101 'Big Checks' From Publishers Clearing House Arrive at Most Welcome Time

Thu May 15, 2008 5:02pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- With polls showing the
economy to be Issue #1, Americans are especially glad to be receiving tax
rebates from Uncle Sam this month.  But for some lucky individuals there are
"big checks" of $1,000 to $10,000 arriving from Publishers Clearing House as
well.  This week the company dispatched Prize Patrol deputies on a "Grand
Tour" to deliver "big checks" to 101 surprised sweepstakes entrants across the
    "Gas prices are going through the roof; so what better time is there for
us to spread some prize money around," said Dave Sayer, the Prize Patrol chief
who appears in the TV commercials, often toting a million dollars.  "This week
we're awarding a grand here, ten grand there.  We're delivering thousands
everywhere," he said.
    After receiving his prize, a grateful Robert Hall of Brainerd, MN, said,
"I can sure use it.  Any little extra money is very helpful!"
    "This $1,000 pays for a lot of gas!" exclaimed Alicia Sanchez of
Immokalee, FL, who sometimes has to drive an hour to her job's headquarters in
Naples.  Ms. Sanchez was doubly surprised because her mother, who does not
speak English, summoned her home from work under the impression that the Prize
Patrol van was there to deliver a TV set and collect $200.  Deputy Degen
Marshall was able to straighten out the confusion and assure her that "the
prizes at Publishers Clearing House are always free."
    With so much geography to cover in just a few days, the company mobilized
64 employees as "Prize Patrol deputies."  Each prize arrived in the
well-marked van that everyone wants to see in their driveway, with roses,
balloons, champagne and -- of course -- "the big check" that causes recipients
to scream, faint, cry, or all three.
    Earlier this month the deputies attended a "Boot Camp" where they learned
how to coax camera-shy winners from the shadows and how to track down winners
who are not at home.  Much of the instruction came from Sayer who in his 27
years with the sweepstakes giant has learned a lot, especially since 1988 when
Todd Sloane, now a senior VP, suggested that the lucky winners be notified
with a videotaped visit rather than a phone call.  The two founded the Prize
Patrol which has been an icon of the company's TV commercials ever since.
    "The winners never know we're coming," says Sayer, "so the shocked
reactions you see on TV are 100% real."
    Sometimes the Prize Patrol deputies are the surprised ones.  Allison
Pavone and Eric Nielsen were greeted not by a happy winner but an excited dog
that promptly bit them -- mercifully not seriously enough to delay the next
    This week's winners are still eligible to win much bigger giveaways
including a "$5,000 A Week For Life SuperPrize."  Consumers can enter by
responding to company mailings or by going online to its popular website,
    Publishers Clearing House, a direct marketer of magazine subscriptions and
merchandise, was founded in Port Washington, NY in 1953.  Its name has become
synonymous with the sweepstakes and prizes it has used since 1967 to draw
attention to the "unbeatable" deals and values offered in its mailings.
Nearly half of the Publishers Clearing House profits go to charitable causes
ranging from social services to the environment.
SOURCE  Publishers Clearing House

David Sayer of Publishers Clearing House, +1-941-445-5071
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