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March 15, 2009

Setting the Record Straight on Ed McMahon

Virtually every time I am out on Prize Patrol to award a big cash sweepstakes prize to a Publishers Clearing House winner, a bystander will yell, “So where’s Ed McMahon?”

Clearly this person and many others are under the mistaken impression that Johnny Carson’s longtime co-host is or was employed as a TV spokesman for Publishers Clearing House. Ed McMahon never worked for Publishers Clearing House and never pitched the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. Even people in the media -- who should know better -- have argued with me, the head of the Publishers Clearing House prize award team, that Ed McMahon appeared in our Publishers Clearing House TV commercials.

We were sorry to hear about Ed McMahon’s recent financial troubles and health problems. Yet, we couldn’t help but notice that many of those news reports also misidentified his sweepstakes affiliation.

The fact is that Ed McMahon was employed for the better part of the 1980’s and ‘90’s by American Family Publishers (AFP), 50% owned by Time Inc. and the sponsor of a rival sweepstakes to the one that we have operated since 1967. AFP, which ceased its operations in 2001, was also in the business of selling magazine subscriptions via direct mail bulletins that were similar in some respects to ours – with oversized envelopes, big prizes and colorful stampsheets.

As head of the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol, I travel extensively to award sweepstakes prizes. On one transcontinental flight some years ago, who should I be seated near but Ed McMahon himself! So we finally met face to face – after years of appearing in rival TV commercials in American households, often broadcast on the same days. Ed and I laughed over the fact that there was so much confusion about what sweepstakes he represented on-camera. In the end we joked that people didn’t care so much who delivered them the prize money as long as someone did!

But of course, here at Publishers Clearing House we think people should care who awards them prize money and we've awarded over $220 Million in prizes! “There’s no place like our house!” was a TV commercial jingle we used in the 1980’s, and that line is as true today as it was then. Imitators of the real Publishers Clearing House have abounded over the years, and regrettably there are scam operators out there who attempt to trade on our good name, but have absolutely no affiliation with our company.

Don’t be confused. Take it from the guy who leads the real Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol into winners’ homes and into your home via sweepstakes winning moments shown on TV and online at PCHTV.com. Publishers Clearing House has been in business since 1953 and is a name you can trust.

Having said that, I urge you to click here to enter the giant Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes online where there are prizes every day and where you can even win Ten Million Dollars! If you win, I’ll be there in person to award the prize and proclaim, "Congratulations, you're a Publishers Clearing House winner!"

Dave Sayer

Executive Director



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