Think of the last time you found some cash in the pocket of your jeans or an old coat; it’s your money, but it still feels like you hit the jackpot.
That’s exactly how thousands of people feel every year when they find out they have unclaimed property or cash. The Illinois State Treasurer is holding $2.5 billion in unclaimed funds, and some of that could be yours.
“It was a complete surprise for me,” said Sam Downing. Downing lives in Rock Island with his wife and step-children. Last year, he found out he had $300 just waiting to be claimed from the Treasurer’s Office.
“I ended up getting it right around Christmas time, so that worked out pretty well,” said Downing. “I don’t actually remember what it was from, because it was something from like 15 years ago. I think it had to do with the house that I’d previously owned.”
Downing isn’t alone. Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs says 1 in 4 people who check their database discovers unclaimed property. That could be anything from a couple hundred dollars to tens of thousands.
That’s why WHBF & KLJB are teaming up with the Treasurer’s Office to hold a telethon. Simply call (309) 283-4999 from 4:00-10:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 23rd. Officials from the Illinois Treasurer’s Office will be on hand to help you figure out if you have any unclaimed property or cash.
Hundreds called in during our telethon last year. Two people in the QCA found more than $10,000 sitting in a vault in Springfield. One person even found out they had $76,000 dollars, just waiting to be claimed.
Property sometimes goes unclaimed when people move or when a loved one passes away. According to Illinois law, businesses and banks are required to turn those unclaimed assets over to the Treasurer’s Office after five years. That’s when the Treasurer tries to find the person it belongs to and return it, helping people like Downing get back some lost cash.
“If you’re sitting on thousands of dollars you don’t know about, it’d be awesome to find out,” said Downing.