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Publishers Clearing House email - false advertising?

Port Huron, MI |
Filed under: Consumer protection

"In fact, you, [withheld], will become a millionaire if you enter before the December 3rd (11:59 PM, ET) deadline and win $5,OOO.OO Every Week for Life from this notice. You are strongly urged to respond now, Ryan. Wait and you risk losing out on what could be a fortune in prize money." Is PCH so large and scary that no attorneys see this covered under contract law? Step up

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Attorney answers 6


You will become a millionaire IF you enter AND win $5K a week for life. This doesn't seem ambiguous to me. Something is ambiguous if it admits of more than one reasonable interpretation. I only see one reasonable way to interpret this.


I think Publishers Clearing House has been taken to task for aggressive magazine sales tactics in the past but has since cleaned up their act. What you quote above however does not seem out of line, you are not being asked to purchase anything just enter the contest if you want to have a chance at being a millionaire. Of course if you do not enter you cannot win.

This is not legal advice but a general comment on society. International Law 24/7 hotline +1-202-318-2406 - Dr. Jonathan Levy, PhD calls or emails usually returned within 24 hours.


I agree with the previous posters. This does not seem problematic.

My discussion with you regarding the question you posted on Avvo does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is my response to your question to be considered legal advice. While I do my best to provide helpful responses given the factual scenario presented, proper analysis of any matter requires a more in-depth conversation than what is practical on Avvo. If you would like to discuss your matter further so that I may provide you with more specific advice, please take advantage of your free consultation by e-mailing me directly at or by calling me directly at (616) 606 - LAW-6 (5296). If you are a member of the military, or if an immediate family member of yours lost his or her life while fighting for our country, I am proud to offer you a 10% discount on my fee.


Offer to enter a contest, if no purchase required, the you can win if your enter and are selected.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or


Q:"Is PCH so large and scary that no attorneys see this covered under contract law?
A: PCH is large, but scary, not hardly!
Q:"Step up"
A: Sorry, we don't take orders except from paying clients and then only after advising of the likely outcome, which in this case is adverse to you. If you are nuts enough to think this PCH email is fraudulent [it isn't] and want us to sue PCH, it is YOU that needs to step up with a hundred grand retainer fee to cover the expenses and legal fees to vigorously assert a loser case. You have a right to an attorney, but you have no right to a free attorney, and no competent attorney will take a losing case without assurance that fees will be paid regardless of result.

I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.



I apologize for my question causing such a visceral response. I appreciate the responses and answers I have received. Never did I expect a question about tort to equate torque.


Attorneys see it as well covered in contract law: Its a solicitation. Not a contract or promise. A close read of the text makes clear that fact.

FYI, trial attorneys LOVE big--scary is for the movies.

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I am providing educational instruction only--not legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.

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