COLUMBIA, S.C. (WJBF) — The South Carolina Treasurer’s Office is looking to give back some major money to people in the Palmetto State and you could be one of them.

“Well, I would pay off them bills; that’s number one,” Doris Foreman told NewsChannel 6’s Aiken Bureau Chief Shawn Cabbagestalk laughing when asked what she would do with extra money. “Maybe take a trip,” she added. “Maybe give some to other people who need it,” Billy Rodgers said.

From the upstate, down to the Lowcountry, and everywhere in between, everyone could use a little bit of extra money. “I’d first give God his tithes and offering and then I’d be a blessing to others,” Donna K. Richardson said. “I teach kids, so I would also be buying new programs for my kids at Aiken County Schools,” she added.

The state treasurer’s office is looking to put more of it into your hands. “I’ll renovate my house,” Bernard Williams said. “I want to put some new flooring down and redo the bathroom,” he shared.
It’s called the unclaimed property program. State leaders say, there are more than $700 million dollars unclaimed across the state. “I’m glad to hear about it because I didn’t know about it,” Richardson said.

WBTW News learned that millions of dollars are transferred to the program each year by companies that cannot locate the owners. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, approximately 1 in 10 people have unclaimed property money held by state governments and treasuries within the United States waiting for them. Individuals, estates, businesses, and even churches and charities can have unclaimed property. 

“I’ll catch up on bills, pay some taxes, and shop,” James Rivers said. What is unclaimed property?

Examples of unclaimed property include dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, unclaimed insurance proceeds, and forgotten utility deposits. Payments can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Last year, the treasurer’s office returned more than $35 million dollars to South Carolinians.

“I never heard of it before,” Bernard Williams said. “I’ve heard of the unclaimed program, but I didn’t know there’s one here in Aiken County or how to go about registering for it,” Rodgers said.

Visit the treasurer’s website at treasurer.sc.gov and click on the link for unclaimed property and submit the information requested to see if you have funds available even if you’ve checked before. “If they got the information, I’d be glad to do a research on it and look into it,” Richardson said. “I’m gonna search the program and see if some money’s there for me,” Rivers said.

Although Toni Mack doesn’t live in South Carolina, she’ll jump at the chance to spend any money over in Aiken County if possible. “I would partake if it were [funds available for Georgia], because they have better prices over here,” she said. “That’s why I come over here, so I spend all my money over here,” she added.
If money is found, perhaps Doris Foreman will be able to take that trip she wanted after all. “I wouldn’t go out the country, but it’ll be in the United States, just looking and museums and stuff like that,” Foreman said.

You can also search for different states across the country by visiting MissingMoney.com.