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EXTRA: Search for unclaimed cash! | News

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EXTRA: Search for unclaimed cash!

Tampa, FL-- 10 News found a stash of cash for local schools!

Many schools are struggling with cutbacks and layoffs, but 10 News Anchor Heather Van Nest  found some big bucks just waiting for our local schools to claim!

A few clicks of the keys resulted in cold hard cash. We hit the jackpot searching the Florida Department of Financial Service's Unclaimed Cash website.

Alonso High School in Hillsborough County- we found almost $3,000 for you!

East Lake High School in Pinellas County has more than $1,100, and Booker High School in Sarasota County has more than $2,000 just sitting in a state account, waiting to be claimed!

The schools didn't know about it until we showed them.

And that's not all. When we searched Florida's unclaimed property website, we uncovered a long list of public and private schools, school boards and school districts- all with unclaimed cash.

Take a look:

  • $44,000 for Hillsborough County Schools
  • $13,000 for Pinellas County
  • $20,000 for Polk County
  • $14,000 for Sarasota
  • $4,000 for Pasco
  • $3,500 for Manatee County

Across six Bay Area counties, it adds up to almost $100,000!

So where does all of this money come from?

For example, at one high school in Pinellas County, the vending machine company owed the school about $1,000.

For some reason, maybe an address error, the check never made it to the school, so that check ended up in a state account and it's just sitting there, waiting for someone to claim it.

10 News Anchor Heather Van Nest gave all of the account numbers to each school district to make it even easier to claim the cash.

Hillsborough County Superintendent, Mary Ellen Elia says they already keep a close eye on the website.

The real winners will be the students. We asked the school principals how they will spend the money on students.

Booker High School plans to use the money to help kids travel for competitions; Alonso High School will throw a celebration party for it's A-Team to recognize students who make the principal's list, high honor roll and honor roll; and East Lake High School will hear suggestions from students and teachers on how best to spend the money.

State officials tell 10 News the state sends out a letter alerting schools, businesses and individuals that unclaimed cash is available.

In fact, the state has almost $1 billion in unclaimed cash and property, which sits in an account to benefit public schools- in some cases, for decades.

Once a claim is filed, it can take up to three months to get the money.




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