Unclaimed property up for grabs in Florida - WFLA News Channel 8

Unclaimed property up for grabs in Florida

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

How would you like someone to knock on your door and tell you there is a million dollars with your name on it? Eight on Your Side recently had the pleasure of doing just that.

It is money that was sitting in the Florida Bureau of Unclaimed Property.

We found it by scrolling through the names of individuals and businesses owed money. In some cases, a lot of money. That's how we found the man in Manatee county.

He asked not to be identified because he is elderly and legally blind. He worries his new millionaire status will make him a target.

He was unaware the money was sitting in the Unclaimed Property Fund because he says his wife always handled the money and she died a few years ago. He had several accounts in both his name and his deceased wife's name. They were stock and stock dividend checks, certificates of deposit that had matured and other various accounts.

When we caught up with him at his business in Manatee county, he was about to get in a cab and head home to his apartment. He is now working with the state to submit the claim forms and get his hands on that more than one million dollars.

Warren Graham heads the Florida Bureau of Unclaimed Property. He says 99% of the money comes from "un-cashed checks, dormant bank accounts, insurance benefits that haven't been claimed or securities portfolios, that type of thing."

Searching to see if you're owed a piece of it is simple. The state's website is www.fltreasurehunt.org. You simply enter your name.

I found many Tampa Bay area businesses that are owed money. Including $599 for the Tampa Bay Rays, $105 for Tampa Bay Broadcasting at One Buc Place and a $223 win for Tampa Bay Downs.

Graham says, "This office returned $212 million dollars, over 300,000 claims, to Floridians this past year. That's a serious amount of money."

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