(KFVS) - Some money that belongs to you may have ended up in the hands of your state government.
The good news is it's just sitting there waiting for you to claim it.
"It'd be awesome."
Sure, the thought of free cash is one many of us harbor during this time of year.
But it's not just a dream.
You might actually have some lying around.
"Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel protects nearly $1 billion in unclaimed property for approximately 5 million account holders," said Meghan Lewis, Director of Communication for Treasurer Zweifel.
And that's just in Missouri.
If we take a closer look, more than $5 million of that belongs to people in Cape Girardeau County.
In New Madrid County, it totals more than a million dollars.
So where does all that money come from?
According to the Missouri's Director of unclaimed property Scott Harper, "governmental entities, banks, life insurance companies, any entity that creates financial instruments turn over unclaimed property to us."
And there's any easy way to see if any of that unclaimed property has your name on it.
It's a website run by the Missouri State Treasurer's Office: showmemoney.com
There are similar websites in most states.
In Kentucky, check out missingmoney.com.
I typed in my name without any results, but some of my family members do have money waiting to be claimed.
"The property we hold is held in perpetuity," said Harper. "Meaning it never becomes the property of the state. It is always there for the owner or their heirs to claim."
And Treasurer Zweifel's Office has streamlined the claim process making it easier for you to get your property.
"Fifty percent claims can start online with no paper at all. Some claims you provide drivers license or proof of address, most are pretty easy and done with one submission," Harper said.
Within two weeks, a check arrives at your door.
But it's not just cash sitting inside safes in Jefferson City waiting for its owner.
"Safety deposit boxes are turned over to us after five years," Harper said. "If they quit paying the rent and they can't find the owner then they will drill that box and turn over the contents to our office and we start process to find those owners."
Family heirlooms, valuables and even military medals are housed in Missouri's own safe of wonders.
So while hitting the lottery may be nearly impossible, you may hit the jackpot searching for your unclaimed property.
"Anyone can have unclaimed property. I wish I had a dollar for every time someone said there's no way I have unclaimed property and turns out they do."
You can search for unclaimed property in your name by visiting these websites:
In Missouri, click here.
In Kentucky, click here.
In Illinois, click here.