Publishers Clearing House (PCH) is a direct marketing company that sells merchandise and magazine subscriptions and operates prize-based game, search and lotto websites. Its products are promoted through sweepstakes and prize promotions. The company is known for the Prize Patrol, which surprises sweepstakes winners at their home in a televised event. Publishers Clearing House was founded in 1953 by Harold Mertz to replace door-to-door, single-magazine subscription sales with a single vendor offering multiple subscriptions by mail. It introduced its sweepstakes in 1967. In the early 1990s, the company became the subject of concerns and legal actions regarding whether consumers were misled about their odds of winning the sweepstakes and whether purchases increased their chances. By 2010, the company reached settlements with all 50 states. Recently the company has invested in online properties, acquiring search company Blingo Inc. in 2006, online gaming company Funtank in 2010 and mobile marketing company Liquid Wireless in 2012.