Use it or lose it! While many people are struggling to get by, states across the country are holding billions in unclaimed cash and benefits. Florida alone has nearly $1 billion in unclaimed cash and property, and you might be surprised to see how much of that is owed to local schools.
From forgotten pension benefits, to uncashed paychecks, FOX 35 spent weeks sifting through state records, published online at FLTreasureHunt.org, and found tens of thousands of dollars owed to Central Florida schools.
All totaled, we found dozens of schools with outstanding cash owed to them, ranging from 25 dollars up to several hundred. While most schools we contacted were not aware of the outstanding money, such was not the case in Lake County, where school officials have already filed claims on over $8,000. If collected, that money would go into a general fund.
"It's a lot of money," said Chris Patton, with Lake County Public Schools. "We have such a large budget and pay out so many bills, sometimes those checks get lost in the bank or at the vendors place, and they just don't get cashed, and that money just kind of goes unclaimed."
FOX 35 also uncovered thousands of dollars owed to area churches, youth sports organizations and state universities.
Officials at the University of Central Florida told FOX 35 that they monitor the treasure hunt site annually and have collected nearly $12,000 over the past 3 years.