PCH Lotto Review 2021: Avoid This Site at All Costs
PCH, or Publishers Clearing House, has been around since the 1950s. Back then, they specialised in the resale of magazines and printed content. However, at the beginning of 2012, the company decided to break into the online lottery market by launching its own lottery website (lotto.pch.com). In this PCH Lotto review, we will look at how this site works and whether or not you should bother trying your luck on the site.
All the lottery draws available on PCHLotto.com—all of which are free—are run by PCH to give site visitors the chance to win free money. These games each have their own draw times and rules and offer a variety of different cash prizes.
The annoying thing is that there is no way to know how many different games are available, what they are, or how much you could possibly win by playing them. The site does not offer a comprehensive list of the lotteries available, and you will need to spend a long time navigating around the website—which, as we will cover later in this review, is a mission on its own—just to see a few of them.
There are also numerous lotteries for prizes that do not have a cash value. These prizes range from gift cards to places like Amazon to things like televisions and lawnmowers.
The website does state, however, that they give away $3 to $13 million per year. Worryingly, it is a rather big gap between what they ‘could’ give out to winners.
How Does it Work?
Playing the lottery with PCH Lotto is the only relatively easy part of the entire experience when visiting the website. To begin, you will need to register a player account. During this registration process, you will need to submit your name, email address, and full physical address. This address is cross-referenced against a map to ensure that you are entering a valid address.
Once a player account is registered, you will be able to start entering the different lotteries on offer. Each lottery will be presented in the order that the site chooses to display them and will take the form of a ‘lottery card.’ This lottery card states the name of the lottery, the estimated jackpot, and a link to the rules for that specific lottery. It also allows you to select the numbers that you would like to play for the lottery. If you do not wish to pick your own numbers, there is a quick pick option available.
Once you have chosen your numbers, all that is left to do is submit your ticket. This takes place while you watch a video advert that varies in length. As soon as the ad is complete, the website will automatically bring up the next lottery that you are eligible to take part in.
Is PCH Lotto Legit or a Scam?
PCH has always had a bad reputation when it comes to selling your personal information to outsiders just to fund themselves. PCH Lotto is no exception to this. While the site actively updates its current winners list to show that people have been getting their prizes, the site holds a horrible online reputation. This is why it's at the bottom of our ranking of free lotteries.
In fact, the only thing that people do seem to be sure of after registering an account is that their email inbox is going to be inundated with spam emails both from PCH and third-party companies that they sell your data to. For this reason, we are very wary of this website.
User experience is another area that PCH Lotto does not simply measure up in. While the site is not particularly ugly, it is a confusing mess of ads, links to other PCH affiliate websites, and links that look like something to do with the site but end up just being yet another ad.
The navigation of the site is also horrid with nothing being clear about what it is. Due to this, it is possible that you may spend a large time on the website just trying to find the webpage that you are actually looking for.
Aside from this, did we mention the ads? The never ending, continuous, and incredibly irritating ads. They are ever-present and located in every corner of the site from banner ads at the top to video ads between lottery cards. While we do understand that these ads are the things that pay for all the prizes available on the website, there is also a limit between having ads in place and completely overrunning your customers with them to the point that they feel queasy.
PCH Lotto Extras
There aren’t really any additional extras available on PCH Lotto. The only thing that could be considered an extra is the VIP club. Entering into draws consistently will gain you VIP status, which will allow you access to exclusive lotteries and draws.
Other than this, there are also online slots, Keno, and games that are available. All these things are not held on the site but are linked from the site to their own respective websites.
The website carries a disclaimer stating that any payments made to the site will not increase your chances of winning. This is because all the lotteries are free to enter, and you should never make any payment to enter into any of the lotteries available. Due to this, there are no payment methods available.
As with the payment methods, there are no withdrawal options available. The reason for this is that the site does not make use of a player account in which to store winnings. Instead, all winnings are paid out directly to the winner (which is discussed below).
How to Claim Your Winnings
The prize claiming process is something that is confusing and not at all covered in the general terms and conditions of the website—insert red flags and alarms here! However, based on what we could gather, there are two ways in which you will be able to receive your prize:
- Major Wins: We are not sure what constitutes a ‘major win’, as the site never bothers to explain what this could be. However, all major wins will be presented to the winner in person by the PCH ‘Prize Patrol.’ This ‘Prize Patrol’ will arrive at the winner’s house and present them with a fanfare parade to let them know that they have won. They will then deal with all the details of getting the winnings paid over to the winner—which we assume will occur by wire transfer.
- Other Wins: For all wins that are not classified as ‘major’, winners will be notified via overnight express couriers such as UPS, FedEx, or USPS Express Mail. We assume then that prizes—if they are cash prizes—are delivered in the form of a cheque.
Surprisingly, considering the shocking state that the rest of the website is in, there are a decent number of customer support options. To begin with, there is an FAQ section that answers all the questions that PCH thinks people are asking. However, these questions are mostly irrelevant, and most of the answers will leave you with even more questions.
Part of this FAQ section includes a live chat feature that allows you to chat with somebody at PCH. This feature does not have any specified operating hours but is stated only to appear when a live chat agent is online and available. If the live chat function is not there, then you are able to submit an online query form.
In addition to this, there is a general inquiries contact number (1-800-459-4724) and a website or technical issues contact number (1-800-476-4724). Neither of the numbers has hours of operation listed.
There are no bonuses or welcome promotions available to new players.
Rules and Regulations
As is the standard for most online lottery sites, players registering a player account must be 18 years or older. Also, play is restricted to residents of the USA and Canada (except Quebec). All other territories are not allowed to play. This rule is enforced by a location tracker on the website that prohibits access to places outside of the USA and Canada.
PCH Lotto Review Conclusion
Free lottery websites have become a booming industry in recent years. While some of them are pretty good and can actually be tolerated, PCH Lotto is a far cry from being one of these lotteries. The website is dismal, the way in which the lottery operates is entirely unclear, and the advertising that players have to put up with should be illegal. If you are looking for our honest opinion, we strongly recommend finding another free lottery website if you don’t want to pay to play. And if you don’t mind paying a bit to play incredible international lotteries instead, check out our lottery site reviews.
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