Louisiana returned a record-setting $35.5 million in unclaimed property to some 116,000 individuals during the last fiscal year, state Treasurer John Kennedy's office announced.

The $35.5 million is the most money given back in a single year during the program's 42-year history.

"I am so proud that we were able to return this much money.  We beat our previous year record by $4.2 million," said Kennedy in a news release.  "This isn't our money.  It is taxpayers' money, and it belongs back in their hands."

The treasurer's office is still holding more than $635 million in the unclaimed property account.

The average unclaimed property claim is $660.

Unclaimed property includes old savings and checking accounts, payroll checks, certificates of deposits, stocks and dividends, insurance proceeds, oil and gas royalty payments and utility payments.

When a business cannot locate someone, usually because of a wrong address, the state receives the money for safekeeping.

Since 1972, the Unclaimed Property program has returned more than $338 million to almost 570,000 Louisiana citizens.

Kennedy and Unclaimed Property employees travel to shopping malls and other venues to locate  property owners. This month, the program is printing the names of people with at least $50 in unclaimed property in newspapers across the state.

The listing will be in Thursday's Advocate and New Orleans Advocate, the treasurer's office said.

People can search online at www.LATreasury.com or call 1-888-925-4127