Great Colorado Payback rings up big numbers |

Great Colorado Payback rings up big numbers

Yesenia Robles
The Denver Post
Colorado State Treasurer Cary Kennedy holds a 6.2 oz. Yellow Canary Diamond appraised at up to $80,000 by the Antiques Roadshow. Colorado State Treasurer Cary Kennedy is officially kicking off the 2010 Great Colorado Payback campaign, ahead of Sunday’s release of nearly 80,000 new names of owners of unclaimed property. The 2010 list adds nearly 80,000 names to the more than 1.5 million owners already on the state’s unclaimed property rolls. All told, Kennedy’s office is hoping to return more than $450 million in lost and forgotten property. Photo by Reza A. Marvashti , The Denver Post

A record number of people are claiming lost property and cash through the Great Colorado Payback again this year, state Treasurer Cary Kennedy said Friday.

During the past fiscal year, about 18,000 claims were made for $25.5 million in property and cash deemed abandoned under state law. With three months left in this fiscal year, about 15,000 people have made claims.

“A lot is because of our outreach and efforts in marketing the program,” Kennedy said. “But maybe the economic downturn has an effect too. More people are taking the time to look and file a claim.”

Property and cash are turned over to the state once a business such as a financial institution has been unable to make contact with the owner for five years.

On Sunday, 80,000 new names will be added to the unclaimed property and cash list, which includes objects such as silver bars, jewelry, antique currency, and a 6.2-carat canary yellow diamond ring valued at perhaps $80,000.

The vast majority of names have cash waiting to be claimed. Six names on the new list have more than $100,000 to claim; one is entitled to more than $500,000.

The list also includes businesses with lost and forgotten property.

The program, which started in 1988, still has more property being added to the vaults than property being claimed. Currently the database holds names of more than 1.5 million people who collectively have more than $450 million of unclaimed property and cash.

On Monday, 13 items will be auctioned to help clear space in the unclaimed-property vault.

The treasurer’s office can sell objects it has held for five years, if the item can be sold for a good price. The money remains in the name of the object’s owner.


Number of claims for lost property made in the past fiscal year

$25.5 million

Estimated worth of unclaimed property deemed abandoned last fiscal year


Number of new names to be added to the unclaimed property list Sunday


Number of carats of the canary-yellow diamond ring that is waiting to be claimed

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