DES MOINES, Iowa -- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald announced today that a stop at the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt booth during the 2012 Iowa State Fair may be worthwhile, as fair goers could find their names among the hundreds of thousands of individuals with unclaimed property. “The Iowa State Fair is one of the most fun and successful ways we have to reach people who may have money in the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt,” Fitzgerald stated. “The Treasure Hunt currently holds over $240 million.”
“Computers will be set up for people to search for their names or someone they know at the State Fair this year,” Fitzgerald said. “Treasure Hunt staff members will be on hand to help treasure hunters print claim forms on the spot and answer questions. Over the years, we have had tremendous success in reuniting people with their lost treasures. Last year, over 8,800 people were successful in finding their name or someone they know.”
The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt program has returned over $149 million in unclaimed property to more than 371,000 people since Fitzgerald created it in 1983. Unclaimed property refers to money and other assets held by financial institutions or companies that have lost contact with the property’s owner for a specific period of time. State law requires these institutions and companies to annually report and deliver unclaimed property to the State Treasurer’s Office. The assets are then held until the owner or heir of the property is found. Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, life insurance policies, utility security deposits, and safe deposit box contents.
Visit the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt booth at the Iowa State Fair, August 9 – 19, in the Varied Industries Building. The building will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information about the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt, please visit www.greatiowatreasurehunt.com. Treasure seekers may also write to State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald, Great Iowa Treasure Hunt, Lucas State Office Building, Des Moines, IA 50319 or correspond by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.