The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt Auction Goes Online - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt Auction Goes Online

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The Iowa Treasurers Office is taking part in Cyber Monday by auctioning off personal property online. The treasurer's office is selling unclaimed items on eBay as part of their "Great Iowa Treasure Hunt" program.

Rings, watches, coins and currency are all for sale on eBay with the Iowa Treasurers Office listed as the seller.

"We're going to do several different auctions," says Iowa Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, "Our first one is starting on Cyber Monday."

What makes the sale legal is all the items are unclaimed. They were put in a lock boxes at banks all over the state.

"Whatever a person in Iowa thinks is valuable we put in a lock box," adds Fitzgerald.

When a lock box is abandoned, the bank holds onto it for 3-years.

"The law says after 3 years you have to turn it over to the state treasurer and then we look for the owner for 7 years," says Fitzgerald.

The last auction was an in-person one in Des Moines 8-years ago. Every year banks hand over between 400 and 500 lock boxes, so there are thousands of items that have to sell.

"We have 29 times on the auction block this week," says Fitzgerald, "Every couple of weeks we'll put out another 25 to 50 items to sell."

With jewelry, coins and money dating back decades, all the times for sale are valuable.

"Whether it's Grandpa's watch or a back of rocks or gold teeth, you just never know what you're going to take out of a lock box," adds Fitzgerald.

The treasurers office decided to sell on eBay after seeing other states take their unclaimed items auctions online.

"We thought it would be good, because we didn't want to do an auction in let's say Des Moines and not have people in the state, like Davenport, Dubuque, Sioux City not have access to it."

All the money raised will go into the state treasury. If a person tries to claim their property, they will receive the money that was brought in from the auction.

Click here for a link to the eBay page.

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