TSA Pocketed $675K Last Year Thanks To Your Loose Change

All those pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters we leave behind while dashing through airport security certainly add up. In fact, the Transportation Security Administration pocketed almost $675,000 last year because we were in too big a rush to pick up our loose change.

CBS MarketWatch reports that our discarded airport change has provided a small fortune for the TSA, bringing in more than $3.5 million in the past seven years.

The money, if it remains unclaimed, goes to the TSA for security operations use. That means last year’s record haul provides an additional $674,841.06 for the agency’s disposal.

“TSA makes every effort to reunite passengers with items left at the checkpoint, however there are instances where loose change or other items are left behind and unclaimed,” a TSA spokesman said in statement. “Unclaimed money, typically consisting of loose coins passengers remove from their pockets, is documented and turned into the TSA financial office.”

So why are American’s leaving so much change behind? MarketWatch reports that there are few theories surrounding our discarded funds.

One theory says that Americans are just too distracted to care about a few pennies here and there. The assumption is that consumers’ use of smartphones has made them increasingly neglectful when it comes to falling coins; either they don’t have a free hand or are too engrossed in their device to even notice the loose change.

Another theory – and maybe a more plausible one when it comes to airports – is the fact that consumers are just in a hurry. This premise seems to be supported by the TSA’s definition of unclaimed change – coins removed from pockets in order to pass through metal detectors – and the sheer amount brought in by the country’s busiest airports.

Additionally, the country’s largest airports produced the most loose change. Coming in at the top of the airport lost change list is New York’s JFK airport which collected $42,550, while the second largest was Los Angeles International Airport with $41.506.64 in spare change.

No chump change! TSA netted $675K in lost coins [CBS MarketWatch]

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