You may already be a winner

July 3, 2013 

That phrase has intrigued people for many years. The idea that some lottery or contest is just waiting for someone to win keeps many companies in business. The average odds of winning a large windfall, such as the recent $550 million Powerball jackpot, are roughly one in 175,223,510. However, there is one place where the odds are one in 10 – Missouri’s unclaimed property.

The Missouri State Treasurer’s office maintains a clearinghouse for unclaimed property from around the state. Right now, the treasurer’s office holds more than $750 million in unclaimed funds and property from more than 4.4 million different account holders. That’s an average of $300 per person.

By visiting www.ShowMeMoney.com, you can enter your name to search for any accounts that might contain unclaimed property, which can include:

• funds from dormant checking or savings accounts

• uncashed money orders

• cashier’s checks

• mineral royalty payments

• safe deposit box contents

• unused gift certificates

• unclaimed insurance benefits

• lost cash dividends

• stocks

• found utility deposits

unclaimed security deposits; and court deposits Property is considered “unclaimed” after five or more years without any documented transactions or contact with the owners. Missouri law requires financial institutions, insurance companies, public agencies and businesses to turn unclaimed property over to the state. The state holds cash property in trust forever – money that is held never becomes property of the state and there is no time limit for filing claims. However, physical property is periodically sold to make room in storage.

You might not remember losing any property or having any funds remaining in old bank accounts, but you might still be owed money by the state if you are the legal heir of someone who has unclaimed property. Even if you don’t see your name or a family member’s on the site, you can search for the names of people you know and take few minutes to make them aware of their “lost” money. I made both my brother and sister aware they had property on the list, which made them quite happy. You could be the bearer of good news for someone else today.

My office has helped several constituents through the process before and I have personally seen people collect hundreds of dollars they didn’t know they had. All it takes is a few minutes to put your name into the website’s search engine.

To find out if you have any unclaimed property, the website again is www.ShowMeMoney.com or mail an inquiry to the Missouri State Treasurer’s office, P.O. Box 1004, Jefferson City, MO 65102-1004. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact our office.

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Governor’s Action on Legislation

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The governor has until July 19 to act on the bills the General Assembly sent to his desk. So far he has acted on 33 bills, signing 26 and vetoing seven. You can track his actions by visiting www.governor.mo.gov and clicking on the “Legislative Actions” tab on the far right.

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State Senator Will Kraus-R serves District Eight and is a resident of Lee’s Summit.

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