The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt

This all started several months ago.  Our son Buck was watching the news.  They were telling about the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt.  He called me to tell me about it and that he had looked up Hubby’s name and that there was money there for him.  I said-“Wait..I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Well I ended up going on their website and found this…
“Welcome to the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt! Each year millions of dollars are turned over to my office as lost or abandoned. The property can be from dormant accounts in financial institutions, insurance companies, trust holdings, utility companies, money and securities, and holdings from safe deposit boxes with such things as watches, jewelry, stamps, and coins.”


I plugged Hubby’s name into the search engine and yes…there was money there for him.  There were three different entries coming to a total of almost $500.  COOL!!

The money was from a utility company dividends from back in 1990.  WOW!  We had no idea.

Then I started trying to figure out how we claimed the money.  With a little reading I figured out that we needed to do.  We had to find documents that showed our address from that time.  WHAT??  Who keeps a document with the address from that time.  It was 26 years ago!!  We lived in Chester, Iowa back then.

I talk Hubby….he was at a loss of where to find an address.  I talked with most of kids to see if they could think of something.  I even offered a 10% finders fee of any of the kids could come up with a place that we’d have the address.  Long ago we’d thrown out those taxes.  UGH.

Then I said something to Kelli.  She thought for a bit and said I think I have it.  The church directory.

I was sure we didn’t have a church directory from back then but Kelli thought we did and she thought she knew where it was, so off we went hunting and YES, we found it.  There was a picture of our family at the time.  There were only three kids back then.  In the back, our address was listed.

I thought it was a lame proof of residency.  Most of things they listed as accepting were pay stubs, bank statements, utility bills and taxes.  We had none of that.

That’s when I remembered…WAIT!  We signed up for life insurance at the time.  There on the statement of the life insurance was our old address.  Between the church directory and the life insurance form with our address on it, one of them had to work…at least I hoped it would.

Kelli ended up calling in to the number listed and asked if those documents work.  The lady said- you can try it but there’s no guarentee.  She didn’t sound promising at all.

We sent in half forgetting about it..then last week there was an envelope in the mailbox from the State of Iowa.  I remembered the treasure hunt.  I opened it expecting a rejection notice…but it wasn’t.  It was a check for $491.  WEE-HAW!!  Free money.

It was definitely a happy day for us!

I paid Kelli the 10% finders fee I had promised and I think we’re saving the rest for an antiquing day.  It sure is fun to get unexpected money.

For those of you who are from Iowa, here is the website for you to search if you might have monies.  I am told that other states have similar programs.  I don’t know how to access them though.

11 thoughts on “The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt”

  1. yes there is money out there and you should put your name or family names in because it is yours. i found money from an insurance policy and some from a store refund, do so love the free money Good job Kelli and Jo

  2. TN is doing it right now. They’ve made a point on all news programs that it’s NOT a scam. Many years ago I got such a notice after both parents had passed, but soon enough that I still had my letters testamentary. It was an unclaimed stock dividend of my mother’s, amounted to less than $8! Not as exciting as $491, but I’m a believer now.

  3. I think my siblings found some old bank account in Boston in our grandfather’s name. (He died in 1969!) As it only had about a dollar in it, we never bothered going after it. Congrats on the windfall.

  4. Sharon Malone

    We had a similar situation with my husband’s deceased father. His name was in an unclaimed property list from the state treasurers office published in our local newspaper. Turned out to be unpaid dividends from an electric coop. We needed to supply a copy of death certificate and proof that my husband was the sole heir. I think it was in excess of $1,000. Pays to check things out.

  5. Congrats! I think most states do this now. I got $50 back one year. Some rebate for something or other that I just assumed had expired.

  6. How exciting for you Jo! I live in NYS and have checked in the past but we weren’t as lucky as you. Enjoy your free money!

  7. All the states have these sites, and they’re free to use. But there are also private businesses which offer to find this money for you, and they charge a percentage. All the businesses do is to search the official state sites. So don’t hire anybody who charges a fee — do it yourself.

  8. Thanks for the link, Jo! I found my (late) father and sisters and I all have money! Now, to see if the paperwork can be done without too much trouble for the little bit of money that is there.

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