State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald reports a successful turnout for his Great Iowa Treasure Hunt booth at the Iowa State Fair. “We had over 2,000 claims filed at the State Fair and more than $380,000 was claimed,” said Fitzgerald. “There was even one individual who located $25,000! Many of those who searched were delightfully surprised to find they had money owed to them.”
The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt was created by Fitzgerald in 1983 to return lost funds to the rightful owners. Under Iowa law, businesses and financial institutions must turn unclaimed property over to the State Treasurer’s Office after they have lost contact with the owner for a specific period of time. Common examples of unclaimed property include forgotten checking and savings accounts, lost stocks and bonds, life insurance payouts, security deposit refunds and the contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes. Fitzgerald then works to find the rightful owners through public relation efforts, social media and events.
“The State Fair is a great chance to make Iowans aware of unclaimed property and the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt,” continued Fitzgerald. “It also allows those who have already claimed to search again. New property is reported to us every year and the database is constantly being updated. It’s free and easy to search!”
In the past year, over 25,000 people were reunited with their money, but there is still $452 million to be claimed. Find your funds at GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov. Follow the Treasurer on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates and lists of businesses with unclaimed property.