Thousands of Victorians are sitting on a surprise windfall, with the Andrews Labor Government calling on potential beneficiaries to check if they can lay claim to a share of millions of dollars in unclaimed cash.
The State Revenue Office (SRO) is holding $111 million in unclaimed money that belongs to people of all ages from across the state. The cash is theirs for the taking if individuals and companies can establish their bona fides through a simple system that begins with an online search.
There are more than 740,000 entitlements waiting to be claimed.
SRO data reveals that a Box Hill man is entitled to a $882,697 deposit while a Nunawading woman can claim $677,002. A Banyule doctor has 105 entitlements worth $3,379 recorded in their name waiting to be claimed, while a South Yarra woman has 61 deposits totalling $153,165.
In the past five years, there have been more than 60,000 successful unclaimed money claims worth almost $20 million from sources including electricity, gas and water companies, local councils, real estate agents, insurance companies and lotto tickets.
The SRO holds records of money that remain unclaimed after 12 months – with the minimum set at $20 – from sources including share dividends, salaries and wages, rents and bonds, debentures and interest, and proceeds from sales. The majority of entitlements have been held by the SRO for less than 10 years.
The City of Melbourne is the council area with the most potential claims – 57,000 totalling $15.2 million at an average of $266 – followed by Monash ($7 million), Boroondara ($6.7 million) and Whitehorse ($4.8 million).
In regional Victoria, Greater Geelong leads the way with almost 24,700 people able to claim $2.9 million at an average of just under $120 each. Greater Bendigo residents can potentially claim $1.2 million and Latrobe City Council residents around the same amount.
In addition to unclaimed money, the SRO also holds Tattersalls, Intralot and Tabcorp prizes, as well as TAB winnings, that have remained unclaimed for six months. To claim these winnings, claimants must supply the original ticket.
The highest unclaimed gaming ticket is $2,136,327 from Tattersalls – received in March 2016. Some $860,000 in lottery winnings sitting with the SRO were eventually claimed by the owners of the tickets last year, while tickets worth $100,000 and $73,190 were among those notified by gaming companies as being unclaimed.
To claim owed monies, go to sro.vic.gov.au/unclaimedmoney and submit a personal or company name and the address that the lodging organisation would have had on file.
Quotes attributable to Assistant Treasurer Danny Pearson
“I encourage all Victorians, businesses and community groups to visit the SRO and search for any amount recorded under their name.”
“All you need are a few personal details and if we’re holding unclaimed money in your name, you’ll know within seconds. If you find an unexpected windfall, just follow the prompts to start the recovery process.”
Reviewed 26 February 2022