Great Iowa Treasure Hunt Makes Record Payout

(Radio Iowa) State Treasurer Roby Smith got to find out what it’s like to work for the state lottery as he recently returned $4.5 million from the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt to a central Iowa woman.

“This is the largest amount of money, we’re going to return to an Iowa in the history of the great Iowa treasure hunt, which have been going on for four decades,” Smith says. The payout was nearly twice as much as the previous record.

“It was McDonalds stock and dividend and we were able to return it. And it was to a lady here in central Iowa who asked to be confidential and keep her name confidential. We’ll honor that request. But we’re excited to return the money to her,” he says. Smith is not sure how she had so much money coming but didn’t know it.

“We don’t know the exact circumstance around it. But it was somewhere where we reached out proactively received the stock,” he says, “And we sent a letter and the person responded. And so we reunited their money with them. And we’re glad to do that.” The Treasurer says stocks and other valuables oftentimes can come from another family member who died and the heir didn’t realize it. His office has millions of dollars more of all types of items that are unclaimed.

“Safe deposit box, checking, savings accounts that go dormant, life insurance policies, you name it. We have it and we’re looking to return it to Iowans,” Smith says. Smith says you can easily check if you have unclaimed money or other items online.

“I encourage people to go to The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt dot gov. And it’s fast, easy and free. It takes about one minute. And they can search and find if they have any money that needs to be reunited with them,” Smith says.  Smith says you can also stop by the Treasurer’s booth at the Iowa State Fair and search for your name there.

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