SAN DIEGO — A statewide, toll-free number is now available for people who want to claim a portion of the $300 million in forgotten bank accounts held by the state, Controller Gray Davis said Monday.
Under the state's "Claim What's Yours" program, people can find out within minutes whether any of that money is theirs by calling 1-800-992-4647.
"It's better than the lottery," Davis said at a news conference announcing the state program and phone number. "You don't have to buy a ticket and the odds are probably a little better, about one in 10, that you'll find money belonging to you."
The outreach program began on a trial basis this summer in Los Angeles and Sacramento without a toll-free number. About 33,000 people have called the controller's office since then, resulting in payments of more than $1.3 million to 3,643 of them, Davis said.
The unclaimed money belonging to nearly 1 million people has accumulated during the past 13 years from savings and checking accounts, dividends from stocks and bonds, payroll checks, insurance proceeds and inheritances that have not been touched for at least seven years.