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For some, place on the list amounts to big change
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MONROE - Two people in Wisconsin already have found more than a half million dollars in unclaimed property from the state treasury in the past eight weeks.

"I've had two really lucky weeks," Treasurer Dawn Marie Sass told The Monroe Times on Thursday.

During April and May, the Treasury Department sets up in random libraries and malls to assist people with their search for unclaimed property.

On April 3, a man came into the Mead Public Library in Sheboygan and found the name of his deceased father. When Sass returned to her office to send out his claim form, she discovered he and his two siblings would receive $296,000.

The following week, on April 11, at Fox River Mall in Appleton, Sass said another gentleman came to her with a letter from a firm which offers to find people's unclaimed property.

"I told him, I hoped he hadn't paid them," she said. Searches for unclaimed property are free through the Treasury's Web site.

Fortunately, the man had not, but he said he had a stroke and had no help with managing his finances.

Sass helped the man and found his name on the Treasury's list.

The following Monday when Sass prepared to send the man a claim form, she found his name came up 99 times for uncashed dividend checks. The man not only had $236,000, but also 944 shares of stock to claim.

The average claim is about $400.

"Those (large claims) skew our numbers a bit," Sass laughed.

Last year, a record amount of $28 million in unclaimed property was paid out to more than 25,000 claimants.

"We have assets which belong to citizens in every city and village across the state," Sass said. "If your name appears in one of the newspaper publications or in our online database, please take the time to see if the property belongs to you. I am dedicated to reuniting Wisconsin citizens with their lost assets."

The newspaper printing lists only the names of those who have unclaimed property reported to the office in 2008. The county treasurer's office at the courthouse in Monroe has the same list on CD-ROM, which Sass said she dropped off Tuesday.

The Treasury's Web site can help with previous years. It lists more than 30 years of unclaimed property worth more than $352 million. For Green County alone, the online database contains nearly 4,756 claims of property worth more than $577,800.

The Web site holds the names for more than one million individual or businesses claims statewide. See if your name is on the list by visiting