Missouri treasury has money waiting for 4.8 million people

Do you have unclaimed money?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Don’t you love that feeling when you find money you didn’t know you had? Well, most folks in Missouri might be surprised to learn that 1 in 10 Missourians have money waiting for them in the state’s largest lost and found.

State Treasurer Eric Schmitt currently holds more than $988 million in unclaimed property.

So where does the money come from?  The state treasurer’s website says the funds come “from financial institutions, insurance companies, public agencies and other business entities after there has been no documented transaction or contact with the owner for a statutorily-defined period of time, generally five years.”

Maybe you accidentally threw out the returned deposit check from a utility company, or changed addresses and never got your last paycheck. Well, that money eventually goes into the state’s lost and found.

So let’s cut to the chase: How do you reach into those digital couch cushions and see what you find?

It’s a surprisingly simple process. Simply go to ShowMeMoney.com (which directs you to the Missouri treasurer website), where you can search your name and see the results.

The treasurer’s website says the average return is $300.

By now, you’re probably thinking the process of making your claim is a long trail of bureaucratic red tape, but it isn’t. If you find a match to your name, just follow the steps on the website. The process is free and the reported time to process a claim is 15 days.

Many accounts hold only a small amount of money, which you might think isn’t worth your time. Previous treasurer Clint Zweifel announced a new program in 2013 that allows Missourians to donate their unclaimed property to a list of 20 charities in Missouri. The process of donating unclaimed property can be completed entirely online in most cases, the website says.

So check it out. You might have a nice little chunk of change waiting for you.