FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Thousands of dollars in unclaimed cash and forgotten safe deposit boxes hold treasures in Kentucky, and some of it could be yours.

Inside a high-security vault in Frankfort, State Treasurer Allison Ball described the items, some decades old, as a "statewide lost and found." Ball said everything is the remaining contents of locked boxes, identified by the bank they came from.

And now, the search is on to find the owners.

From a beautiful Faberge egg that reveals a necklace inside to someone who obviously loved baseball, the vault is a treasure trove. It even holds items signed by Joe Demaggio and President Gerald Ford.

One box is filled with old Kentucky Derby pins, tucked away from a Louisville man who passed away while the state tries to find his relatives. 

While the vault is filled with so many items, there's something even more valuable. Some people have simply lost track of their money from putting down deposits or payroll they didn't get.

"There's about half a billion dollars of unclaimed property altogether. I've returned $84 million," Ball said, adding that that's the most of any state treasurer in one term.

In Louisville, she said there's about $148 million in unclaimed cash. One person even found $1.2 million in stocks that they were owed. 

The State Treasurer's Office website links to missingmoney.com. To get the claim, you have to fill out forms and send it to the State Treasurer's Office. Make sure it's that website. There are several others that may seem similar, but ask for your credit card info. This website does not. 

"There isn't an average amount," Ball said. "It varies a lot. It may be $5. It could be very small. Usually, it's in the hundreds." Ball says the state is just the custodian of the missing money and doesn't own all the funds that belong to you.

So happy searching, since some of the unclaimed cash could be yours. Ball said to look up your friends, neighbors, co-workers and relatives.

"People themselves are really the best detectives when it comes to this," she said. 

Only some states participate with missingmoney.com. For states that don't participate, go to the State Treasurer's Office website for the states that you had lived in.

For more information on unclaimed property in Kentucky:

Unclaimed Property Division
1050 US Highway 127 South, Suite 100
Frankfort KY 40601
Phone 1-800-465-4722
 

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