COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Claim money, score big and beat that state up north – a friendly competition aims to help Ohioans receive their unclaimed funds. 

Billions of dollars in cash and property go unclaimed in the Buckeye state every year.

“Unclaimed funds is lost and forgotten money, from inactive checking and savings accounts, last checks from former employers, overpayments… even items left in safe deposit boxes,” said Susie Wagner, program administrator with the Division of Unclaimed Funds. 

The Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Unclaimed Funds holds onto all of it.

“We keep the money, forever, until the rightful owner claims it,” Wagner said. 

 Last year, the division returned $134 million to Ohioans. This year, about $4 billion dollars remain.

As an added incentive to reunite residents with their cash, the division issued a challenge to “Michigan Unclaimed Property” leading up to the Ohio State vs. Michigan State matchup at the end of the month. The competition will see which state’s resident’s can find and claim the most missing cash in a “find forgotten funds” football edition competition, now through the day of the game, Nov. 25.

“All you need to do is go to our website, it’s unclaimed, and we lead you through the three-step process… the first step is searching your name, to see if you have a claim,” Wagner said. “Step two is to review that documentation. Provide the supporting documentation we need.”

That documentation includes a driver’s license copy, social security number and proof of address. The third step is to send the information to the Division of Unclaimed Funds through the mail or online.

“So, we’re really just trying to match that information that was reported to us, and make sure that you’re the rightful owner,” Wagner said. “And then we would love to, we want to, mail you a check!”