DES MOINES, Iowa –While millions of people will be exchanging cards or handing out roses and boxes of chocolates this Valentine’s Day, State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald will be looking to reunite Iowans with their lost treasures from the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt. “On Valentine’s Day we celebrate our commitments to each other, so I am continuing my commitment to Iowans and reuniting them with their cherished items,” stated Fitzgerald.
Each year, the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt returns millions of dollars in unclaimed property to the rightful owner. Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, life insurance policies, utility security deposits and safe deposit box contents.
“Some items in safe deposit boxes may have been tokens of affection on a past Valentine’s day,” Fitzgerald added. “Plus, the name Valentines is one we commonly see in our records of unclaimed property. We currently have more than 300 past and present Iowans with the name Valentines in the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt. Other festive names on the list include Love, Cherish, Candy, Darling, Flowers and even a Heart to Heart Communications in Ames!”
The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt has more than three million names of individuals and businesses all over the state that have lost or forgotten money. The program has returned over $277 million since Fitzgerald started 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 unclaimed property to the state treasurer’s office. The assets are then held until the owner or heir of the property is found.