TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida is raising more than $1 million for schools by auctioning off unclaimed property.

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater said Wednesday that an auction held last week in Tampa raised a total of $1.16 million. The state sold off unclaimed items found in abandoned safety deposit boxes including an 1876 gold pocket watch.

Florida has been running its unclaimed property program for 52 years. Unclaimed money, including that from auctions, is placed in a state school trust fund. Citizens have a right to claim their property at any time.

Atwater says his office is holding more than $1 billion of unclaimed property. Much of that is money in dormant bank accounts and from utility companies.

To check for unclaimed property in your name, visit http://www.FLTreasureHunt.org or call 1-88-VALUABLE or 850-413-5555.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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