CLEVELAND — Right now, the State of Ohio is sitting on $3 billion and it's itching to give all that money away.
Every dollar is unclaimed -- meaning it's owed to someone in Ohio, who may not even realize they have money coming their way. February 1, 2021, is the first-ever National Unclaimed Funds Day to raise awareness about the issue.
"It can be a bank account, stock or bond, utility deposit, last check from your previous employer," said Akil Hardy, the Superintendent of the Ohio Division of Unclaimed Funds.
He says when funds don't make their way to their designated owners, they're kept with the company or business that owes them. Eventually, those accounts reach a period of dormancy. That's when they're handed over to the state.
"There's no expiration date," Hardy said. "By law, that money will stay with us until the rightful owner, or the heirs of those funds come to claim the money."
In some cases, people who come searching for unclaimed funds strike gold. Accounts can be for any amount from $5 to millions.
"We've had individuals who've actually claimed over one million dollars," Hardy said. "In fact, just last year I think we had someone that claimed nearly $2 million."
It's not just money the state is holding onto either. Hardy explained, "We actually have safe deposit boxes as well. So just like a bank account, banks will turn over the deposits of safe deposit boxes to us."
If you want to find out if there's any money owed to you it's as simple as searching for your name on the state's unclaimed funds website. If you get a result, you'll go through a claims process.
"Typically with most accounts the only things that are necessary to get the account paid out is a state-issued I.D. and a social security card," Hardy said.
If you've lived in other states, be sure to check their websites out as well. Every state has its own unclaimed funds.