Publisher's Clearing House is a household name by now; they've been giving away money since the mid-eighties. Everyone remembers getting mail from PCH – "You may already be a $10,000 winner!"
The Publisher's Clearning House contest rules can be found here
PCH maintains a list of their million dollar winners here
going back all the way to 1986!
There is no cost to enter any of PCH's sweepstakes. And yes, they really do give out those million dollar checks.
Over the years, there have been many allegations of PCH being a scam, or of using overly aggressive advertising messages. PCH has had run-ins with the Federal Trade Commission; however, these issues have been worked out and PCH continues to operate after the scrutiny.