DENVER — Right now, there's roughly $1.5 billion in the state treasury waiting to be claimed. Some of that money could belong to you.
Behind the vault doors at the Colorado Department of Treasury, there are all sorts of things from coins to medals, silver bars to rare baseball cards, all left to heirs that have not come to claim them. There's also tons of cash waiting to be claimed.
"It could be $30. It could be could be thousands of dollars," explained Governor Jared Polis, who proclaimed Wednesday as Unclaimed Property Day.
Since 1987, the state of Colorado has taken in millions of dollars each year by entities that can't find the owners of the money, officials said.
It could be things like refunds that weren't collected, uncashed checks, gift certificates or unpaid wages. People and companies can claim the money that belongs to them.
"We have businesses, schools, nonprofits, municipalities. There are millions of dollars waiting to be claimed. So search not only for your friends, your family, your work colleagues, but also any small businesses that you know, nonprofits, your favorite coffee shop. Take a moment to alert them to the fact that they should take a look," said Colorado Treasurer Dave Young.
You can complete that search at Colorado.FindYourUnclaimedProperty.com
"Every few years, maybe I have a reminder to check and see the Great Colorado Payback. I've scored a few hundred dollars over the years, so pretty happy about that," said Alex Salem, a Denver resident.
"Look up with my first and last name, and then hit the claim button, and I got the money that I was supposed to receive," said Lillian Paige, a Denver resident who claimed money last year. "Fifty dollars. Then I went and I did my daughter, and she got $250 from, I want to say a retirement fund that she had a 401K that she had cashed out but she didn't receive all her funds from there."
The items available to claim could range from a few bucks to a few thousand dollars.
"Last year the state of Colorado returned almost $50 million to nearly 55,000 claimants through unclaimed property division," said Polis.
The search only takes a few seconds, and the Treasury says even if the amount you can claim isn't a lot, they still want to get it back to you and can only do that if you claim it.
People who Denver7 spoke to said it took a few weeks after claiming their funds before they got their check in the mail.
"A lot of our claims can be auto approved, which means you don't have to send in any paperwork. You just have to fill out the online form and we'll mail you a check," said Bianca Gardelli, director of the Colorado Unclaimed Property Division.
To see if you have any unclaimed property, click here.