COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – With the 2023 Ohio State Fair in the books, the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Unclaimed Funds is saying this year was one of its best.
“This is definitely our biggest event, in-person event for the year every year,” Outreach Administrator for the division Susie Wagner said.
On the grounds of the Ohio State Fair, among the food, games and animals, there was a chance to claim some cash while fair attendees cool down.
Every year, the division sets up shop at the fairgrounds in an effort to put money in your pocket, money that Wagner said already belongs to you.
“All that money can be coming from checking accounts, savings accounts, uncashed cashiers checks,” Wagner said.
The unclaimed funds are usually turned over from businesses and banks, and the division safeguards that money indefinitely.
“We keep the money forever until the rightful owner claims it,” Wagner said. “And right now, we have $3.9 billion. That has went up since last year.”
The division does make a small dent in the pot each year after the state fair. In 2022, the division said about 800 claims were initiated at Booth 21, totaling $389,000.
“A lot of the people come up and search for their name or perhaps the name of someone they know, a child, a family member, and they were surprised to find that they have money just waiting to be claimed,” Ohio Department of Commerce spokesperson Jennifer Jarrell said.
The division said that this year, more than 2,700 people stopped by the booth and more than 1,000 of them initiated missing money claims, totaling more than $322,729.
One Ohioan found more than $19,000 in missing money, and another more than $50,000.
In order to actually see the money, it’s up to the claimant to finish the process.
“We would love to be able to hand over a check immediately,” Wagner said. “I mean, of course, who wouldn’t love that moment?”
The person making the claim must provide the necessary documents.
“We just want for that supporting documentation, your driver’s license, usually it’s a copy of your social security, and proof of the address that was reported to us,” Wagner said. “So, we’re really just trying to match that information that was reported to us and make sure that you’re the rightful owner, and then we would love to, we want to, mail you a check!”
While the fair may be over, Ohioans can still search for unclaimed funds at any time and can start the process by clicking here.