Dear Fellow Floridians:
Last week, we held our annual unclaimed property auction in Tampa, and what a success it was!
We auctioned nearly 500 lots, which contained more than 70,000 individual items. These items had a combined reserve value of three quarters of a million
dollars, but sold for $1.57 million. Those funds will go into the unclaimed property program where a rightful owner can come forward at any time to collect.
This year’s auction was the second-highest yielding auction ever, second only to $1.7 million raised three years ago in Fort Lauderdale. The highest grossing individual item was a platinum, 5.5 carat, emerald-cut diamond ring that sold for $18,000.
As part of the auction activities, our team hosted a live telephone bank in partnership with Shannon Behnken and WFLA, a Tampa television station. For two-and-a-half hours, our unclaimed property team answered phone calls from Tampa Bay residents who were looking for unclaimed property accounts we may be holding in their names.
The phone lines lit up and the action was non-stop. In just 24 hours, more than 5,500 Tampa Bay area residents found unclaimed property accounts worth a staggering $1.34 million. After 48 hours, the numbers spiked even higher, with 7,700 residents finding accounts totaling more than $1.85 million.
It is my goal to return every last dollar of unclaimed property back to its rightful owner. I enjoy events like telephone banks and check deliveries because they are a great reminder of just how excited people are to receive funds they didn’t even know they were missing. Even if the account is just a hundred dollars from an old cable company deposit, that’s enough to purchase your child’s back-to-school supplies. Sometimes the account is a work-related savings account you forgot to cash out when you changed jobs, and sometimes, the account is from a loved one’s life insurance policy that you didn’t know existed. Those accounts are wonderful memories for families and reminders of just how important this work is for the people of Florida.
If you live in the Tampa Bay area and we found an account for you, congratulations and thanks for calling in or checking our website online. If you haven't checked, and you’re curious if we have something waiting for you in our vault, hop online to
www.FLTreasureHunt.org. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Next year’s auction will be in South Florida, and we hope to see you there. In the meantime, we load new accounts into our unclaimed property system every day, so if you don’t find anything tomorrow or next week, keep checking! Nearly one-in-five Floridians has an account in their name, so the odds are in your favor!
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida