Attention, Tim Cook, Steven Spielberg, Larry Page, Mark Cuban, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg: You've got cash. Not in your bank account, but forgotten funds waiting for you. That's what Quartz found when it created a list of 20 famous people who were owed a total of $35,286 in unclaimed funds.
No matter how much money you have, there's charm in coming across some you were unaware of. But finding a forgotten bill in a pocket or on a sidewalk is small change compared to what often happens with unclaimed money. People regularly lose track of property, including old bank accounts and safety deposit boxes, payouts from insurance and trusts, stocks, escrow accounts, and other sources. The organizations behind them typically didn't have someone's current contact information when it was time to pay.
The amounts can be significant. According to the Quartz report, Spielberg is due $10,000. Sergey Brin of Google can collect a total of $1,231, including $9.53 from The New York Times. Google CEO Larry Page is owed $2,494. Mark Cuban, $1,482. There's $6,000 waiting for Tim Cook and $825 for Mark Zuckerberg. There's even an intriguing $3,264 owed to Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious and still unknown billionaire founder of Bitcoin.
Elon Musk has $582 coming to him, including $30.18 from PayPal, which exists because of a merger between X.com, which Musk founded, and another company. (After two years of acting as CEO, the board fired him.)
You win some, you lose some, but remember to always collect the $30.18.
All less than chicken feed for these people, but then you probably aren't them. There are billions of dollars collectively owed to people and it's easy to forget to update an address to get what's meant to be yours.
Finding money is usually only a matter of doing a little snooping. The site MissingMoney.com is a collection of unclaimed property from government listings run by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. It's worth giving it a shot. (I just found several hundred dollars I'm owed.)
That service works with state lists of unclaimed property, but not necessarily federal. Some time back, I had put together a list of federal agencies that might be holding money for you. The MissingMoney site also has a page with additional resources that are worth checking.
There's no guarantee that you'll have any money, let alone thousands, waiting for you. But, if you don't check, you'll never know.