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TSA collected $1 million in spare change last year. What happens to all that money?

The most unusual TSA checkpoint finds

Transportation Security Administration officers have kept a lot of dangerous and often times wacky items off of commercial aircraft this year. Here is their list of the top 10 most unusual finds.
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Transportation Security Administration officers have kept a lot of dangerous and often times wacky items off of commercial aircraft this year. Here is their list of the top 10 most unusual finds.

Keep the change.

Travelers working their way through airport security left behind almost $1 million in spare change at Transportation Security Administration checkpoints, ABC News reports.

During the 2018 fiscal year, TSA agents collected $960,105.49 in spare change and other forgotten currency at checkpoints, according to USA Today.

“TSA always seeks to make sure that all traveler property, including loose change, finds its way back to the proper owner,” the TSA said in an annual report, according to ABC News. “However, when loose change does not, it will be directed to critical aviation security programs.”

The money goes into a special fund and pays for airport security signs, maintaining checkpoints and expanding the agency’s PreCheck system, according to CNN’s news wire.

The inadvertent budget boost thanks to forgetful travelers has increased in recent years. ABC News reports the TSA collected $869,837 of spare change in 2017, and $867,812 in 2016.

Agents found the most money last year at New York’s JFK Airport: $72,392.74, according to the New York Daily News.

Los Angeles International Airport came in second last year with $71,748.83 left behind at checkpoints, USA Today reported.

Travelers through Miami International Airport left behind $50,504.49, making MIA a distant third for the year, according to ABC News.

NBC News reported last week that the Department of Homeland Security plans to ask the TSA to help fund border security, and that could include the spare change collected from checkpoints.

Keep these travel tips in mind when preparing for your first flight.

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.
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