SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) – The Illinois State Treasurer has given the largest monetary unclaimed property back to their rightful heirs in American history.

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs announced Monday he handed out $11 million to Joseph Richard Stancak, a Chicago man who died of natural causes. The treasurer does not know how Stancak accumulated his vast wealth besides owning a boat named Easy.

“This is a life-changing amount of money,” Frerichs said. “I only wish we knew more about Mr. Stancak.”

Stancak died in Dec. 2016 and had no spouse or children. He was the last living sibling among his six brothers and sisters.  

In 2019, various investments of Stancak’s were returned to Frerichs’s office, as investment firms are obligated to do if they have not heard from the owner in three years.

By finding relatives of Stancak’s parents, Frerichs found 119 heirs of Stancak, including seven near Chicago. Most live in Poland or Slovakia.

The state treasurer runs the Unclaimed Property program. Illinois residents can check to see if there’s any unclaimed property at this website.