It wasn’t $1 million like a Sioux City resident received in 2004, but Iowa Treasurer of State Michael Fitzgerald did present a check for $7,284.74 to Davenport resident Delton Gehring on Wednesday.

Fitzgerald said the state still has more than $9 million of unclaimed money to return to Scott County residents alone. During a news conference promoting The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt at the downtown Davenport Public Library, Fitzgerald said the state holds more than $240 million in cash from unclaimed accounts.

Fitzgerald opened what appeared to be a gold watch as he spoke.

“Pocket watches, we get tons of these,” he said. “Grandpa’s watch, they hand these down. We want to help keep handing them down to the rightful owners.”

He stood behind a table full of items from unclaimed safe deposit boxes turned over by banks in Scott County, a small portion of the property collected from across the state.

The treasurer’s office holds a sale about every five years when its vault gets full, he said. If the item is sold, the proceeds are placed in an account and records are kept as to whom the money belongs and the person who purchased the item in case an owner comes forward.

“If the owner comes forward or their legal heir, they get the money,” he said. “We will also tell them who bought it. Sometimes these are sentimental items and we want them to have the chance of getting it back.”

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(2) comments


Tell them who bought it. Why? Seems like that could also cause problems.


Furthermore, if the items had sentimental value to the potential heirs, one would tend to think it wouldn't have been left behind in the first place. What's that old saying: "Loser's weepers, finder's keepers!"

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