That's the amount of money one man found last year by visiting the Comptroller's booth at the Maryland State Fair in 2011.
The Comptroller's Office has for several years now taken its unclaimed property booth around to different fairs and festival across the state. Representatives working the booth can search a person's name in the unclaimed property database, which currently exceeds $50 million in funds, according to a release.
“If you misplace $72,000 you’d think that you’d know. A lot of the time it’s not even something that people are aware of that is out there," Kim Frum, a spokeswoman for the Comptroller's Office, said. "A lot of unclaimed property comes from forgotten checking accounts, or forgotten safety deposit boxes, bank accounts, security deposits, wage and insurance benefits and proceeds — things that are just forgotten about.”
Frum said a tour of eight different fairs in 2011 returned $461,000 “to people who didn’t know they had money that existed.” Of the more than 2,600 state fairgoers who entered their names in 2011, 478 found leads on unclaimed property, which is not always money.
"Sometimes the unclaimed property, it’s not necessarily yours, but a relative," Frum said. "Say a grandparent or a great grandparent passes away and had a safety deposit box that nobody knew about.”
“We’ve had teeth. We’ve had ashes—all sorts of odd things,” she continued.
The unclaimed property booth will be open to the public at the Maryland State Fair from Friday, Aug. 24 to Monday, Sept. 3, 2012, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., in the Exhibition Hall.
“It’s there. We want to give it back. It’s not our property. It’s just taking space in our buildings,” Frum said.
LIST OF UPCOMING FAIRS AND FESTIVALS
|African American Festival
July 7 & 8
|Maryland State Fair
August 24 - September 3
|The Great Frederick Fair
September 14 - 22
|Allegany County Fair
July 14 - 21
|Prince George's County Fair
September 6 - 9
October 10 & 11
|Montgomery County Fair
August 10 - 18
|Anne Arundel County Fair
September 12 - 16
Editor's Note: The identity of the individual who found $71,516 in unclaimed property cannot be revealed under state law, according to Frum.