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Oregon tie-in for Dateline NBC program on unclaimed property
07/14/2008
 
For immediate release                                                                              08-23
 
More information:  Cheryl Gladden, 503-986-5289
                              Cyndi Wickham, 503-986-5248
 
Salem – On Monday night, NBC stations will air a Dateline NBC program entitled, “You Might Be Rich!” that focuses on Americans retrieving unclaimed property.  At least four million people are expected to see the initial show. 
 
In response to an expected deluge of inquiries, staff in Oregon’s Unclaimed Property Program, located in the Department of State Lands (DSL), are gearing up to handle increased Web hits and phone calls. 
 
“We always see substantial increases after major national TV programs,” said DSL’s acting unclaimed property manager Cheryl Gladden.  “We have alerted the state’s Web site managers, as well as our own, that Web traffic could be crazy on Monday night and throughout the week,” she said. 
 
It’s easy to check if the state is holding money for you – go to www.oregonstatelands.us and click on the “Unclaimed Property Name Search” link.
 
“Oregon is holding more than $300 million for almost two million owners,” said Gladden, “which means the odds are good that many Oregonians have money to be claimed. 
 
Unclaimed property is held forever until claimed by the owner. The receipts are held in the Common School Fund, a trust fund established at statehood to finance public schools. 
 
The State Land Board consists of Governor Theodore Kulongoski, Secretary of State Bill Bradbury and State Treasurer Randall Edwards.  The Department of State Lands administers diverse natural and fiscal resources. Many of the resources generate revenue for the Common School Fund, such as state-owned rangelands and timberlands, waterway leases, estates for which no will or heirs exist, and unclaimed property. Twice a year, the agency distributes fund investment earnings to support K-12 public schools. The agency also administers Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law, which requires people removing or filling certain amounts of material in waters of the state to obtain a permit.   
 
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