By Danza Johnson
Even though the hot and humid weather said otherwise, Wednesday appeared a lot like Christmas for Norma Pettigrew.
Pettigrew was one of more than 500 people at City Hall looking for unclaimed money from the state treasurer's office.
Pettigrew claimed $5,000 that was possibly left by her mother who died 10 years ago. Her children found the money over the Internet a few weeks ago.
"I am excited to be getting this money," said the manager of David's Bridal. "It is always good to have extra money, especially money that wasn't expected. I'm happy."
Pettigrew said she'll probably put the money in an annuity.
State Treasurer Tate Reeves, who brought his mobile office to Tupelo, said one out of every four Mississippians has money sitting in files at the treasurer's office, with payments ranging from $50 to $1 million or more.
In 2009, a woman in Alcorn County collected a check for $234,000 in money her father had left. Reeves said Lee County alone has more than $1.5 million in unclaimed money.
"This money belongs to the people of Mississippi and we'd like to get it to them," said Reeves. "That's why we have these mobile offices set up so people can get a chance to come out and see they have money to claim."
The unclaimed money could come from something as simple as an unclaimed deposit for a light bill or an insurance claim, according to Reeves.
"My advice to everyone would be to check," said Reeves. "Check your name, your parents' names, and other relatives. You won't know until you check."