Visitors to state fair could find lost money thanks to comptroller

Aug 27, 2014

Those visiting the New York State Fair might stumble into some money, thanks to the state comptroller and the Office of Unclaimed Funds.

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says there's about $13 billion in lost money throughout the state.

"Unclaimed funds is money that's been turned over to us," DiNapoli said. "It could be an old bank account or a check that wasn't cashed. And the financial institution, after a certain period of time, has to declare that account abandoned property, turn it over to the comptroller's office and we maintain those accounts until we find the New Yorkers whose money it is or they find us."

DiNapoli says any New Yorker whose spent time living in the state could have money with the comptroller's Office of Unclaimed Funds.

A booth with a computer terminal has been set up in the Center of Progress building and is open throughout the fair, but people can also see if they have money by checking online or by calling the office's helpline.

"We're returning now about a million dollars a day to New Yorkers," DiNapoli said. "We want to return even more. 

There's about $43 million available just for Onondaga County residents, according to DiNapoli.

Every county in the state has money that needs to be claimed, including Oswego and Oneida counties, which have nearly $6 million and $19 million in unclaimed funds, respectively.

The comptroller's office has returned more than $260 million so far this year.

DiNapoli will be at the state fair Thursday to talk with visitors.