Abbott and Costello Children's Show
William "Bud" Abbot and Lou Costello were arguably America's most successful comedy duo. Already a huge hit across the country, they moved their own hugely successful show to ABC in 1947, where they also hosted a 30 minute children's radio program, aptly named The Abbott and Costello Children's Show (aka The Abbott and Costello Kid's Show). The series aired on Saturday mornings, and featured talented children from across America who won awards for good citizenship.
The prizes usually awarded were the coveted 'Lou Costello Jr Youth foundation award', $1000 in savings bonds, or in March 1948 they started a contest open to everyone, that would give away prizes totaling at least $20,000.
The person entering had to complete this sentence: “I want to fight juvenile delinquency because ...”. The entry was to be sent with a donation to the Lou Costello Jr. Youth foundation. By June the prize fund had reached a whopping $30,000 and Eddie Cantor, Arthur Stebbins, and Vincent Flaherty had been announced as the ones to judge the entries. On July 9, 1948, the winner was announced as 54 year old housewife and mother Mrs. B.M. Lawrence of Shenandoah, Iowa.
Mrs Lawrence, whose husband was unemployed, was flown to Hollywood and appeared on the Abbott and Costello show on July 24th to receive her rich collection of prizes. They included a $5000 mink coat, a four-place airplane, a four-door sedan, a house trailer, a two week expenses paid vacation with her husband at a Las Vegas hotel, a week's return trip and hotel stay in Hollywood, jewelry, and household appliances!