Who does Ed McMahon think he's kidding?

Those much-ballyhooed Publisher’s Clearinghouse “surprise” million-dollar check presentations done live on TV on Super Bowl Sunday - they’re staged, aren’t they?

They have to give away the money live on that day, but how would they know for sure the person would be there? Many people would not be home (I hardly ever am, due to Super Bowl parties). So that woman in the towel who acts all freaked out when she opens the door and they’re there with the balloons and the check, and all the others, were tipped off, I assume.

Anyone know definitively?

“In much wisdom is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” - Ecclesiastes 1:18

First of all, your lack of replies looked kind of lonely, so here I am to remedy it! YAY! Let’s all applaud for the power of the Lemon! I think they must be tipped off first, because otherwise what are they going to do with the check? Leave it on the doorstep? The whole thing is a bunch of bull anyway. I bet no one gets any money except for their own selves.

“I sink, therefore I swam.”

Thanks a lot, Lemon! I was pitching a shut-out! :slight_smile:

“In much wisdom is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” - Ecclesiastes 1:18

Anyone know where all that moola comes from??? Magazine subscriptions? Just what is their gig?

I don’t know where else they would get their money besides their mark-up on the subscriptions they provide, el.

IIRC, last year that’s exactly what happened. After publicizing the event for weeks, Ed and crew showed up at the winner’s house … and no one was home.

I don’t know if it was Publisher’s Clearing House or not but I once saw a special about how they make sure to get to the people. They had some people essentially stake out the person for a few days before and find out about their life in the hopes that they could predict where the person would be.

I don’t think we should let this information get out.

“Oh, I thought it was a psycho stalker, but maybe it’s the Prize Patrol, so I won’t call the police. Hmm, what should I do with the million dollars?”

Thanks ravenous… We just found a new way to stalk people. Just carry an oversized novelty check around with you! :slight_smile:

I suppose some people don’t give them permission to use the footage either.

Anyway, it says $1M? Probably nothing more than a zero coupon bond of about $440,000 put in for 20 years. $50,000 a year for 20 years, figure taxes, of what? $18,000=$32,000 for ya, better keep that day job.

But then by the time 20 years roll around $50k won’t be worth crap.

I saw the special too, I think it was about the Publisher’s Clearing House folks.

They do do everything to make sure the person is at home or that they know where they are going to be, even to the point of following them on that day anywhere they go.

And I believe I have seen them arrive and no one be home, but maybe it was just an urban legend.


Well, they don’t have to show the 100 times they waited & no one showed up, would they? Just what kind of ad would that make?

Anyway, if you got a van, put a sign like theirs on it, youll be very attractive.

I thought that Ed McMahon worked for a different company, American Family something.

I would imagine that if the winner isn’t home, they probably don’t even drive up or turn on the cameras.

If the copmanies weren’t giving out the winning checks, there would be a flood of lawsuits.

I too can attest to the fact that one year they showed up at someones apartment and no on was home. They were on the air saying “Bob (or something like that) come home !” However, your suspicion about a set-up has merit, being in radio I have seen most things that seem spontaneous are not at all. Smoke and mirrors people, smoke and mirrors . . .

I think it would be pretty cool to dress up like the prize patrol and deliver a $10 check.

Someone’s probably done this though.

Computers have let mankind make mistakes faster than any other invention, with the possible exception of tequila and handguns.

If you read the fine print on the sweepstakes entry forms I suspect it says that you grant them permission to use your name and likeness in the event that you win, so I’m not sure you’d have the option of refusing to allow them to use the footage even if it wasn’t live.

MadPoet: Yep, somebody has done it - at least one time, probably more. There was a home video clip of an elaborate hoax someone pulled on a friend shown on America’s Funniest…or some such. IIRC, the hoaxee was not at all amused.

If any of you have a van & are coming to the Monterey getogether Feb 19th, put a sign on your van & we can pay the people at Candid Camera a visit. They are only 2 blocks from me.

Not only do you give permission to use the footage when you enter the sweepstakes, in some you get to “decide” the scene!

In one I filled out (I fill them out because I get such a kick out of the ideas they come up with to get you to enter), they had three different storyboards for how the scene would unfold at your door. You got to pick which one they did (by placing those ubiquitous stickers from one page onto another page of course). I can’t remember if this was before you’re supposed to use more stickers to pick the color of the car you “may already have won”.

Naturally it advised that I keep a copy of my choice for my records.


Hmm. So what if the person who won is deaf? They come to the door, the deaf person can’t hear them there. Or maybe they have a door light, they come to the door, the people say ‘you won a milllion bucks’ the deaf persons’ lip reading it as ‘there is a pig in the back yard.’ Slams the door & runs to the back yard. Hmm.