Kevork Djansezian

The agency netted a near one-million-dollar windfall with the money you left behind.

May 02, 2016

We already found out what happens to the money you throw into fountains, but what about the loose change you leave behind at airport security? It was revealed today that $765,759.15 was recovered in 2015 from the cash left behind in those plastic bins—and it all goes to the TSA.

Congress passed a law in 2005 stating that any change collected at local TSA stations belongs to the agency. “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,” TSA said in a statement. “Receipts of unclaimed money are deposited into a Special Fund account so that the resources can be tracked easily and subsequently expended.”

Related: How Much Does TSA PreCheck Cost?

Last year's bonus was almost $100,000 more than the pervious year’s total, which has gone up every year since 2008, when only $383,413.79 was collected.

While we understand the hassle of gathering up those couple of pennies and nickels when security lines are already causing delays, there are certain airports offering a donation box for your loose change. Denver International, Phoenix Sky Harbor International, and several other airports have pre-security collection points that benefit local non-profits.

Phoenix Sky Harbor collected $13,548.87 since it installed spare change kiosks before the Super Bowl in 2015. Denver International Airport raked in $282,722 since starting its program in 2013. 

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