BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The state Department of the Treasury has returned $101,473 in unclaimed money to hundreds of Lake Charles area residents during a weekend event in Lake Charles.

State Treasurer John Kennedy said Monday that $35,000 was returned to southwest Louisiana residents years ago when they first visited Lake Charles. The average unclaimed property claim is usually around $200 to $400, but officials say this year there were several claims that totaled more than $1,000.

Kennedy's office has aggressively been trying to return unclaimed property. The database includes over 1 million people and businesses that are owed more than $500 million. The money is from old savings and checking accounts, payroll checks, stocks, insurance proceeds, oil and gas royalty payments, utility deposits and other funds.

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