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Jeff Atwater hosting ‘Treasure Hunt’ to auction off $700K in unclaimed property

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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is asking members of the public to come to Jacksonville this weekend to participate in an auctioning off of hundreds of thousands of dollars in property, held in what is essentially the massive state “lost and found” that his office oversees.

Atwater’s office invites “Floridians” — though nearby Georgians will certainly come to join in the spoils too — to the Mariott Hotel in Jacksonville to bid in a massive auction “featuring the sale of 50,000 items valued at more than $700,000.”

“Featured items in this year’s auction include an 18k gold and diamond Nautilus brand watch, a 26-carat gold necklace with oval, round, and baguette cut rubies and several collector trading cards featuring some of the greatest professional athletes like Michael Jordan, Dan Marino, Larry Bird, and much more,” read a release on Wednesday.

Spokeswoman Ashley Carr explained the provenance of all those goodies up for grab thusly:

“The unclaimed property auction features items from safe deposit boxes that have gone unclaimed for years despite efforts to return them to their owners. These items include jewelry, watches, rare coins, and other collectibles. Proceeds from the auction are deposited into the state’s education fund where they work to support Florida’s public school system.”

A caveat, however: “Should a property owner discover that he or she owned an item that was auctioned, however, the proceeds from the sale can be claimed any time at no cost.”

A preview will be held at the Jacksonville Mariott on Friday, July 31, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on 4670 Salisbury Road. The auction itself will be held the next day from 10 a.m.

“Pickers” or window shoppers interested in going through their fellow Floridians’ stuff can learn more at the CFO’s dedicated website for the auction,

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at

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