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      Palmetto Payback Program pays off

      Preliminary numbers show claims filed during State Treasurer Curtis Loftis' Palmetto Payback Hometown Tour are valued at approximately $40,000.

      The number is likely to increase once attendees tell others to visit and pass word along about South Carolina's Unclaimed Property Program.

      District 103 Rep. Carl Anderson hosted two events in Horry and Georgetown counties on Monday.

      Treasurer Loftis, his staff and volunteers from Horry-Georgetown Technical College helped look up claims for attendees.

      "This is the true meaning of constituent service, I was amazed at how many claims we were able to find in just one day," Rep. Anderson said.

      "I am grateful to Treasurer Loftis and his staff for traveling to my district and bringing this important program directly to the people. I've already asked the Treasurer when he can come back next. It just goes to show once you spread the word how many people can be helped."

      Claims from Monday's event included a $24,000 insurance policy an attendee found in the name of a friend. Other claims included past payroll checks, utility deposits, tax refund checks, insurance policies and forgotten bank accounts. Several claims were in the thousands of dollars.

      Even a college student volunteering at the Georgetown event found $200 in her name under an old utility deposit.

      "It is such a pleasure to meet people and be able to tell them directly that they have money coming to them," Treasurer Loftis said.

      In less than a year since the Palmetto Payback Hometown Tour began, claim totals are in the hundreds with thousands of dollars returned to rightful owners across the state.

      In the past 10 years, $80 million has been returned to South Carolina citizens. In fiscal year 2010-2011, the program paid out $12.6 million to rightful owners. Currently, the state is holding unclaimed accounts totaling nearly $300 million.

      Click here to search for unclaimed property using