We Found Almost $100K In Under 10 Minutes — Here's How

With the holidays coming up, wouldn't it be nice to have a big pile of cash? Turns out, that may not be a pipe dream — and no, you don't have to win the lottery. We've written about Missing Money in the past as a way to pay the bills. And while the site may sound sketchy, it's completely legit, endorsed by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) to serve as a database for unclaimed funds on a state and national level.

There is a whopping $32 billion in unclaimed funds in the United States. Ever left a job without getting your last paycheck or moved without making sure all your local accounts were closed? Those are the types of common sources of cash that eventually end up becoming unclaimed funds — sometimes for years. Other common sources of cash include benefits from life insurance companies, bequests from wills, and random bill adjustments. And if you've moved a lot or held a lot of jobs, it's even more likely that a check or two may have gotten lost in the shuffle.

So what's the catch? There is none. All you have to do is search your name (you can also search celeb names just for fun — turns out, Miley Cyrus is owed an undisclosed sum back in Tennessee) and, if your name comes up, fill out a few documents, along with proof of ID.

For fun and as an office experiment, we asked staffers and friends to try. Click through to see the seriously impressive amount we came up with. (Hint: Almost $100K!)

Then do a search for your own name — with any luck, your holiday shopping bills will be paid, minimal effort required.
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"This is from a bank merger — one of the banks where I had money ages ago merged with a larger bank. I thought that I had closed out that account but apparently not."
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"An acquaintance did this a few years back and got a windfall! Apparently, it had been from a family investment that had been forgotten about."
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"This says it's from PayPal. I'm not sure why but I'm excited to get it!"
4 of 22
"This is a bank account from high school. I took out as much as I could from the ATM, and this was what was left over."
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"I am pretty sure this is from when I was in college and signed up for every single focus group I could. I remember that I sat in on one that promised $100. I was so excited but it was right before I moved out of the dorms, so I guess the check never caught up with me."
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"An acquaintance tried and found $8,000 from a will of one of her relatives with this amount in her name."
7 of 22
"These are two freelance checks. I spent three years freelancing as a writer and content strategist, and my accounting skills were less than great. Add in two moves in three years and a landlady who used to open my mail, and it's no wonder some checks got lost in the shuffle."
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"This is a security deposit! My parents had helped me pay for my security deposit at my first apartment. When I moved out, my friend moved in and paid me a security deposit — and I guess I just forgot that the original one was remaining with my management company."
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"This is an insurance payout that was actually in my dad's name, but since he has died my mom and I can go through the process to get this."
10 of 22
"Old paycheck. Like really old. Like when I was 15 at my first job as a day-camp counselor."
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"This is from a utility company. So random — but nice!"
12 of 22
"Old commission check from one of my part-time jobs in college, where I got a small bonus for every new member I got to sign up at a gym I worked at."
13 of 22
"My great-aunt started a bank account in my name. Apparently, she got ambitious and deposited $30 when I was born — and then deposited nothing since."
14 of 22
"I worked at a company that went under during the recession. We were all laid off right before the holidays and told that our bonuses would not be paid out. But I guess they either were forced to or had a change of heart. In any case, it's definitely a bonus!"
15 of 22
"This was a deposit for a utility company at an apartment. I had never realized I'd even given a deposit since I had been spending so much money moving."
16 of 22
"This was apparently an adjustment from my utility company — they had miscalculated my heating rate and had sent this after I moved out. Okay!"
17 of 22
"This was three different checks from three jobs. I work a lot of contract gigs and I move around a lot. Glad this money caught up with me!"
18 of 22
"This is from my old college. I worked for the Alumni Affairs office, so I must have been paid out for an hour I had forgotten about."
19 of 22
"This is from the two days I worked at a book store before I quit. I was too embarrassed to go back and pick up my check — I had gotten a new job and felt bad — but it is nice to get this."
20 of 22
"College bank account. Better than nothing!"
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And the grand total: $94,344.58!
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