The good ol' USA Kids Club, part of the USA Cartoon Express, a block of cartoons that came on every afternoon (and even weekends) in the channels better days. Show your allegiance and touch your hand to the screen. The USA Kid's Club was a pretty well beloved institution at the time that usually had some sort of great promotion going on. Here in 1989, they had a kinda high concept contest.
You write Santa by way of the Kids Club and tell him what you want for Christmas, anything you want as long as it's less than five hundred dollars. Then if they pull your letter, that day they'll not only read it on air, but also say the secret password for your letter. Whomever answers the phone in your household MUST answer the phone for the rest of the day with said secret word in order for you to win. Sounds easy right? Yeah, right. First off, they literally didn't even have to call. Like, they could have outright and probably did lie.
Then you add in Grandma not even remembering your name blowing the whole ordeal by not only answering the phone with the secret word, but then yelling at the USA Kid's Club operator for whatever she thinks they're saying. What's the cut off age for thinking every phone call is some sort of criminal activity? Because every single Grandma hits that wall of paranoia. Grandpa? Grandpa don't care. He can't hear the phone ring. If he does, somehow he always manages to have to take his pill then and there. Remember kids, you're going to be a nightmare to deal with when your old. I look forward to thinking the governments out to get me by way of cable boxes.
I remember sending in a letter. I'm sure the day they read it was the one day my parents absolutely had something we had to do after school. I do wonder if that kid got his Turbografx-16. The system was released here in America at that time and I don't think I could imagine anything more amazing than Santa getting you one by way of crazy cable contest.