CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A former resident of Mercer County is more than $1.7 million richer on Friday, courtesy of unclaimed property in the state.
West Virginia State Treasurer John Perdue and his office presented Thomas Hunter and his wife with the largest individual unclaimed property check in state history, totaling $1,780,824.57, at the state Capitol.
“It’s exciting when your staff works so hard and is able to reach out and find individuals in this state money,” Perdue told the media.
The unclaimed money came from a trust set up by his parents which included liquidated stocks and dividends from various communications and energy companies, according to the treasurer’s office.
Hunter told the media he knew his parents had some investments.
“My parents passed away and eventually the funds ended up with the treasurer’s office. It wasn’t really a surprise, the amount of money was probably a little surprising,” he said.
Hunter said he worked with the treasury department’s Unclaimed Property Division.
According to Perdue, there have been 20 checks that his department has returned in the state to individuals and businesses of over $250,000, totaling around $9 million.
Along with the division’s location in Kanawha City in Charleston, Perdue encouraged all citizens to check out the treasury’s unclaimed property bulletin that comes out every Fall and Spring.
“They are really easy to work with, respectful and honest,” Hunter said of the division. “They will tell you what the process involves and if you follow their lead and direction, you’ll eventually get what is coming to you.”
Hunter, whose parents also grew up in Mercer County, said he has a few plans with the money including retiring early. He said a lot of it will go towards others.
“I have some young people in our family and I am an educator, so I want them to have an opportunity to get an education as well. My wife and I plan to help them out,” he said.
“Then I am going to give to some charities that my parents gave to.”
The state’s Unclaimed Property program currently holds approximately 2.2 million accounts worth $304 million, according to a release.