generally disallowed, playing on PCH can serve as a nice, legal substitute.
Types of games at Publishers Clearing House
There are several different games that you can use to accrue tokens at Publishers Clearing House. They vary in terms of structure and payouts, but all of them offer a meaningful and (possibly) profitable diversion.
One of the first types of games that you can find on PCH are the free slot games. These options provide a taste of Las Vegas for everyone, even if you’ve never been to the gambling mecca in the desert. PCH has six different games available for those who wish to play. They come with a variety of themes, from ancient Egypt to the Wild West. They are:
- Aztec Temple Treasures
- Cha Ching Bling
- Pharaoh’s Fortune
- Slots of Gold
- Wild Cherries
- Wild West Winnings
In terms of current slot technology, these offerings are somewhat old school. Although they have a perfectly functional design, they don’t have the bells and whistles that some of the newer online slot games offer.
In fact, they are flash-style games. Four of them have three reels only. Nevertheless, they are a potential pathway to free riches. A leaderboard beneath each game’s interface allows you to see how your wins stack up against those of others.
Finally, PCH holds a slot machine tournament every night. You can take a free chance at securing some tokens and some bragging rights and if you come up short, there’s always tomorrow.
The PCH quizzes section is far more robust in its offerings than its slots brethren. There are a plethora of multiple-choice quizzes that you can play. These quizzes come in four main subject areas. They are:
Obviously, there can be any topic under trivia. It serves as a catch-all for any quiz that doesn’t fit the other groups. However, these quizzes can be a simple way to pick up some tokens. Each question only comes with two possible answers, so you could answer several correctly simply by flipping a coin.
But, there are many different subjects that you can pursue here. If you want something more than the blind luck of slots, PCH quizzes might be the way to go.
PCH token games
The PCH token games are where PCH hits its stride. There are tons of different games that you can play in this section. The types of games you can find here include card games, board games and pinball. You have your choice between these different groups of options:
- Minute Mania
◦ Fast, speed-based games that each come with a 60-second timer.
◦ Nine games total
◦ 17 varieties of solitaire.
◦ Blackjack, Kings in the Corner and other card-based titles.
◦ 23 games total
◦ All games are versions of tile-based Mahjongg.
◦ 13 games total
◦ Matching and memory-enhancing games that rely on pattern detection.
◦ Six games total
◦ Word-based games that call for you to assemble words from randomly chosen letter groups.
◦ Six games total
- Candystand Arcade Games
◦ Rudimentary but functional pinball-type games.
◦ Two games total
In all, there are 59 different games that you can play in the “Token Games” section alone. PCH is adding more titles all the time, so if you need some variety, this section is a good place to go.
The lotto is one section of the site that could legitimately be called a public service. After all, real-money lottery games have a tendency to affect people’s wallets negatively, but here, you can play until your heart’s content and come out no worse for wear. Like any lottery drawing, Publishers Clearing House offers you the chance to select a series of numbers from a list. The amount of numbers in the list varies, and so does the amount that can be in your series.
Like other lotteries, PCH will then randomly select numbers at a predetermined time. Each drawing has its own established jackpot. Some of these jackpots exceed $1 million. Drawings are happening all the time, too. There are daily, weekly and monthly opportunities to win big prizes.
All in all, Publishers Clearing House has 19 lottery drawings running. For just a few seconds of your time, you can take your shot at hitting it big.
As is often the case with state lotteries, PCH also has scratch-offs to go along with the lotto drawings. These work exactly like the scratch-off tickets available in gas stations and other retail outlets throughout the country.
With a scratch-off, you get a card with a hidden section on it. You remove the hidden layer to find out if you’ve won the advertised prize or one of the lesser prizes. Publishers Clearing House has 20 different scratch-off cards that you can play. Ten of them have a top prize of $2,500, while the other 10 have a top prize of $1,000.
Of course, it’s quite unlikely that you will win this top prize or even one of the other cash prizes that the cards carry. The most likely scenario is that you will win a certain amount of game tokens.
You can only play each scratch-off once per day. However, since there’s no cost to you, there’s no reason not to take a minute and try to win thousands of dollars.
Keno tends to be a bit of an afterthought in most settings. Traditionally, keno is a game that you play in casinos while you eat at the buffet. However, with Publishers Clearing House, you have the opportunity to give keno its due. Keno drawings are running almost always on the site.
For those who are unfamiliar with keno, it shares many characteristics of both bingo and lottery games. You preselect a group of numbers from a grid, then try to match those selections to a randomly determined group that the house calls. Keno drawings on PCH require the selection of 10-number groups. You can enter each drawing up to five times. In order to win, you have to match a certain number of your selections to the called group. Usually, it takes correct selections on about 60% of the numbers to cash.
However, PCH is not a mercenary place. So, you will receive tokens for any number of matches. The more that you match, the more tokens you can acquire. If you manage to match all 10 called numbers, the token win can stretch into the millions.
PCH instant win
Publishers Clearing House offers six different instant win games for you to play. As the name implies, they can potentially result in an instant cash win for you. The six games that you can play are:
- Bull’s Eye Bucks
- Lightning Laps Racing
- PCH Cash Kickoff
- Pop & Roll
- Prize Grabber
- Rolling for Cash
Each game’s mechanics are slightly different and give the impression that you have control over the outcome. However, truthfully, that seems unlikely. In reality, they are more like games you’d find at a fair or carnival than anything else.
Each game is available to you once per day. You can win up to $1,000, and there’s no cost to enter. Moreover, you will win tokens for playing, no matter how you finish. So, there’s no reason not to drop by the “Instant Win” section of PCH every morning.
PCH search and win
You may not feel like playing games on PCH. Perhaps you are a busy person whose time is at a premium. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to be shut out from a chance at winning. It is possible to earn tokens simply by searching for terms on the web.
Publishers Clearing House has its own search engine. The “search and win” function works just like any other search engine, but with one key difference. Namely, you earn tokens for every search that you make. If you were already planning on doing some sleuthing on the internet, there’s no reason you can’t get something in return.
Finally, we arrive at the signature product for Publishers Clearing House. PCH is best known for its Prize Patrol and massive sweepstakes with life-changing money. Although it may not seem apparent in a 30-second commercial spot, Publishers Clearing House offers a smorgasbord of sweepstakes all the time. In fact, there are more than 40 different drawings active on the site.
There isn’t any cost to enter one of these contests, either. On the website, it can take roughly a minute to enter every single contest that Publishers Clearing House offers.
Here are some of the top sweepstakes that you could find on PCH:
- Try to win $7,000 a week for life.
- Enter to win $1,250,000 for your ultimate dream home.
- Win $75,000 to eliminate your debt.
- Enter to win a $25,000 ultimate jackpot party.
- Win $10,000 and pay off your debt.
- Try to win the $1 million treasure trove sweepstakes.
- Enter to win the kitchen cash-in sweepstakes.
- Try to win the $1 million-plus bonus sweepstakes.
These are just a selection of the opportunities, of course. There are dozens of prize packages that you can place yourself in the running to win. To be honest, the chances of winning one of the grand prizes are pretty slim. The prizes are so fantastical that it couldn’t be otherwise.
However, like PCH’s other games and contests, the potential for big winnings versus the cost of a few seconds of your time makes participating in Publishers Clearing House’s sweepstakes worth it.
How do the slot tournaments work?
If you visit the PCH slots area, you will see an opportunity to play in the site’s slot tournament. This tournament can be a great way to increase your rewards token load.
The slot tournament works primarily as a leaderboard contest. Players compete with one another on seven different slot machines to see who can achieve the highest aggregate score. Each player can spin each slot machine five times. The player who has the highest score at the end of the day will win a massive haul of tokens.
However, winning the tournament is only one of the ways you can win. Each slot machine that you play has an instant win component to it. As a result, you could put up to $5,000 into your pocket in a flash. All you have to do is align the “Instant Winner” spaces across each reel on the game.
You can also get a shot at an instant win, regardless of how you perform in the tournament. Simply complete your 35 spins across seven machines, and you can spin the “$500 Wheel of Winning.”
How do I claim a prize?
There are always drawings on the PCH Token Exchange for prizes of varying values. They can take the form of merchandise, gift cards or straight-up cash. The nice thing is that you won’t have to do anything to receive your prize if you happen to win. Publishers Clearing House will email you with the details and shipping information for getting your bounty to you.
The website is self-explanatory on one point, however, and it bears mention here:
You should never agree to pay, in any way, shape or form, to receive a prize from PCH.
Even shipping should transpire at no cost to you. So, if you win, congratulations, but watch out for any potential scams.
Publishers Clearing House VIP and rewards levels
Most companies like to reward their most frequent and loyal customers, and PCH is no different. In fact, Publishers Clearing House employs a three-tiered system to rank its on-site denizens. The three PCH tiers of players are Player, VIP and VIP Elite.
All who register and use PCH games achieve a player status, but those who wish to advance must meet the requirements.
You must engage in one of the activities once per day for a series of consecutive days. The 10 eligible activities are:
- Receiving a sweepstakes entry.
- Instant-win gameplay.
- Skill-based gameplay.
- Slots gameplay.
- Blackjack gameplay.
- Watching a video.
- Claiming a token reward associated with reading an article.
- Conducting a search.
- Playing a lotto card.
- Playing a keno card.
Those who wish to become VIP players must complete one of those tasks for 15 days out of a 30-day timeframe. Also, those who want to become VIP Elite must do the same thing, but for 25 out of 30 days.
The good news is that the timeframe exists on a revolving basis. So, there’s no need to wait until the beginning of a month to start qualifying.
Each successive tier has its list of benefits. If you achieve one of the upper levels, you receive the new benefits and retain the old ones.
So, every player on PCH can do the following:
- Claim daily welcome tokens.
- PCH has cash winners every 10 minutes.
- Go for a “Daily Token Leader” cash award.
- Access the PCH Rewards token exchange.
Those who achieve VIP status can do all those things, plus:
- $1 million exclusive prize opportunity.
- Access to VIP exclusive prizes.
- Exclusive VIP customer service phone number.
- More chances to win the “SuperPrize.”
- Access to the exclusive VIP destination on PCH.com.
- Unlock exclusive VIP lotto cards and chances to win instantly.
- Go for exclusive VIP prizes on “Search & Win.”
Finally, those that become VIP Elite players get all of the above, but also receive:
- Secret automatic “Bonus SuperPrize” entries.
- $100,000 VIP Elite bonus to $1 million VIP giveaway.
- Access to VIP Elite prizes.
- VIP Elite “Millionaire of the Month” prize opportunities.
- Hundreds of VIP Elite exclusive winners are guaranteed every month.
- VIP Elite “5-Star SuperPrize” winner treatment.
- Exclusive VIP Elite customer service phone number.
- Access to VIP Elite exclusive missions on PCH.com with even more chances to win.
- Unlock exclusive VIP Elite lotto cards and chances to win instantly.
- Go for exclusive VIP Elite prizes on “Search & Win.”
There are some benefits for those who are willing to put in their time on PCH. Those who score big loads of tokens will also find themselves eligible for increasing levels of rewards on the PCH Token Exchange.
About Publishers Clearing House
Publishers Clearing House began its journey in 1953. It was the brainchild of Harold and LuEsther Mertz. Over the years, it has distinguished itself as a premier source for sweepstakes and giveaways. The company also generates a significant portion of its revenue as a magazine affiliate for many notable publications.
The company has grown from its humble roots to a massive organization with 500 full-time workers. Along with the hundreds of millions in revenue that PCH has given out as prizes, the company also donates 40% of its profits to charitable causes.