ORLANDO, Fla. - A lucky Orlando woman received a $40,000 check as part of a series of events leading up to Florida's 2014 unclaimed property auction.
Teresa Tran said she did not find out until Thursday where all of the money came from.
"Actually I'm giving it all to my mother. I'm not keeping a penny of it," Tran said. "I just want to give something back as a daughter."
Tran found out that a family member opened some sort of mutual fund account for her years ago and she didn't know. It's been sitting idle and was turned over to the Bureau of Unclaimed Money. Banks, mutual fund companies,
and utility companies all have to do this when an account has been inactive for a certain amount of time. Then, the bureau tries to get in touch with the owners so they can get it.
About $400 million worth of accounts were turned over to the bureau last year and they paid out about 60 percent of that. The state said there are impostors out there. People should never have to pay someone to get their unclaimed money and there's no expiration date.
"If anyone ever contacts somebody or you receive some solicitation or something and it says 'time is running out,' that's not true," said Walter Graham of the Bureau of Unclaimed Property. "Time never runs out. It's claimable indefinitely."
Graham said they have claims for as little as $2. He said the largest claim paid out was $5 million.
If an owner dies, their heir can collect the money. If something is sold at an auction they can still collect the value of the item.